Alex Barker’s final year of high school football likely ended with 9:31 left in the fourth quarter of his season opener Saturday.
The Caravel senior kept the ball for a 1-yard loss on third-and-11, then stayed down on the field. There was a 26-minute delay as an ambulance came to transport the quarterback to Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Barker underwent surgery to mend a serious ankle injury. The left-hander will work to recover in time for the Buccaneers’ baseball season in the spring, but a return in time for any more football is very doubtful.
“I don’t think so,” Caravel coach John Reed said Monday, when asked if he expected Barker to play again. “Between that recovery time and the therapy on it… But we still want him to be a part of it, be around the team and be a good teammate.”
Barker recently transferred from Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton, Md., to Caravel, where he was meshing nicely with the Bucs. He threw three touchdown passes in the first half of Caravel’s 30-19 loss to Concord.
“We’re going to miss him,” Reed said. “He was a great teammate to the kids. He was a very coachable kid. He was very polished, and he certainly fit in with the kids like he had been there.”
Barker displayed a strong arm on a 59-yard scoring bomb to Mandela Montgomery. He also had a nice touch on the shorter routes, connecting with Noah Taylor for a 25-yard TD and hitting Montgomery again for a 20-yard score.
“I feel bad. We never want to see anybody get hurt like that,” Concord coach Greg Mitchell said. “We’ve had severe injuries like that, and they just break your heart.”
Hot cross country
Tosin Ibironke of Smyrna overcame sweltering temperatures and humidity to win the boys varsity race at the Lake Forest Invitational cross country meet on Saturday at Killens Pond State Park.
Ibironke finished the 5K course in 16:58.2. St. Andrew’s Alex Horgan was second, followed by Polytech’s Bryan Perry. Sidwell Friends of Washington, D.C., took the team title, followed by Delaware Military Academy and Sussex Tech.
Maryvale Prep of Brooklandville, Md., placed three runners among the top six on the way to the girls team title. Smyrna’s Naomi Bowser (20.22.2) finished second individually, with Caitlin Cobb of St. Andrew’s fourth and Naomi Dawkins of Newark fifth.
Upstate wins soccer challenge
Upstate schools won four of the seven games to narrowly take the title as 14 schools kicked off their boys soccer seasons in the Delaware Association of Athletic Directors’ Downstate-Upstate Challenge on Saturday at Dover High.
Salesianum and Charter of Wilmington – ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in Division I – won easily as the Sals downed Sussex Tech 8-2 and the Force dispatched Caesar Rodney 4-0. The other upstate winners were Appoquinimink, 6-3 over Milford, and Newark Charter, 3-2 over Dover.
Downstate schools scored three victories, as Lake Forest edged Dickinson 1-0, Polytech got past Middletown 3-2 and Seaford blanked the Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security 1-0.
Plenty of big performances around the state on the opening weekend, including:
— Daniel Bark rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns as Archmere, ranked eighth in Division II, dominated preseason No. 2 Howard 44-16.
— Corahn Alleyne racked up 239 all-purpose yards, including a 70-yard punt return TD, in Delaware Military Academy’s 42-7 win over Charter of Wilmington.
— Will Knight, who scored 51 two-point conversions last season, started 2016 with five two-pointers in No. 1 Smyrna’s 56-0 dismantling of Delcastle. Nolan Henderson threw three touchdown passes, with Leddie Brown catching two of those and running for two more scores.
— Justin Beneck passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in Wilmington Friends’ 27-7 win over Perryville (Md.).
— Sean Carroll got touchdowns in three different ways – passing, running and returning an interception – as Mount Pleasant topped Brandywine 41-6.
— Kenyon Yellowdy fired three long touchdown passes – two to Emmanuel Kenion – as Appoquinimink rolled past Polytech 54-14.
— Tower Hill’s A.J. Falco threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more in a 38-22 victory over Harford Tech (Md.).
Rounding it up
— The next Heart in the Game events – which offer free EKG screenings for all Delaware students ages 8-19 – will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 17 at Woodbridge High School and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Siegel Jewish Community Center, 101 Garden of Eden Road in Wilmington. The events also feature CPR/AED training, along with other health offerings. Walk-ins are welcome, but online registration is preferred at www.heartinthegame.org.
— Delmar and Polytech, ranked Nos. 2 and 3 statewide in field hockey, struck a dual blow for Delaware in the Bi-State Challenge on Friday and Saturday in Pocomoke City, Md. Delmar downed Washington (Md.) 8-1 and Pocomoke 7-0, while Polytech dropped Pocomoke 4-2 and got past Washington 5-2.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ