From the Sports Editor: Blue-Gold experience big thrill for Smyrna’s Judy

Mike Judy

Twenty years ago, Mike Judy didn’t make the cut.

He had been a second-team All-State center as a senior in 1996 for Dover High.

But the Senators already had three players selected to play in the Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game that year and that left Judy the odd man out.

As the 18-year-old he was back then, Judy said he wasn’t very happy about it.

His parents, however, set him straight.

“My parents put me in my place,” said Judy. “They reminded me that ‘It’s not about you.’”

Judy’s parents were right, of course. And Judy realizes that now.

On Saturday night, he walked the sidelines at Delaware Stadium as the Gold head coach in the 62nd annual Blue-Gold game.

It was his second Blue-Gold game after taking part as an assistant coach two years ago.

Since he didn’t get to play in the contest, Judy said it took him a little while to really understand what the game is about.

The Blue-Gold game not only raises money for programs that benefit Delawareans with intellectual disabilities, but it pairs game participants up with ‘buddies’ in the months before the contest.

Judy said he didn’t truly appreciate what that meant when he was just a kid.

“I came to support my teammates that came after me and played,” he said. “But I never really got involved. And I didn’t even know it was going to be something that I did until I got into coaching. I had the opportunity to do it — and I said I’ve got to do it.”

It really just took one time for him to get hooked on the Blue-Gold experience, said Judy. Just like many other people, it was the moment before each Blue-Gold kickoff, when the buddies come on the field to greet the players, that pulled him in.

“That really is probably the coolest part of the game,” he said. “It’s such a good organization.”

And while it may have taken Judy longer than he hoped to make his first Blue-Gold game, he hopes there’s some more in his future.

“I’m going to put in for it every year,” he said.

Dover QB gets offer

Dover High quarterback Jordan Magee still has two seasons of high school in front of him.

But the 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior has already received a scholarship offer from Division I-A Temple.

Magee’s position is being referred to as ‘athlete.’

“I think this is the first of many to come for him,” said Dover coach Rudy Simonetti. “I’m really happy for him. He’s put in a lot of work. He’s drastically improving.

“It’s exciting, but keep chopping wood,” was Simonetti’s message to Magee. “It’s a long process. It’s good to get that first offer but keep working and there will be more to come.”

In his first year as a starter last fall, Magee earned second-team all-Henlopen Northern Division honors.

Odds & ends

• After helping Smyrna High win its second Division I football state crown last fall, senior running back Leddie Brown has transferred to St. Frances Academy in Baltimore.

A transfer from Eastern Christian the year before, Brown was a first-team All-State kick returner in his one season with Smyrna. He’s already verbally committed to West Virginia.

• Former Dover High baseball standout Dakota Graham is transferring to Wilmington University, where he’ll join former Senator teammate Kendall Small. Graham spent his first two college seasons at Eastern Kentucky.

An outfielder, Graham is playing for the Herndon, Va. Braves of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League this summer.

• Another former Dover player, Nick Spadafino, is spending his summer pitching for the Peninsula, Va. Pilots of the Coastal Plain League.

Larry Beavers, the former Wesley College receiving star, who spent some time in NFL camps, was signed this week by the Philadelphia Soul.

Beavers is a veteran of six Arena Football League seasons. A year ago he was named to the All-Arena second team after recording 50 catches for 703 yards and eight touchdowns with Cleveland.

• Another former Wolverine, defensive tackle Payton Rose, is now playing for the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks in the PAL Indoor League.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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