Home Local Sports Catholic high schools battle for DIAA soccer titles, and football tournament play...

Catholic high schools battle for DIAA soccer titles, and football tournament play begins Friday

Salesianum battles Aopquinimink on Nov. 12, with the Jaguars taking the win in a comeback and, with it, the No. 2 seed in the eight-team Class 3A tournament. Dialog photo/Jason Winchell

The regular seasons for the fall sports came to an end over the weekend as football concluded, and tournament play begins this Friday for one Catholic high school, Saturday for two others. In soccer, Salesianum is trying to defend its state championship in Division I, while Saint Mark’s is hopeful it can bring some hardware to campus following the championship game next Saturday.

For ticket information, go to www.websites4sports.com or contact the individual schools.



Division I: No. 5 Appoquinimink (12-4) vs. No. 1 Salesianum (14-2), 5 p.m. at Dover High School. The first Division I semifinal promises to be a good one. The Sals get key work from the defense, including keeper Zach Bittner. Jake Ross is the principal offensive weapon, but not the only one. Ross did not tally in the 3-0 win in the quarterfinals vs. St. Georges; those went to Gianluca Marroni, Aiden Gonzalez and Sean Duffy. They’ll face their nemesis, Appoquinimink, which hung the Sals’ only in-state loss on them earlier this season. Paris Repolle had a hat trick in the Jags’ quarterfinal win over Cape Henlopen, and Thomas Hastings also can score the ball. Riley Buzby is in the net for Appo.

The winner advances to the state championship on Saturday against either No. 7 Sussex Central or No. 3 Wilmington Charter. It will be at noon at Dover High School.

Division II: No. 3 Saint Mark’s (13-3) vs. No. 2 Indian River (12-1-2), 7:30 p.m. at Caesar Rodney High School. The Spartans edged Delaware Military, 1-0, to advance to the semifinals, and the road does not get any smoother. Indian River has won three state titles since soccer split into two divisions in 2013, and their lone loss this season came on the road against Division I power Wilmington Charter. Connor Bird and Jordan Ilian lead the offense, while Kai Kelley mans the nets. Saint Mark’s prefers to apply pressure both offensively and defensively. Ryan Betts is their last line of defense.

The winner of No. 5 Tower Hill and No. 1 Caravel awaits the winner. The championship game is Saturday at 3 p.m. at Dover High School.




Class 1A: No. 7 Indian River (5-5) vs. St. Elizabeth (9-1), 7 p.m. at Abessinio Stadium. These teams met in Dagsboro on Oct. 7, with the Vikings taking a 39-14 decision. St. Elizabeth relies on an overpowering ground game, led by Quasim Benson and Chris Caracter, and they have a veteran, big line on both sides of the ball. The Indians have a lot of freshmen, including quarterback Dylan Grise and wide receiver Darnell Stokes.

The winner moves on to meet the winner of No. 6 Seaford and No. 3 Wilmington Charter.


Class 2A: No. 12 Concord at No. 5 Archmere (7-2), 11 a.m. The Auks begin defense of their Class 2A title with a late-morning start against neighboring Concord. Archmere’s multi-pronged offense has gotten a boost from the return of Kieran Udovich, who also has helped solidify a really good defense. The Auks have rebounded from consecutive losses earlier in the season and seem to be clicking as the posteason opens. Concord comes in having won three or their last four, with the only loss coming to Delaware Military in overtime.

Next up for the winner of this one is a meeting with Howard, the fourth seed. The Wildcats play their home games at Abessinio Stadium, although the date and time will be announced.

Class 3A: No. 5 Salesianum (7-3) at No. 4 Middletown (6-4), 7 p.m. This is a rematch of a game played on Oct. 14, also at Middletown, when the Sals grabbed a 31-21 win over the Cavaliers. The Sals have a solid running back in Andrew Ransome and a freshman quarterback, Ryan Stoehr, who has a big arm. The defense is led by the line, including Nate Ray and R.J. Johnson. Middletown has a talented quarterback of its own in Austin Troyer, who hands off to running backs that include Mikey Pearson and throws to receivers like Noah Kracyla.

Either the Sals or the Cavaliers will be taking on the winner of No. 8 Cape Henlopen or No. 1 Smyrna in the semifinals.