To help celebrate Delaware SportsZone’s second season covering Delaware High School Sports, we’re looking back at some of the best games covered during the previous year.
We did our best to find the best combination of the game’s importance, drama, and memorable moments, while also trying to include as many sports as possible.
Part 4 of this series highlights games 5 through 1.
Tuesday – Games 20-16
Wednesday – Games 15-11
Thursday – Games 10-6
Today – Games 5-1
Football – Woodbridge 14, Friends 9 – DIAA Championship – December 3, 2016
Two teams who hadn’t been on the football championship stage in a while met inside Delaware Stadium.
Woodbridge won the regular season 35-7 behind their big-game offense, but the Quakers did a much better job keeping the Blue Raiders in check this time around.
Ultimately, the game was decided when Friends hit the red zone in the final minutes down 14-6, but the Blue Raiders’ defense, clamped by defensive ends Shymere Vessels and Le’ah Styles forced the Quakers into a field goal, and they could not get more points on the board before the buzzer.
It was Woodbridge’s first football championship.
Girls Volleyball – DMA 3, Ursuline 2 – DIAA Championship – November 14, 2016
As we mentioned earlier, DMA’s quest for a repeat volleyball championship seemed unlikely after their 4-4 start.
Ursuline was a 6 seed, and like DMA, needed 5 sets just to get to the Bob Carpenter Center.
Once on the floor, the two teams put on a gem of a final, with Ursuline recording 119 digs in the match.
The Raiders won the fourth set 27-25, and had the final set tied at 9 before DMA pulled away for the victory.
Golf – Esther Park def. Phoebe Brinker – DIAA Golf Championship Playoff – May 31, 2017
We might be stretching the definition of “game” as these were the top two golfers in the state tournament, but with a sensational final-round 67 Charter’s Esther Park finished knotted up with Archmere’s Brinker.
The duo both parred the first playoff hole, and Brinker sunk a par on the second, forcing Park to make her 15-foot putt to win the match.
Showing the poise of a veteran, Park made the putt, and celebrated her state title, with perhaps the most clutch shot of any Delaware high school athlete this year.
Wrestling – Sussex Central 32, Smyrna 30 – DIAA Dual-Meet Final – February 14, 2017
Valentine’s Day is for love, and perhaps no team got to show their love for a coach more than Phil Shuttie’s Sussex Central wrestling squad.
Facing the 4-time defending champions, and a team that his team had lost to in a dual meet 10 days prior, Javon Safford (106), Yony Morales (113), and Rashad Stratton (126) put together pins to earn critical bonus points and Blake Chambers won the decisive match to seal the victory.
Just getting there was a challenge, as Brandon Bautista had to overcome Cape’s Cory Lawson in the final match of the semifinals just to qualify to face Smyrna. Bautista and Lawson later had a battle in the individual final that was even better, and they were easily the best rivalry of the year.
In the end, it was the perfect ending to a great career for Shuttie.
Girls Soccer – Middletown 1, Padua 0 – DIAA Championship – June 3, 2017
Sitting at the baseball championship, ears in the press box quickly perked when word came from Phil Almquist that Middletown had taken the lead on Padua, and then I got a text from Phil mentioning that Middletown’s starting goaltender was injured, and a backup was in the game.
Not only did Mary Warren put on the goalie gloves, she kept Padua off the scoreboard. It was the first time in four years Padua hadn’t scored against a Delaware opponent, and it came at a huge time for Middletown, who claimed Flight A’s only state championship of the year, on the final night of the season.