Caesar Rodney High School in Camden features Delaware’s best overall sports program according to a formula created by Delaware SportsZone.
If you just wanted to judge by state championships won, it would be Salesianum’s 4, followed by Padua and Tower Hill’s 3.
If you focused on just the most attended events, you’d pick Smyrna, who pulled off the rare Division I football and boys basketball double this year.
And if you looked at schools who excel in either girls or boys sports, it’s the single-gender schools of Padua, Ursuline, and Salesianum that lead the chart, and in the Sals’ case, it’s not even close.
But, taking the overall success of a sports department means looking at all of the DIAA tournaments and competitions as a whole, and that’s where Caesar Rodney stands out among the best.
The Riders won just one state title, Girls Tennis, while Boys Tennis was their sole second place finish, but their depth was unmatched.
They notched consistent top-6 finishes on the tracks and cross country fields of Delaware, plus were one of just 13 schools to put teams in both the boys and girls basketball tournaments.
It was all enough to just edge out the Charter School of Wilmington, with Tower Hill, Appoquinimink, and Caravel rounding out our top 5.
How did we come up our list?
We took the postseason brackets from each DIAA sanctioned sport (ice hockey and boys volleyball fans, we’re sorry), and then awarded a set amount of points based upon how far in the tournament a team progressed. There are also values assigned to placings in sports like swimming and track that don’t have head-to-head tournaments.
In the case of wrestling, while there are seperate indivudual and dual events, we chose to take the results of the team comeptition specifically for calculating the points.
A state championship is always worth 100 points, with second place being worth 90. The points drop from there depending on how many teams are in the bracket, and there’s no distinction made between teams eliminated in the same round. All four quarterfinal losers would receive the same credit.
All state championships were considered. For example, football has both a Division I and Division II tournament. Both tournaments were scored for a full 100 points, meaning both small and large schools had the opportunity at scoring maximum points, but if it’s an open tournament, such as basketball, everyone was fighting for the same 100 points.
Here’s what we found.
- Perhaps the death of the public school is overrated. Besides Caesar Rodney, traditional public school Appoquinimink also finished in the top 5, and were leading until the final sport that we entered, tennis. Smyrna’s 8th-place finish put 3 traditional public high schools in the top 10, which may be refreshing news for fans concerned about private and charter schools siphoning all of the athletic success.
- It’s not always about the size of the school. Tower Hill, Caravel, and Archmere, three of the smallest private schools in Delaware, all found themselves in the top 6. Tower Hill’s 3rd place finish is especially eye-opening, as they only failed to achieve points in 6 of the 24 DIAA sports.
- Salesianum is 10th, but when it comes to boys, they’re very much the best. If you remove the female-only DIAA sports, Salesianum jumps all the way to No. 1, and it’s not even close. They scored 903.5 points, only missing points in Wrestling and Unified Flag Football. Caesar Rodney slides into second place, but only picked up 660 of their points from the guys.
- Ursuline and Padua’s rivalry is real. The Catholic Conference rivals finished 1-2 in the girls-only events, finishing just 1 point apart (Ursuline’s 744.5 to Padua’s 743.5). How close were they? One additional placing for Padua in any swimming or tennis event would have jumped them ahead.
- Football success brings attention, but doesn’t equal overall excellence. Of the top 7 finishers in our calculations, only Caravel made a state football tournament.
- The Blue Hen Conference has work to do. Thanks in part to losing many potential stars to private, charter, and vo-tech schools that are less prevalent in Henlopen Territory, the top above-the-canal traditional public high school is William Penn, in 25th place. Caesar Rodney, Smyrna, Cape Henlopen, Milford, Sussex Tech, Dover, and Indian River all rate higher.
Now, here are the top 10s, for Delaware’s overall, boys, and girls sports programs. (You can find the full point totals for your school in the links at the end of the top 10s, and for the point system Click Here
- Caesar Rodney – 1209
- Charter of Wilmington – 1192
- Tower Hill – 1182.5
- Appoquinimink – 1129
- Caravel – 1064
- Archmere – 981.5
- Newark Charter – 978
- Smyrna – 975
- DMA – 952.5
- Salesianum – 903.5
FULL OVERALL STANDINGS – Click Here
1. Salesianum – 903.5
2. Caesar Rodney – 660
3. (tie) Charter of Wilmington & Appoquinimink – 614
5. Tower Hill – 613
6. Smyrna – 580
7. St. Georges – 543
8. Newark Charter – 498
9. Caravel – 493
10. Friends – 451
FULL BOYS STANDINGS – Click Here
- Ursuline – 744.5
- Padua – 743.5
- Archmere – 613.5
- Charter of Wilmington – 578
- Caravel – 571
- Tower Hill – 569.5
- Caesar Rodney – 549
- DMA – 524
- Appoquinimink – 515
- Newark Charter – 480
FULL GIRLS STANDINGS – Click Here
DELAWARE SPORTSZONE’S POINT FORMULA – Click Here