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Lewes, Delaware
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June 19, 1998     Cape Gazette
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June 19, 1998
 

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86 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 19 - June 25, 1998 SPORTS & OUTDOORS Father's Day is every day for Dr. Dave Robinson , By Dave Frederick Dave Robinson of Lewes has reorganized his succegsful oph- thalmology medical practice to make time during the day for his duties as head tennis coach. The high-tech, state-of-the-art taser eye surgery will be sched- uled around the practice sessions of Delaware's women's junior state tennis champion. Jesse Robinson has been Dr. Dave's only student-athlete since she was 4 years old. Jesse is dri- ven to be as good as her dad, but that may not happen. She will probably be better! Last Sunday, Jesse dusted all three opponents, without losing a set, enroute to the Delaware state tennis championship for women under 18, contested on the hard courts of Archmere Academy. And Jesse is only 11, but could pass for 10. Her speed and aggres- siveness are what make her a great player. "She just forces the other player to make one more shot," said Dave Robinson. "Jesse is very feminine but once the match starts she will fight for every point." Dave Robinson was the New Jersey state high school champion in 1975. He also played soccer and basketball but Duke University offered him a full scholarship to play tennis. Robinson was unde- feat.ed his freshman year, and by junior year he was Atlantic Coast Conference champion at third sin- gles. A shoulder injury forced Dave to the sidelines his senior year while playing first singles for the Blue Devils. Anyone who has entered a com- petitive sport pposite ophthal- mologist Dave Robinson is struck by the irony of a pair of eyes so focused they can burn a hole right through your golf bag. In Jesse, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. "She knows how good a player her dad was and that really moti- vates Jesse," said Jesse's mother, Roberta, who was No. 1 player at Central Bucks East in Bucks County, Pa., and played JV tennis for Duke. "It's just been wonder- ful watching the two of them work together." Jesse started returning bags of balls hit by her dad on the courts of Lewes when she was just 4 years old. "It was just for fun," Jesse said. "I played with a racket- ball racket. I stood at the service line and later moved back to the baseline." "There were never any plans for her to be a major player," said Dave. "We just didn't foresee it." Jesse continued to play and practice with her dad and when she was 8 years old, the summer following second grade at Worcester Country School in Berlin, Md., she entered the Kent County Open in the 12-and-under division. "I had never even played a practice match," Jesse said. "I just made sure my serve was in and hit ground strokes." Jesse won the tournament, win- ning all three matches she played, and by the end of the summer was ranked No. 4 in Delaware in the 12-and-under division. Jesse was invited to the Junior Academy of Tennis at Sea Colony, run by tennis enthusiast Dave Marshall. "All the best high school players in the area played at Sea Colony and Dave agreed to let Jesse play, although she was only 8," said Marshall. "She played four to five times a week and it was apparent she was some- thing special." By the time Jesse was 9 years old, coach Dave was working his star athlete through three hours of tennis a day focus- ing on fundamentals, shots and drills. "I love playing with my dad," Jesse said. "Once I'm on the court I really enjoy it." Jesse was ranked in the top 10 of the Middle States Division for 12-and-under as a 9-year-old. By age 10, she was ranked No. 1 by the United States Tennis Associa- tion (USTA) in the region includ- ing Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. At a tournament last summer in Indianapolis, hundreds Continued on page 87 Angle Moon photo Delaware's 18-and-under women's tennis champion, Jesse Robinson, works on her game daffy with her dad, Dr. Dave Robinson. Local players hoping to make Blue-Gold game count "HEY PONY BOY! STAY GOLD!" from the film "The Outsiders" - The Blue and Gold all-star football players opened camp last Wednesday morning in brand new uniforms and walked around the University of Delaware field posing for pictures and giv- ing interviews. The cheerleaders were there and so were many of the Special Olympics "buddies" who participate in the hand-in- hand program. Larry Oliver, Cape's all-state nose guard, is ded- icating the game to his late grand- parents and his very good friend Matt Berger, who died last spring. "I'm hoping Matt's brother Fred comes to the game to watch me," Larry said. Oliver will be playing football for Wesley in the fall but said head coach Mike Drass will be unable to attend because he is getting married. Cape's Brad Travis con- tinues his dream from being a spot player his junior year to a first team all-stater as a senior. "I watched the game last year and and made it a personal goal to bea PEOPLE IN SPORTS Dave Frederick player in the game. Plus it's for the hand-in-hand program and the honor of being selected. I'm here to represent," Travis said, borrow- ing from rap jargon. Travis will matriculate in the fall as a member of Delaware's honors program and has his mind open to football, should he be invited out for the team. Carl Floyd of Cape views the Blue-Gold all-star game as an opportunity to thank his parents for all they have done for him. "They have always stood by me and supported my decisions," Carl said. "This game is for them." Floyd will attend Widener Univer- sity in the fall. Stay gold, fellas! LAYFIELD LEGACY - Brad Layfield of Sussex Central (5'11", 266 lbs.) will battle for the Gold team center position for the June 27 all-star game. Brad claims to be the only Layfield in an unbroken string of players dat- ing back 20 years to be selected to the all,star game. His brothers include Derek, '94, (a phenomenal country singer), and Rodney, who graduated in 1991. Brad's cousins include Scott Layfield, '89, state champion heavyweight wrestler, and Kelly Layfield, who graduated in 1994. "I always looked up to my brothers and father and found the inner drive to be the best. I hope to walk on at the University of Delaware as a "long snapper." For those of you not familiar with football, in the words of Donnie Braseo; "Foget about it." Layfieid also men- tioned that he is the assistant campaign manager for Vance Phillips, who is running for the 5th district seat for Sus- sex County LAYFIELD Council. Hey, he gets my vote! Do I even get a vote? What is a Seat in a district? Do people get paid if they win? Maybe I'll throw my jug head hat in the ring? UNCLE GEORGIE - The leg- . endary coach George Glenn ("You're the only one who calls me that, Fredman") was on the field for last Wednesday's open- ing of the Blue-Gold all-star game. Coach Glenn's nephew is Nick Sanna, a wide receiver from Arch- mere Academy, who will play for the Blue team. Nick had a story- book ending to his high school football career. "We were 9-0 going into the last game of the sea- son when Caravel scored to go ahead of us with only 44 seconds left in the game. Their kickoff was a squib kick that we recovered and after a couple of penalties we had the ball on the 11-yard line and time for a play. [It would be here that Uncle George would run a wedge up the middle.] We called a play-action pass and quarterback Matt Lagoy hit me right in the hands as I dove and caught the ball in the endzone. We finished the season 10-0 and Archmere went to the tourna- ment for the first time in 20 years." Nick will attend LaSalle Uni- versity this fall and join the newly formed IAA football team SANNA in the-Explor- ers' second year of competition. LaSaUe plays in the MEAC con- Continued on page 87