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Lewes, Delaware
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August 16, 1996     Cape Gazette
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August 16, 1996
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 16 - August 22,1996 - 71 SPORTS & OUTDOORS Rehoboth's crumbling courts make players wonder Playground basketball is a decades-old tradition but many question why courts aren't maintained years. Rehoboth is the venue where area superstars have cut their teeth (and often other parts of their bod- ies) against outside college com- petition and middle-aged play- By Dave Frederick The tradition of weekend morn- ing basketball on the hard to nego- tiate courts of Rehoboth (High, Junior High, Middle now Elemen- tary School) goes back over 30 Angle Moon photo Henry Miller looks for dribbling space past Tony Taylor. ground legends, many of whom can still "pick em up" and "throw em down." "Any player that has ever been successful in this area learned the game on this court," said 45 year old Bill Bright, who played on the last Rehoboth High School team (15-2) that was coached by John McClelland and featured players J.B. Melson, Paul Jones, Mike Hurley, Brent Baker, Larry Phillips, Kenny Lingo, John Cov- eleski, Francis Duffy and Andy Raymond, an all-stater who was killed two years after graduation in an automobile accident. Playground basketball is played on schoolyard courts across the country; hence the term "getting schooled," which applies not only to athletic skills but also to the intricacies of pecialized language and social dynamics. A player bet- ter be able to "take a whuppin'" and most importantly "take a joke" like an audience member on Def Comedy Jam. "Hey, put in the paper that Blaine made a jumper," yelled Kevin Brittingham. "I'm playing way above my game today," said Barnard Miller. "In your case that's not hard to do," screamed several sideline players. And when Lamar Thompson called a phantom foul after a missed shot he told the other team, "If you want me to respect your calls, respect my calls." "Hey, put some bass in your voice!" yelled Garrison Duncan from the sidelines. "Same as it ever was," said Blaine Daisey. "Same as it ever was" was the Sunday morning theme as most players wanted to know why the courts in Rehoboth haven't been resurfaced in 20 years. "I've seen the tennis courts resur- faced three BRIGHT times in seven years," said Bill Bright. "And the school doesn't even have a tennis team. There aren't cracks out there; there are gaps. People are getting hurt all the time. We take care of this court, repainting the backboards and putting up new rims and nets. Ronson Burton came down and painted the lines for us. The lack of attention kind of makes you wonder," said Bright. What players were wondering out-loud wks whether the lack of care for the facility was rooted in racism since 90 percent of the ath- letes were Afro-American. State troopers Dave Pritchett, Blaine Daisey and Barnard Miller all agreed that the weekend gather- ings on the cracked courts of Rehoboth are good for community relations. "More people play bas- ketball than tennis by the hun- dreds," Miller said. "It shouldn't be an issue of race but an issue of fairness," Miller Continued on page 73 Angle Moon photo Rehoboth playground player shoots a left-handed jumper. On psychos and lightning-fast sprinters PSYCHO IN SOMALIA- Cape's football and basketball stand-out Marcus Hall graduated in 1988 and joined the Army in 1990. Marcus recently graduated from nursing school and after a six year hitch "re-upped" for six more. "I ran into Psycho in Soma- lia a couple of years ago," Marcus recalled in a conversation last Sunday. "We were both in Mogadishu." "Psycho" was the pet nickname of Ronnierre Cir- withian, a playful sort of chap, who was a heavyweight wrestler and threw the discus on a track team that I coached. One of my favorite Psycho stories (outside of Janet Leigh) involved a dual track meet at Lake Forest High School. HALL Scheduled to throw the discus, young Ronnierre PEOPLE IN SPORTS was late checking into the event. As he arrived during the first flight of throws he started to badger the official who looked like a private school English teacher, otherwise track clueless. "Sign me in, sign me in," Psych o screamed. "Fine son, I'll sign you in," the teacher relented. "And wh.at is your name? .... Psycho, the name's Psy- cho." "Fine, young man, Mr. Psy- cho. And how do you spell that?" "S-I-C-O! Psycho!" Ronnierre yelled." Psort of a Psilly joke, I know. RUN LIKE A HORSE- Cape Henlopen track sprinter Garrison Duncan could not only run and eat like a horse back in 1977 but he could also sound like "My Friend Flicka." Gar- rison could awaken and frighten an entire busload of runners who imagined they were DUNCAN rodeo clowns in a barrel being kicked by a buck- ing (ck. spell) bronco. Garrison's first 100 meter race came his junior year where he was expected to get third behind Dover's Mike Meade (later Penn State and Green Bay Packers)and teammate Hiram "Humpty" Carter. Feeling the pressure, Carter false-started out of the competition which maybe filled Meade with overconfidence. That left Garrison and three Dover sprinters. The gun sounded and the unknown stallion from Cape "hooFed" to the finish line, out- kicking all Dover runners includ- ing .the menacing-looking and muscular Meade. I whispered in Garrison's ear, "Do the horse sound now. Please, just do it for me." "You're crazy," Garrison said. "Meade mightkill me." Lat- er in the meet the 4 by 100 relay team of Curtis Johnson, Bilbo Dunning, Garrison Duncan and Hiram Carter shocked and upset Dover, running a school record 43.4. Garrison continued his work ethic of practicing once every oth- er week and found himself in the finals of the Henlopen Conference 100 meter dash on Milford's dirt track. "Take a slow lap warm-up to loosen up your legs," I told Gar- rison 10 minutes prior to race time. "All the way around there? What are you crazy, Fredman? I can't make it all the way around there." The race went off with a field that included three undefeat- ed 100 meter runners but in the middle of the 'track it was gallop- ing Garrison of Cape and Rehoboth sprinting to the gold medal as downstate's fastest human. COOLSPRING CONNEC- TION- Back in 1976 I borrowed (took) a rusted out Gill hurdle from the Cape track and delivered it to sophomore Otha Beckett in Coolspring. "Put this out on the road and encourage everyone in your community to jump over it," I said. Six great hurdlers would come out of Coolspring which included Otha, Arthur and Peter Beckett (Arthur and Peter's last name was later changed to Cox which meant I had a Peter Cox running hurdles for me.) Dinardo Muhammed, James "Bip" Johnson and Floyd "Bunny" Davis. The Beckett/Cox family was one of my all-time Cape favorites where all Continued on page 72