High School Notebook: Pride, North title on the line for Caesar Rodney, Cape Henlopen

 

There usually isn’t very much that separates the boys’ lacrosse teams from Caesar Rodney and Cape Henlopen High.

The Riders and Vikings have split their last eight meetings.

And six of those battles have been decided by three goals or less — including four one-goal nail-biters.

So when CR (5-0 North, 13-0 overall) hosts Cape (5-0 North, 9-3) today at 7 p.m., the little things will probably be big.

“We’re absolutely excited,” said Riders’ coach Matt Faircloth. “You look at the scores from the last couple years … and you know you’re in for a big fight.

“Throughout this year, we’ve definitely tried to pay attention to details. It can depend on the team we’re playing. But, in most cases, it’s been about us — it’s been about our execution and our ability to play our way and not allow our opponent to dictate the tempo.”

Just as it has been every other year since boys’ lacrosse became an official Henlopen Conference sport, tonight’s winner will be the Northern Division champion.

But both Cape and CR would be excited to play each other even if nothing else was at stake.

The Vikings, no doubt, will be out for revenge after losing last year’s game, 6-5, in Lewes. Cape had won four straight in the rivalry before that setback.

Cape also wouldn’t mind handing the Riders their first loss of the season.

“Obviously, I’ve been on the other side of that,” said Faircloth. “Being on the losing side is definitely a driving force.

“It’s a huge game for CR, it’s a huge game for Cape. Back when I played in the ’90s, CR and Cape were the only ones below the canal to have lacrosse programs. That was the huge rivalry that we had. I think that’s only gotten stronger and evolved into what we have today with these tight, hard-fought games.”

Snell, Chasanov in ‘Hall’

A pair of former downstate baseball standouts, Ian Snell (CR) and Heath Chasanov (Woodbridge), are going into the Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame.

The two are among a class of five that will be honored at Frawley Stadium on June 25 during the Wilmington Blue Rocks’ game with Lynchburg.

Also going into the Hall this year are Matt Smith (St. Mark’s High coach); Jack McDonough (Mt. Pleasant, Delaware semi-pro); Mike Donovan (Wilmington University, Delaware semi-pro) and the late Bob McConnell (founding member of the Society for American Baseball Research).

After graduating from CR, Snell pitched in the Major Leagues for eight seasons, including six with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Chasanov played at the University of Delaware where he was named the school’s Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year in 1991.

New site for tennis

For the last three decades or so, the Henlopen Conference tennis tournament has been held at Sea Colony.

So it’s a pretty big deal that the downstate tennis community won’t be headed to the Bethany complex this week for the annual tourney.

With Sea Colony having some construction done, the Henlopen boys’ tournament will be played at Caesar Rodney High with the girls’ bracket being played at Cape Henlopen. Both events are slated to run Thursday through Saturday.

“We’re back in the 1980s, I guess, when we used to do it at different sites,” said CR boys’ coach Jim Harvey. “It’s not like it’s new, it’s just that we haven’t done it in 30 years.

“It’s such a great venue,” he said about Sea Colony. “They (the players) are probably a little bit spoiled now.”

The tournament is slated to return to Sea Colony next spring.

This week’s schedule has preliminary-round matches on Thursday at 3:30 p.m., quarterfinals on Friday at 1 p.m. and semifinals at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The finals will then follow on Saturday afternoon.

Some matches may also be played at Dover High (boys) or Five Points (girls) if needed.

More tennis

CR and Tower Hill almost always have two of the best boys’ and girls’ tennis teams in the state.

So the Riders and Hillers have played plenty of individual and doubles matches against each other over the years.

But, because of scheduling limitations, they’d never squared off in a dual match until this week. CR won both matches, 5-0 on the girls’ side and 4-1 on the boys’.

In the boys’ match, the Riders had to rally for victories on two courts while the Hillers’ top player was sidelined with an injury.

“It was to the wire — it wasn’t like we crushed them or anything,” said Harvey.

Odds & ends

•The Henlopen Conference track & field championships will be held on Thursday and Friday at Lake Forest High.

Field events start at 4 p.m. on Thursday with remaining field events and track finals slated to start at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Smyrna’s girls have won five straight team titles while Dover’s boys have won three of the last four team crowns.

•Smyrna High is still hoping to schedule a Washington, D.C. opponent to give it a 10th football game this fall. The biggest issue for the three-time DIAA Division I state champions is that schools in the region are in the second year of the two-year scheduling cycle.

“We want to try to get it done as soon as possible,” said Smyrna athletic director Bill Schultz. “We’ve got feelers out in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and D.C. — within about a two-and-a-half hour radius.”

•Also at Smyrna, the school is waiting to interview candidates for its wrestling head coaching position until it knows what teaching jobs will be open in the district. The Eagles need to replace Kurt Howell, who stepped down after leading them to five Division I state titles in 14 seasons.

“We’ve got quite a few candidates,” said Schultz.

•Caesar Rodney High is holding a football camp for players in grades 3rd through 8th on May 22-24 from 5-7 p.m. on the Fifer Middle School field. The cost is $30 per player.

For more information, contact CR coach Dan Candeloro at 697-2161 or 465-1061.

Sports editor Andy Walter can be reached at 741-8227 or walter@newszap.com.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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