For The Dialog
and Mike Lang
MILLTOWN – St. Mark’s returns just two starters from a team that went 14-8 last season, including a first-round playoff win before bowing out against perennial power Sanford. Despite the relative inexperience, coach Nick Sanna expects the Spartans to be in the postseason picture again.
Senior Jamai Rice and junior Chris Ludman are the returning starters. Sanna said Rice is a great leader who can create offensive opportunities, while Ludman can handle the ball, rebound, play defense and score. They are joined by three sophomores whom the coach sees as a nice compliment: Brian Gilardi, William Hoffman and Nicholas Leski. St. Mark’s, to the surprise of no one, will rely on its defense to create offense.
“It will be a lot of fun with the combo of having some veterans and young guys all in the mix,” he said.
Sanna said practices have been intense. “Our guys are hungry to get better each day and to do a great job of working hard and getting after it in practice.”
The schedule is stout, and although six of the first nine are at home, the Spartans open this afternoon at 5:30 at Christiana. The season includes a visit to Florida for the KSA Holiday Tournament, which, according to Sanna, has been on the Spartans’ Christmas list for years. Other foes include tough traditional rivals Salesianum and St. Elizabeth, along with nonconference matchups with Caravel, A.I. DuPont, Milford and Delcastle.
“The schedule will be challenging. I think having a tough schedule will hopefully toughen us up in February when we are battling for the playoffs,” Sanna said.
Schedule (home games in CAPS)
12/10/15 @ Christiana 5:30 pm
12/12/15 BRANDYWINE 1:30 pm
12/16/15 WILMINGTON CHRISTIAN 7:15 pm
12/18/15 DELAWARE MILITARY ACADEMY 7:15 pm
12/29/15 vs. TBA @ Florida TBA KSA Holiday Tournament
12/30/15 vs. TBA @ Florida TBA KSA Holiday Tournament
01/04/16 CARAVEL 7:15 pm
01/09/16 A.I. DUPONT 7:15 pm
01/12/16 MIDDLETOWN 7:15 pm
01/15/16 @ Sussex Central 6:15 pm
01/19/16 ST. ELIZABETH 7:15 pm
01/22/16 @ Saiesianum 7:30 pm
01/28/16 ARCHMERE 7:15 pm
02/02/16 @ Caesar Rodney 7:15 pm
02/04/16 @ Polytech 6 pm
02/06/16 MILFORD 7:15 pm
02/08/16 @ St. Elizabeth 7:15 pm
02/12/16 SALESIANUM 7:30 pm
02/16/16 @ Charter 5:30 pm
02/18/16 @ Delcastle 5:30 pm