Delaware Sports Zone

By- Sean Greene
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Last week we wrote about the Ultimate Delaware High School Football Road Trip, but what about the can’t-miss games in the other fall sports?

Here’s 15 games that should whet your appetite during the week, or in some cases, make you think twice about checking out the action on the gridiron (with one notable exception below).

Similar to our rule in football, there’s a limit in how often you can see a team play. In this case, you can only see a team once, and only one game per day.

Tuesday, September 12 – Field Hockey – Milford at Polytech – Two quarterfinalists, and teams who saw their runs ended by eventual-champion Delmar, square off in this early season test. Maddie McKay is back for a senior year in Woodside, while Courtney Kohel (goal), and Darby Brennan (2 assists) are back from last year’s Milford team that won this matchup 4-1.

Thursday, September 14 – Volleyball – Archmere at Charter of Wilmington – The new-look Diamond State Athletic Conference features an early test at the top between these perennial powers. DMA will certainly want to have something to say with whether this is a conference championship matchup, and when you throw in Newark Charter and Conrad, it should be the second best league behind the Catholic Conference.

Tuesday, September 19 – Boys Soccer – Delcastle at Newark – These programs have resided just below Charter (now in Diamond State Conference) and Appoquinimink in Flight A, but consistantly put on an entertaining showcase of soccer. The last two years have seen their games go to OT, with a 2016 tie and 2015 golden goal winner for the Yellowjackets. Plus, it’s under the lights.

Thursday, September 21 – Field Hockey – Cape Henlopen at Delmar – For the first time since 2011, Cape Henlopen doesn’t hold the title “defending champion”, after their loss to Tower Hill in last year’s quarterfinals. That distinction goes to Delmar, who defeated the Hillers in the final, but the Henlopen Conference title still resides in Lewes after a 1-0 Cape win a year ago. Can Delmar get that win?

Friday, September 29 – Boys Soccer – Charter of Wilmington at Newark Charter – It’s still weird to type this as a conference game, but the new DSAC rivals will meet on a football friday. They figure to compete with DMA for the first crown in a competitive league, but Wilmington Charter will still be considered a D1 team, with Newark Charter and DMA D2, when it comes to bracketing.

Saturday, October 7 – Volleyball – Padua at Tower Hill – 2016 top seed Tower Hill only plays one regular season match against the Catholic Conference, and it’s this battle (3 days after facing Archmere). Both teams should be right in the mix in a crowded DIAA title chase.

Saturday, October 14 – Boys Soccer – Appoquinimink at Salesianum – A rematch of last year’s Division I state championship game, these powers played 2-0 and 2-1 games last year. Salesianum hasn’t lost in-state since a 2-0 loss at the Jags in 2014 to complete a 2-game losing streak for the Sals. Salesianum has won 29 straight vs. Delaware teams.

Tuesday, October 17 – Boys Soccer – Caesar Rodney at Cape Henlopen – Henlopen North titles often go through this matchup, and soccer has been no exception in recent years. Last year CR jumped ahead 2-0 but had to hang on in the last 15 minutes to secure a 3-2 win.

Tuesday, October 24– Unified Flag Football – The exception to the no-football rule. If you haven’t seen a Unified Flag Football game yet, go out and cheer on your school, they all play on Tuesdays. Rest assured your support to be no better received than the athletes in this sport. Woodbridge, Glasgow, Dover, and Delcastle are fielding teams this year, joining Smyrna, McKean, Seaford, Newark Charter, Middletown, William Penn, Mount Pleasant, and Caesar Rodney. Your school not listed here? We hope it is soon. The title game will once again be at Delaware Stadium on Championship Saturday.

Saturday, October 28 – Volleyball – Ursuline at St. Mark’s – Ursuline wraps up an intense final week (Archmere and Padua earlier in the week) at the site of a 5-set thriller during the 2016 regular season. The eventual finalists won that matchup, but Saint Mark’s looks to try to get their program back to that top level they enjoyed throughout the early part of this decade (and before).

Sunday, October 29 – Field Hockey – The Turf Bowl at UD’s Rullo Stadium – It’s actually a three day event beginning on Friday, but many schools get to test themselves on UD’s AstroTurf surface that was terrible at the Vet, but is tailor-made for fast field hockey. With the semifinals and finals being played in Newark, these are key games to get acclimated to the surface.

Monday, October 30 – Boys Soccer – Concord vs. Brandywine (at AI) – The Friendship Cup. A tradition unlike few in Delaware, brings out the wild in both school’s student bodies, and the games have been quite competitive. The teams are 1-1-1 in their last 3 meetings, including one where a red card was issued for a shirtless celebration.

Tuesday, October 31 – Boys Soccer – Tower Hill at Caravel – Take a break from Trick-or-Treating and see defending Division II champ Tower Hill kick off with perennial power Caravel. Caravel looks to bounce back from a tough (by their lofty standard) 9-5-1 campaign. Neither team faces 2016 finalist Indian River in the regular season.

Thursday, November 2 – Field Hockey – Tower Hill at Friends – The Independent Conference rivals wrap up their regular season against each other. Friends’ packed-in defense made it extremely tough on the Hillers last year, and could be a solid test for both if they want to make runs in the state tournament.

Saturday, November 4 – Cross Country – New Castle County Championships – Think Winterthur racing is limited to Point-to-Point and the thoroughbred horses? Think again. The rolling course stands as the final test before the state championship for most of Delaware’s top runners. With the state meet separated by divisions, this tends to be the race that selected Delaware’s best runner.

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