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May 13, 2011     Cape Gazette
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May 13, 2011

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: Cape Gazette SPORTS & OUTDOORS FRIDAY, MAY 13 - MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 10~I~ ,! II Needs to .spend time with son .By Dave Frederick Dwight Tingle, Cape's head basketball coach for boys for the last eight seasons, has handed in his official letter of resignation from the basketball position and will continue to serve as a teacher of special education at the high school. Tingle won the Henlopen Conference Coach of the Year I got custody two years ago I no- Award and state Coach of the ticed that I just didn't have the Year Award in 2004-05. "Shemik same energy I had prior to get- Thompson in 10th grade, Bran- ting him. It's not fair to the pro- don Leggins irt llth and Kyle gram or my son - fn'st and fore- White a senior - that was one most I'm a father. My real job is great ball club," Tingle said. being an educator and a teacher. That team lost to Caravel in I noticed it coming on last year the semifmals ofthe state basket- and thought about stepping ball tournament, aside; obviously, I want the job to "My plan is to continue to land in good hands." work within the school system, The Cape district is currently to do some volunteer work, fro- in the process of interviewing for ish my master's degree, but most teaching positions, and there are importantly, spend time with my several within the district, in- sixth-grade son, D.J". cluding two in physical educa- "I'm a single father. Ever since tion, which rarely happens. DAN COOK PHOTO COACH DWIGHT TINGLE won conference and state Coach of the Year Awards for the 2004-05 season in which his boys' basketball team lost in the semiflnals~ Caravel. or the past six years, I've written this column hop- ing my passion for fit- ness would help others get motivated to change their lives, but this has not always been the case. Instead it's often been me who is humbled and inspired by the actions of others I've come into contact with along the way. Elizabeth Loncki was definite- ly such a person. I never had the privilege to actually meet Eliza- beth, but after learning her story, I instantly knewwhat kind of person she was by how she lived her life. Elizabeth A. Loncki was born in New Castle, where she at- tended St. Peter's grade school and graduated from Padua Academy in 2001. She was a vi- brant, athletic girl who never backed down from a challenge and took pride in everything she did. She played volleyball, soft- ball and basketball, and loved to lift weights and work out. She was very competitive and was known for her ability to do large numbers of push-ups. After high school, Elizabeth decided that she wanted to make a difference in the lives of oth- ers, and she decided to join the Air Force. Upon her arrival she took a job placement test and scored extremely high, giving her lots of job options, but Eliza- beth chose the Explosive Ord- nance Disposal Team, otherwise know as the bomb squad. In 2006, shortly after Elizabeth completed her EOD training, she volunteered to go to Iraq to use her skills to help save lives. Dur- ing this time, violence in Iraq continued to escalate, and road- side bombs were killing large numbers of Iraqi citizens as well as American service men and women. part of the EOD - explo- sive ordnance disposal - team Elizabeth's job was to fred these bombs and disarm or detonate them, that's exactly what she and her team did," said Steve Loncki, Elizabeth's father, "She told me they blew something up almost every day so that these bombs would not be able to hurt anyone else." During her time in Iraq, Eliza- beth and her team literally saved hundreds of lives. In one partic- ular instance, Elizabeth was awarded the Bronze Star for vol- untarily taking control of a vehi- cle, putting herself in harm's way and rescuing a group of Army soldiers who were pinned down in an ambush. Some 20 days before her tbur in Iraq was to end, Elizabeth and her team were killed while try- ing to disarm a roadside bomb. "She became the f st Delaware womari killed in Iraq in the line SUBMITTED PHOTO ELIZABETH LONCKI of New Castle was the first Delaware woman to be killed in the line of duty in Iraq. of duty and the 66th female sol- dier. At the age of 23, Elizabeth A. Loncki gave her life for her country so that others can live freely both home and abroad. To honor the wonderful life of Elizabeth Loncki, friends, family and fitness buffs get together each year to compete in the An- nual Old New Castle Run. The run features a scenic 5-mile race through historic Old New Castle as well as a 2-mile run/walk. All proceeds go to a scholarship fund for tuition for needy fami- lies in Elizabeth's Loncki's name. I knew this would be an excel- lent cause to champion. This year's race will begin at 8 Lm., Saturday June 4, in New Castle. For more information and directions go to Old_New- or contact Jim Steele at 302-530-7274. You may also pick up a race form by stop- ping by The Firm Fitness Center in Rehoboth Beach. "We miss her and want to cel- ebrate her life," said Tina Loncki Masiello, Elizabeth's aunt. "Par ticipating in this race in her name was the closest we could get to accomplishing this goal." NOW OPEN Thursday - Sunday