The postseason is in full swing in all sports except football, and by this time next week, cross country will have crowned its champions. Volleyball determines its finalists this week, while field hockey and boys soccer get their tournaments in gear.
State tournament tickets are available online only at https://gofan.co/app/school/DIAA.
Football moves into the final week of the regular season, with tournament berths secured for all four Catholic high schools. Only the seeding needs to be worked out. It’s a particularly big game for Salesianum, which can secure the second seed in Class 3A with a win over Appoquinimink.
No. 6 Newark Charter at No. 3 Saint Mark’s, 6 p.m. The Spartans open a state tournament quarterfinal doubleheader at home against the Patriots. Forget the seeding. These teams met on Oct. 8, and the teams put on a show in a 3-1 Saint Mark’s win. The big battle here pits Spartans hitters Julia Yurkovich and Ava Borcky against Patriots libero McKenna Ritchie.
No. 5 Caravel vs. No. 4 Archmere, 7:30 p.m. at Saint Mark’s. The second half of the doubleheader is another rematch. The Auks traveled to Caravel on Oct. 11, sweeping the Buccaneers. Archmere’s Katie Kuehl emerged as a multi-threat weapon as the season progressed, while Caravel’s Laila Glover is her team’s big hitter.
Winner of Newark Charter-Saint Mark’s vs. winner of No. 9 Tower Hill-No. 1 Smyrna, time TBA at Saint Mark’s.
Winner of Caravel-Archmere vs. winner of No. 7 Caesar Rodney-No. 2 Delmarva Christian, time TBA at Saint Mark’s.
Division II: No. 10 Saint Mark’s (9-5) at No. 7 Sussex Academy (10-4-1), 2 p.m. The Spartans will enter this contest playing for the first time since Oct. 27, and they’ll have to travel to Georgetown for the early start. The aggressive Spartans get a lot of offense from Katie Hanich, while the goal belongs to Jenna League. They’ll need to stop forward Madison Leeper, and Kaitlyn Musgrove will be in goal.
Division I: No. 5 Caesar Rodney (10-5) vs. No. 4 Padua (8-7), 2 p.m. at Tower Hill. The Pandas finished 8-7, but the quality of their opponents earned them the fourth seed in the eight-team tournament. Ava Getty and Kelsey Clauss pace the offense, while Taylor Kozink has been solid in the cage all season. The Riders play in the super-tough Henlopen North, so they will be battle-tested coming in. Peyton Shields and Hannah Glanden lead the offense, with Bailey Minear the last line of defense.
Division II: Winner of Saint Mark’s-Sussex Academy at No. 2 Archmere (13-2), 2 p.m. The Auks enter the tournament after an outstanding regular season, but they will not have an easy time against either the Spartans or Seahawks. They allowed just two goals in their victories with a stout defense anchored by goalkeeper Ava Hughes, while the offense is centered around Bella Dell’Oso, Emma Gioffre and Lindsey Renshaw.
Division I: No. 8 St. Georges (9-5-1) at No. 1 Salesianum (13-2), 8:30 p.m. St. Georges finished the season with four straight nailbiters, while the Sals have been masters at winning tight games. Jacob Simpson and Joshua Freeman are two of the better strikers for St. Georges, and Carlos Diaz-Torres mans the nets. The Sals get key work from the defense, including keeper Zach Bittner. Jake Ross is the principal offensive weapon, but not the only one.
Division II: Winner of No. 11 Sussex Academy (6-7-2)-No. 6 Delaware Military (8-5-2) at No. 3 Saint Mark’s (12-3), 1 p.m. The Spartans prepared for this tournament by playing a very challenging schedule, with all three losses coming to Division I tournament teams. Their upbeat, pressing style gets goals from a number of players, including Kieran O’Connor, and Ryan Betts has been solid in goal. Saint Mark’s did not play Sussex Academy this year, but they did play DMA, needing overtime to win. Either way, the Spartans will be hosting Seahawks on Saturday.
St. Elizabeth (9-0) at Caravel (9-0), 7 p.m. The Vikings visit the Buccaneers, stepping up a class to prepare for the Class 1A tournament, which begins the following weekend. Both of these teams can light up the scoreboard to the tune of 40 points per game, but both defenses have been extremely stingy as well.
Appoquinimink (5-4) at Salesianum (7-2), 7:30 p.m. This game could determine the winner of Class 3A District 1. That team would qualify for the second overall seed in the Class 3A tournament. Salesianum is the winner if they defeat Appo, but if the Jaguars win, the decision will head to tiebreakers. The Jaguars’ big weapon is running back Daniel McConomy, who has given opposing defenses fits this season. Ryan Stoehr, the Sals’ freshman quarterback, continues to improve and impress.
Delaware Military (5-4) at Archmere (6-2), 10:30 a.m. The Auks and Seahawks have both clinched postseason berth, but seeding could be affected. Archmere will try to keep its high-powered offense going, while DMA normally has a high-octane offense itself. This is the first meeting between the teams since a memorable Class 2A semifinal last season.
DIAA state championship, Killens Pond State Park, Felton. Meet favorites include Padua in girls Division I and Salesianum in boys Division I.