We all have a favorite team, but what if you wanted to see as many good teams and games as possible?
There are three simple rules.
1) You can’t see a team more than twice.
2) If you pick two games on the same day, your hope is you can make both kickoffs.
3) You can’t clone yourself.
I’m sure I will leave some good games on the cutting room floor, but here we go.
Thursday, September 7 – Indian River at Glasgow – 6pm – The DFRC Kickoff Classic creates an intriguing Flight B vs. Henlopen South matchup. Indian River is looking to turn things around, while Glasgow must replace their QB and Head Coach. Archmere and Dover is the other matchup on opening night.
Friday, September 8 – Smyrna at Middletown – 7:30pm – The Harvest Bowl Returns, as RB Will Knight and the two-time defending champions face QB Drew Fry and the Cavaliers. For the first time in three years, the Eagles don’t figure to have the advantage at quarterback, but can they continue their run against a team playing its first game without Mark DelPercio.
Saturday, September 9 – Concord at Salesianum – 10:30am – Wake up early to wrap up your opening weekend with a battle of perennial playoff contenders. It’s possible that you’ll see two postseason previews before Week 1 is even completed.
Friday, September 15 – DMA at Milford – 7pm – Milford’s 24-0 win last year helped catapult them to a 9-1 regular season run and a postseason bid. They’ve split their meetings the last two years, and this game will help guide the strength of upstate vs. downstate in Division II.
Saturday, September 16 – Howard at Hodgson – 10:30am – This is no longer a Flight B matchup with Hodgson’s promotion, but two of the best Vo-Tech schools have always had a competitive rivalry.
Friday, September 22 – Saint Elizabeth at Delmar – 7:30 – Another week, another Division II upstate/downstate battle. This time it’s two perennial powers looking to work their way back into the playoff mix. Good to see this matchup back after a two-year absence.
Saturday, September 23 – Woodbridge at Friends – 2pm – A rematch of the Division II championship from last year, and what has become one of the better upstate-downstate matchups in recent years as both programs have grown. Woodbridge needs to replace some key parts, but this should remain a big game for Division II fans.
Thursday, September 28 – No Game – There are two games, St. Georges at Middletown and Brandywine at Howard. I couldn’t fit them in under my guidelines, but Thursday Night Football is kind of breaking the rules anyway, right?
Friday, September 29 – Tatnall at Tower Hill – 7:00 – This could be for the Independent Conference Championship. An alternate choice here would be Woodbridge at Laurel. With the Yom Kippur holiday, you can also double-dip with a 3:30 and 7:00 game in the right place.
Saturday, September 30 – St. Mark’s at Archmere – 2:00 – It’s tough to work a Saturday schedule without showing up in Claymont at some point.
Friday, October 6 – FSMA at Saint Andrew’s – 4:00 – First State Military Academy will be playing their 4th varsity game in program history when they travel to the picnic-like atmosphere of South Middletown. No bleachers, just fields and trees, it’s a great place to relax and see two teams trying to build their programs.
Friday, october 6 – Archmere at Caravel – 7:00 – The start time and geography limits where you can go. There’s Middletown/Appoquinimink in town, but I’ve used Middletown in two other places, so I’m heading up Summit Bridge Road to Bear.
Saturday, October 7 – Conrad at Tatnall – 12:00 – William Penn at Concord doesn’t work in the system, so we head to Barley Mill Road to visit two programs that have shown signs of progress in recent years.
Friday, October 13 – Dover at Sussex Tech – 7pm – For this one, bring a music fan along, and stick around even if the game is a blowout (and both teams could take positive steps this year, especially with a maturing QB at Dover). Dover’s long-time band director Lenny Knight passed away during the off-season, meaning the Battle of the Bands between these two teams will probably be extra special. The drumline work will be fantastic.
Saturday, October 14 – Hodgson at William Penn – 1pm – A new Flight A rivalry is spawned involving two of the Saturday home teams. Hodgson is looking to bounce back against a William Penn team hoping to reload.
Friday, October 20 – Howard at A.I. duPont – 7pm – Another trip down musical lane, but there’s a second hook. A.I. is setting up shop in Flight B, and takes on one of the two remaining members of the league that made the postseason after St. Georges and Hodgson’s promotions. Good game, but if the A.I. Marching Band is good enough to perform in London’s New Year’s Day Parade, they’re good for a listen.
Saturday, October 21 – St. Mark’s at DMA – 7pm – A Saturday night showcase, last year they played a 45-35 slugfest where DMA scored the last 18 points to win. They return to Baynard Stadium, what do they do for an encore.
Friday, October 27 – Delmar at Laurel – 7pm – One of the state’s fiercest rivalries involves the two most southwestern towns in Sussex County. Last year it was decided by a missed 2-point conversion in the 4th quarter. I’m told you don’t need a rooting interest, you’ll get sucked into the atmosphere.
Saturday, October 28 – Cape Henlopen at Sussex Central – 1pm – We’re already downstate, and they moved this rivalry to Saturday this year for homecoming, so a great chance for a Henlopen double-dip. These two have been butting heads on the edge of the playoff chase in recent years, and there’s no reason to believe there won’t be something at stake in this Henlopen North matinee.
Friday, November 3 – Smyrna at Salesianum – Last year, Smyrna dropped jaws by putting up 52 points before halftime, how will the Sals react this year?
Saturday, November 4 – Middletown at Concord – 10:30am – Starting a Flight A doubleheader (tight squeeze, but you’ll probably see both kickoffs), these rivals have been near the top of Division I for several years.
Saturday, November 4 – St. Georges at William Penn – 2pm – It’s still weird to type this as a Flight A game, but last year these squads played a thrilling 27-24 game. Could this be a game with playoff implications?
Friday, November 10 – Dover at Caesar Rodney – 7pm – We had to include one of the two big rivalries in the state, and I’d already exhausted Saint Mark’s and Salesianum.
Saturday, November 11 – Mount Pleasant at Brandywine – 10:30am – The Brandywine School District rivals are back in Flight B together. Their meetings haven’t been close in recent years, but perhaps Brandywine can start to make some progress.
This schedule lets you see 34 teams and 24 games over the 10 weeks.
There are any number of ways you could play out the schedule, and I certainly missed a few matchups I would have liked to include. How would you conduct your Ultimate Delaware High School Football Road Trip?