Delmar rarely has a down year in football, but coach David Hearn wasn’t sure what to expect out of an inexperienced group this season.
The Wildcats are off to a 4-0 start, carrying on the tradition extended by many Delmar players before them.
“I think we’ve overachieved so far,” Hearn said.
“We’re very young in a lot of places, so I believe we’ve surprised ourselves and gained confidence as the season goes along.”
Friday’s win was the most unusual, as the Wildcats slipped past Lake Forest 2-0.
A perfectly placed Delmar punt pinned the Spartans at their own 1, and one play later Wildcats linebacker Tre’ Leatherbury tackled Lake Forest quarterback Ridgely Betts for the only points of the game with 5:10 left in the third quarter.
“We had to hold in there and keep it close, because they had some opportunities and we played good defense all night,” Hearn said.
“Offensively, we had a bunch of opportunities and did not play particularly well. It will be a good learning experience on both sides.”
Hearn couldn’t remember any other 2-0 games, but he did recall a 3-2 loss to Indian River on a last-minute field goal in his first season as Delmar coach 23 years ago.
Tre’ Leatherbury also is playing a key role at running back, and Hearn said junior QB Shane Leatherbury, senior G/DE Danny Cropper and senior LB Chase Harmon also are playing well.
The Wildcats already have knocked off Chesapeake (Md.) 30-27, John Carroll (Md.) 46-36 and St. Elizabeth 28-0. Delmar travels to Milford (0-4, 0-1) for its second Henlopen South game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Warriors show winning form
Three years ago, when Brett Lelko took over a Wilmington Christian boys soccer team that had won just seven games over the previous two seasons, he knew it would take time to get the Warriors on track.
WCS went 5-10 in 2011, then improved to 7-7-1 last year.
The Warriors opened this season with a 1-0 loss to Delaware Military Academy, but have reeled off five straight wins to go into Saturday’s game against St. Thomas More at 5-1.
“I’m very happy with how we’ve played so far,” Lelko said.
“We had high expectations coming into the season, but it’s nice to see that the boys are playing well and all the hard work they’ve put in is paying off.”
The biggest win to date was a 1-0 victory over perennially strong Archmere on Sept. 24.
Senior forward Micah Norcross scored the only goal with less than two minutes remaining.
“That was just a huge boost for our team, and we’ve been riding that the last few games,” Lelko said.
Midfielder Spencer Lockard, forward Thomas Diamanty and goalkeeper Dan Keever – all seniors – also are playing key roles for the Warriors.
New coach at St. Mark’s
Dave Williams has replaced L.A. Collier as head wrestling coach at St. Mark’s, and the 1998 St. Mark’s graduate plans to schedule more in-state matches so Spartans fans can see their team.
“My goal is to get the team in that gym more often with the students supporting them,” Williams said.
Williams wrestled on the Spartans’ state championship teams in 1995, ’97 and ’98, winning a state individual title at 152 pounds in 1998.
Rounding it up
* USA Today has opened voting to select the nation’s best high school football coach. The voting begins at the state level, with eight candidates vying for Delaware’s best coach – Bill Collick of Cape Henlopen, Mark DelPercio of Middletown, Bill DiNardo of Salesianum, David Hearn of Delmar, Joe Hemphill of St. Elizabeth, George Kosanovich of Concord, Butch Simpson of Newark and John Wilson of St. Mark’s. Vote by going to contest.usatodayhss.com.
* The Mount Pleasant volleyball team raised $365 for the American Cancer Society during its Sept. 20 game against Brandywine. Mount Pleasant athletic director Keith Neff said the Blue Hen Flight B rivals plan to make the fundraiser an annual tradition.