Hodgson is no stranger to state championships. The Silver Eagles’ wrestling, boys track and football teams have combined to put 16 banners on the wall.
But Saturday marked the first state title by a Hodgson girls team, as a determined group won the Division II crown at the DIAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Dover High.
“They were excited, but they were a little subdued on Saturday,” coach Megan Baker said of her team. “I think they were in shock. I think they were surprised that they actually pulled it off.”
The Silver Eagles did it with a measured approach. Baker had each of her athletes emphasize different events from week to week during the regular season, instead of focusing on one or two. At last week’s New Castle County championships, Hodgson set school records in the 4×100 and 4×200 relays, but backed off in some of the other events to try to peak for states.
“We kind of tried to fly under the radar a little bit, and I think it worked,” Baker said. “I think some people were surprised with some of the stuff we pulled out.”
Tatnall edged the Silver Eagles 90-82 for last year’s Division II girls title. This year, Baker projected a maximum of 127 points for her team. They hit 125, easily enough to outscore Tatnall’s 107.
Seniors Ariana Fleming and Alexis Rogers, junior Quiara Mayes and sophomore Ayana Phillips combined to win the 4×100 relay, and joined freshman Lexxie Mathis in competing in the maximum of four events.
Mayes won the 300-meter hurdles and finished second in the 100-meter dash and triple jump. Rogers won the high jump, Fleming took second in the long jump and Phillips shaved three seconds off her 100-meter hurdles time in the week before the meet to finish second in 16.35.
“They are the ones that carried the load of the team,” Baker said. “They really worked hard.”
Newark Charter was given the approval to expand from a K-8 school to K-12 two years ago, so this season the school’s oldest athletes are sophomores.
But the Patriots’ softball team wanted to have a Senior Day, so they presented flowers to the eight seniors on Delmar’s team before last Thursday’s game at Folk Park in Newark.
“The softball community is a small, tight community,” Newark Charter coach Greg Shivery said. “I know a lot of kids who play on the Delmar team. We’ve been playing travel ball against them forever.
“We just felt it was the right thing to do. I just told my girls, this game ultimately is about establishing relationships and connections. To me, doing the right things helps with that.”
The Delmar players and coaches were pleasantly surprised.
“It was a very nice gesture,” Wildcats coach Michelle Niblett said. “It made for a nice day.”
Delmar didn’t take it easy once the game started, winning 11-0 in five innings. But senior Alexis Layton, who pitched a perfect game, was one of many Wildcats who appreciated the display of sportsmanship.
“It was the sweetest thing,” Layton said. “Most teams don’t do that for the other team’s seniors. It was just super sweet.”
Rounding it up
•The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association has announced the winners of the annual Harry Roberts Senior Scholar Athlete scholarships. The girls winners are Sanford’s Kelsey Mendell ($2,000), St. Mark’s Ann Marie White ($1,500) and Milford’s Hannah Uebele ($1,000). The boys winners are Caesar Rodney’s Kevin Sheahan ($2,000), Sanford’s Chase Rapine ($1,500) and St. Mark’s Andrew Kacmarcik ($1,000).
•The Diamond State Classic girls basketball tournament has given awards to three charitable organizations from the proceeds of the 2014 event. The B+ Foundation received $15,928, Kay’s Kamp received $5,000 and Special Olympics received $4,000.
•Many of Milford’s senior athletes have announced their college destinations. They include Rafiq Henry (Lincoln University football), Michael Tkach (Delaware Valley football), Kayla Brennan (Arcadia field hockey), Kasey Fry (Wesley field hockey and softball), Tom Saxon (Rowan baseball), Cole Davis (Delaware State baseball), Dustin Reeder (United States Coast Guard Academy baseball), Haley Scruggs (Wesley softball), Ring Lardner (Defiance lacrosse), Matt Viramontes (Delaware Tech lacrosse) and Ben Mitzel (Wesley lacrosse).
•The NCAA Division I and Division III women’s lacrosse championships will have some Delaware connections this weekend at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. St. Andrew’s graduate Helen Cammerzell will play for Duke against North Carolina in the D-I semifinals at 5 p.m. Friday. A D-III semifinal at 4 p.m. Saturday will feature Tower Hill graduate Kathryn DeLillio playing for Trinity College against Franklin & Marshall, which includes St. Andrew’s grads Aly and Grace Saliba.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ