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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
December 24, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 24, 1998

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Slam Dunk Continued from page 1 up," he said this week. "Deshawn Stevenson may be next year's player of the year for the U.S. He plays for Washington Union High School and they're coming next year. Then, there' s 6' 11," 315- pound Alton Ford who plays for a team in Houston, Texas. In the scouting and tournament business he's known as "The Beast." He'll be here next year." But that's next year. This year's tournament includes seven of the Late obituary Farming Continued from page 10 of 21,000 birds every year. It is big business now, and both gener- ations of Wests believe it will con- tinue to grow, despite the changes that lay ahead for poultry farmers. "Farmers are the most unorga- nized bunch of people you could ever meet," the older West ex- plained this week. "They are very much individu- als and never seem tO get unified or organized. But they know how to run their farms, and they know they've got to stay competitive. I've seen so many changes in farming during my lifetime that I can tell you, if they didn't know how to change, farming wouldn't be the number one industry in the state." The younger West agrees that market forces and the need to stay competitive will do much to drive the changes ahead for farming in Delaware. "We've been assured by the poultry companies that they will help foot the bill for new ways to improve poultry growing operations. And they say they will hang in here with us as long as they can," said West III. "They will only leave Delmarva if they can no longer be competitive in their retail pricing of broilers." Both generations of Wests be- lieve that not only will the poultry industry survive on Delmarva, but it will also grow as efforts are made to change poultry farm oper- ations. "There' s a big reason why far ru- ing is such a big business here," said the older West. "And a big part of that reason is farmers' on- going need to produce more to stay financially healthy. Face it, prices for corn and soybeans are about $2.25 a bushel, the same as they were during the Great De- pression. Prices haven't changed, so productivity has increased to ensure a profit margin. That's how farmers survive." The younger West also believes poultry farming will continue to exist locally. "Once we clean up the nutrient overload problem, farming again will be viewed as a big asset to the state. It keeps a lot of open space, it produces an af- fordable food product for the na- tion and the world, and it is a big employer," he noted. "And look at the flip side. If farming does dis- appear, development would re- place farm fields and woodlands. nation's top-25-ranked teams and players coming from places as far away as California, Texas, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Utah. "The biggest difference between this year's tournament and previ- ous tournaments is the quality .of the teams playing. They're more evenly matched than ever before. The players are bigger, physically, than before - some may find that hard to believe. We have between 10 and 15 players who are 6' 10" to 7' tall or more. I no longer think of any of these players as boys. They're 16- tol7-year-old men." The quality of life would change from that development, and new problems would arise. Fanning is here to stay; the poultry industry will survive." While the teams and their fami' lies and other fans aren't at Cape Henlopen High School, they'll be touring poultry houses, Zwaanen- dael Museum, Harbor Healthcare Center, the College of Marine Studies in Lewes and the Air Force Museum at Dover Air Force Base. "This tournament gives out thousands of dollars each year in academic scholarships and that's part of what we're about," said Ja- cobs. "But the whole experience is very educational for most of the players involved, when you con- sider the travel and involvement in a first class tournament." On the local level, Jacobs said Slam Dunk continues to provide great holiday entertainment for adults and children, a strong eco- nomic boost to the Cape Region and it makes regular contributions to Cape Henlopen School District in terms of basketballs and volley- balls and other items, and in main- tenance and upgrades to the facili- ties used during the tournament. Despite the national recognition Slam Dunk To The Beach has earned - particularly among col- lege and university coaches scout- ing for players - Jacobs still feels Edward P. Lavelle, retired principal Edward P. Lavelle, 95, of Coro- na del Mar, Calif. and formerly of Scranton, Pa. and Wilmington, i the tourney is under-appreciated on the homefront. He was 31 when he started Slam Dunk. Now he's 40. What has he learned in that time? "I've learned that an idea can become reality if you work hard enough, but by the same token, a reality can become a nightmare when you have to deal with people who don't understand what it takes to get there." died Sunday, Dec. 20, 1998. Mr. Lavelle was a graduate of Holy Rosary High School, East Stroudsburg State Teachers Col- lege and Saint Thomas College. He was principal of Frances Willard Elementary School for 40 years as well as principal of the Adult Institute in Scranton. Mr. Continued on page 14 ~ Wishing you much joy and many blessings during the coming year! From all of us at the AP AZETT