Sports

Teaching pickleball and improving in pickleball

Pickles are not grown but cultivated from cucumbers, and they can’t be rushed because it is all about the balance between salt, acidity and natural sweetness. Ditto pickleballers!

The tickle in pickleball

Coastal Point • File Photo: Vaughn Baker serves one up against Tripp in 2016.Coastal Point • File Photo: Vaughn Baker serves one up against Tripp in 2016.Research is revealing that laughter is one of the best medicines available, and you get plenty of it in pickleball.

I recently invited Matt Pencek, sports director at TV station WBOC, to Northside Park in Ocean City, Md., to meet nationally-ranked pickleball pro Sarah Ansboury so she could talk a little to him about the then-upcoming Beach Blast and give him an opportunity to learn a little about pickleball.

I taught the previous sports director at WBOC how to play tennis, so I understood a little about their business. When the WBOC camera and microphone shows up, bystanders normally preen and pose. When the sports director comes out, he is accustomed to viewing younger athletes in uniforms. The pickleballers were not preening, and they certainly were not in uniform.

When Matt was setting up the camera, he had a gaggle of pickleballers milling all around him, and some bumping into his camera. As he was refocusing his camera, he scanned the crowd one more time and then looked at me, surprised and in bewilderment.

So what is a good pickleball holiday gift?

No doubt there is that special person in your life who has become addicted to pickleball, and you decided some time ago to buy a new pickleball paddle as a gift for this special person.

Flipping for Families event to support Alana Rose Foundation

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Alana Rose Foundation will host the Flipping for Families event at Mid-Coast Gymnastics on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Alana Rose Foundation will host the Flipping for Families event at Mid-Coast Gymnastics on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m.For the second year in a row, the Alana Rose Foundation is teaming up with Mid-Coast Gymnastics to give kids the chance to have a fun afternoon while supporting other families.

The Alana Rose Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was borne out of the tragedy endured by Kyle Prettyman and Alexa Shoultes, who lost their daughter Alana Rose to a neurodegenerative disease at 15 months old, in December 2015.

According to its website, “The Alana Rose Foundation works to provide financial assistance to help with travel, housing and/or living expenses for qualified families, making children happier and healthier by keeping their family together.”

The Flipping for Families event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. The cost of admission is $10 per child, with children younger than 4 able to attend free of charge. Parents and caregivers may attend the event at no charge. There is no pre-purchase required; families may buy tickets at the door the day of the event.

IR boys’ soccer kicks off state tournament

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: Indian River’s Juan Linares fights for control of the ball against McKean High School on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Dover High School. IR won the game 6-0 and advanced to the semi-finals vs. Delaware Military Academy.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: Indian River’s Juan Linares fights for control of the ball against McKean High School on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Dover High School. IR won the game 6-0 and advanced to the semi-finals vs. Delaware Military Academy.The Indian River High School varsity boys’ soccer team began their climb to the summit of a Division II title with a very decisive 6-0 blanking of upstate challenger McKean High School (11-3-1) on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Dover High School.

Senior Indians offensive player Oscar Cruz Osorio scored all three points in the first period, starting with a penalty kick at 5:37.

That was followed minutes later with a series of calamities, ending at 14:17 with the McKean goalie landing on top of Cruz Osorio as the ball gently rolled into the net. Cruz Osorio was credited with the goal on an assist from Esly Carmona Deras, who also assisted in Osorio’s third goal of the period, with the clock at 53:19.

With a little help from Indians senior Egardo Velasquez, fellow senior Juan Linares booted in their first goal of the second period at 64:54. Velasquez was on the assist again at 69:32 when Carmona Deras hit the net with the Indians’ fifth goal. IR got a final point near the game’s end when sophomore Jared Cordoba finished it at 74:28 with an unassisted netting.

Indians football ends season with 35-point loss to Sussex Tech

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River running back Adam Bordeau makes his read against the defensive line in IR’s 35-0 loss on Thursday, Nov. 9.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River running back Adam Bordeau makes his read against the defensive line in IR’s 35-0 loss on Thursday, Nov. 9.Last Thursday, Nov. 9, Indian River High School’s varsity football team played their last game of the 2017 season. When it was over, there was the feel of a collective sigh from players, coaches and fans. The 1-9 2017 season will be a longtime losing Indian River benchmark.

The team that surprised a highly-ranked Glasgow High School 21-20 in mid-September suffered its ninth straight loss by mid-November — this one a 35-0 blanking from inter-county rivals the Golden Knights of Sussex Central.

Despite the loss, IR’s defense — which had allowed 35 points in the first half —prevented the Central team from scoring at all in the second half.

With just 3:38 minutes off the first-quarter clock, the Golden Knights offense got their first possession on an IR kickoff fumble at the 20-yard line, reaching the goal line in just two plays. The Golden Knights rallied on from there, scoring a total of 35 by halftime. But the Indians didn’t just give in.

Coastal Point Pickleball Worthies of 2017

Let’s stop the presses for at least one brief moment this week before yet another pickle harvest engulfs us. Before we hermetically seal the year 2017, I want to mention just a few people who I believe do more than the rest of us — much of it selflessly unseen — so the game of pickleball along our pickleball coast and beach resorts can be enjoyed by so many.

Indians fall to Lake Forest in rainy battle

Special to the Coastal Point  photos• Bruce Walls: Indian River field hockey players fight for ball control vs. Lake Forest, before ultimately falling 0-1 on Tuesday, Nov. 7.Special to the Coastal Point photos• Bruce Walls: Indian River field hockey players fight for ball control vs. Lake Forest, before ultimately falling 0-1 on Tuesday, Nov. 7.In a steady rain, 12th-seeded Indian River High School’s girl’s field hockey team faced 5th-seeded Lake Forest on the Spartans astro-turfed football field on Tuesday, Nov. 7, for round one of the DIAA State Tournament.

Under harsh conditions both defenses battled fiercely to keep their opponents from scoring. Then, with just over five minutes remaining in the second half, the Spartan offense scored the game’s only goal, breaking the longstanding tie.

“The girls played well,” said IR Head Coach Jodi Stone. “This is the second time we’ve made the tournament — two consecutive years — so as a young team we have to be proud of our journey. We were at least able to get to the tournament. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and we’re going to keep our heads high.”

Indian River soccer team falls to Laurel in battle for South title

Laurel Star • Mike McClure: Indian River’s Oscar Cruz-Osorio looks to hold back Laurel’s Santos Rodas as he dribbles the ball. Cruz-Osorio had a pair of assists in his team’s 4-2 road loss.Laurel Star • Mike McClure: Indian River’s Oscar Cruz-Osorio looks to hold back Laurel’s Santos Rodas as he dribbles the ball. Cruz-Osorio had a pair of assists in his team’s 4-2 road loss.The stars aligned for the Laurel varsity soccer team last Wednesday night. The Bulldogs’ home matchup against Indian River had been pushed back due to weather, setting up a final divisional showdown with the Indians for all the marbles and the Laurel team didn’t disappoint its fans.

The Bulldogs scored a pair of unanswered goals in the second half to win the game and the Henlopen South with the 4-2 victory.

“I didn’t sleep last night, that’s how nervous I was,” Laurel’s sophomore goalie Jailon Gillespie said. “It feels so good to beat a team you’ve never beaten and to be on top.”

Indian River took advantage of Laurel’s nervousness at the start of the game as Erick Aguilera-Baruch scored on a feed from Oscar Cruz-Osorio for a 1-0 Indian lead with 38:21 left in the first half.

Girls cross-country team makes history

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: The girls’ cross-county team poses with their Southern Division Conference title trophy.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: The girls’ cross-county team poses with their Southern Division Conference title trophy.Indian River High School’s varsity Girls Cross Country team made school history last Saturday, Nov. 4, at Killens Pond State Park where the Henlopen Conference Championships were being held. The girls brought home their first regular season Southern Division Conference title. They earned seven wins, beating Delmar, Dover, Polytech, Sussex Academy, Milford, Cape Henlopen and Sussex Central.

According to Coach Katie Ryman, who co-coaches the teams with her husband, Frank, it took, “Five years of hard training with different teams that we’ve had. We’ve built upon our successes every single year. This year we did our best to keep our runners as healthy as we could.”

The girls were 6th place overall, and individually Micayla Meehan was 8th overall with a time of 21:05 for 2nd team All-Conference, and Lauren Meehan finished 20th overall, with a time of 21:50 for 3rd team All-Conference.

“We had significantly fewer injuries and that was because we focused on speed in the beginning of the season. We always consider the fitness level of our runners, and any aches and pains from the previous days workouts were considered before deciding on a workout for each day,” Katie explained.

The boy’s cross-country runners finished 9th overall, with 2 medal winners. Junior Patrick Spencer was 12th overall with a time of 17:28, and junior Tony Velasquez, who was 10th in County, completing the distance in 18:02

IRSD ready to pursue Bermuda grass on fields

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.After tossing the idea around for years, the Indian River School District’s Board of Education unanimously voted this week to begin pursuing Bermuda grass for the football and field hockey stadiums at both high schools.

“I think the public is going to appreciate what we’re doing with these four fields,” said Joe Booth, supervisor of Buildings & Grounds. “I work for the district, but I also am a district resident. … I think this is a good thing moving forward, trying to improve these fields for our students.”

The optimum option would be artificial turf, he said, but Bermuda grass is a great runner-up.

“It’s mainly because of the recovery, and it gives you a little bit of the cushion. It’s mowed short so you don’t have a problem with cleats getting caught,” he said. Also, “It’s flat. It’s consistent all the way through.”

Pickleball Tips: Sweet Spot and Sweet Spots

Bonkeys in Ocean View is my favorite sweet spot. Too many trips to Bonkeys can definitely have a negative influence on finding the other sweet spot, the one on your pickleball paddle. It matters not how large your paddle sweet spot is if you can’t move into position to hit returns of serve and volleys.

Fourth annual Thanksgiving Day Gabby Gobble nears

Coming to the Delaware beaches for Thanksgiving and looking for a twist on your family tradition?

Join up for the Fourth Annual Gabby Gobble 5K on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 23, at Irish Eyes Pub in Lewes. The race will begin at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds from the race will go to the Get Well Gabby Foundation.

Annual Turkey Trot scheduled for Thanksgiving Day

The 10th Annual Fenwick Island Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, at 8 a.m. The untimed 2.2-mile fun-run/walk starts oceanside on Lewes Street in Fenwick Island, and goes south to the Maryland state line and back.

Pickleball Points — Endorsements can make a market, or break a company

Professional endorsements work because consumers make them work. Seldom, but sometimes, the company involves the athlete in product development. Billie Jean King and Chris Evert were involved in their Wilson autograph tennis rackets.

Endorsements are not to be taken lightly because of the financial risk, which can ruin companies.