Home Local Sports A new era of Salesianum School football kicks off Aug. 31 under...

A new era of Salesianum School football kicks off Aug. 31 under the lights at Abessinio Stadium

A Howard ballcarrier tries to split a pair of Sallies tacklers during a scrimmage on Aug. 18.

WILMINGTON — A new era is about to take shape at Salesianum. When the Sals line up against Delaware Military Academy on the night of Aug. 31 to kick off the football season, they’ll be playing under a new head coach for the first time since 2003.

Sallies alum Gene Delle Donne takes the reins of one of Delaware’s most high-profile programs. The 2005 graduate has been the team’s offensive coordinator the past few seasons. Now, he will try to lead the Sals to their first state championship since 2013.

The Sals return many starters from a team that went 7-4 last year, losing in the first round of the DIAA Class 3A tournament at Middletown. Sophomore Ryan Stoehr returns at quarterback, and he has plenty of experience in the backfield behind him. Senior Andrew Ransome was the team’s lead back last year, and he is joined by classmate Brian Alleyne, who played for the Sals as a freshman before spending the last two seasons at Delaware Military Academy. Stoehr’s receiving crew includes Lukas Ryan, Ben Anton, Nasir Logan and Hunter Balint.

Defensively, the line includes senior James Miller and juniors R.J. Johnson and Ahmad Foster.  LJ Smith anchors the linebacking corps, and Alleyne will pull double duty in the defensive backfield. The defense is led by coordinator Paul Worrilow, who spent six years in the National Football League.

The Sals will host both Smyrna and Middletown this season, and the regular season ends on Nov. 10 with a showdown at Saint Mark’s. This will be the first game between the longtime rivals since 2019.

Schedule (home games in CAPS)

Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m.: DELAWARE MILITARY

Sept. 8, 5 p.m.: Bonner and Prendergast (Pa.)

Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.: SMYRNA

Sept. 29, 7 p.m.: Dover

Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.: ST. GEORGES

Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.: WILLIAM PENN

Oct. 20, 7 p.m.: Appoquinimink

Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m.: MIDDLETOWN

Nov. 4, 11 a.m.: Hodgson (at St. Georges Tech)

Nov. 10, 7 p.m.: Saint Mark’s