Senior has two goals, one assist as Jaguars finish field hockey season with 6-0 win over Newark
Doc’s #delhs football picks
Dr. Colllin Auttible weighs in on this week’s Delaware high school football games.
Athlete of the Week: Gentry Meinecke
Brandywine senior excels in field hockey, academics for Bulldogs
Doc’s #delhs football picks
Our resident expert came oh soooo close to perfection last week.
Athlete of the Week: Isaiah Jean Baptiste
Senior midfielder helps Golden Knights clinch Henlopen North boys soccer championship
Doc takes his picks show on the road
Expert predictions on EVERY Delaware football game Friday and Saturday.
Athlete of the Week: Naomi Bowser
Smyrna junior consistently lowering times as one of state’s top cross country runners
The Doc is back to make his #delhs Week 6 football picks
The Doc is back to make his #delhs Week 6 football picks
Athlete of the Week: Kirsten Longueira
DMA senior reaches 1,000 career digs for defending DIAA champion Seahawks
Doc’s #delhs football picks, Week 5
Salesianum or Middletown? Find out who Dr. Colin Auttible selects.
Smyrna’s Atkinson inspiring teammates
Smyrna High senior, Colby Atkiinson, who had to give up his athletic career when he was diagnosed with leukemia his freshman year, but now inspires his teammates and his community.
Athlete of the Week: David Bowman
Milford running back scores three touchdowns in 42-13 victory over Conrad
Doc’s #delhs football picks Week 4
It’s raining, it’s pouring … awesome football picks
Athlete of the Week: Gavin Ford
Salesianum junior adds offensive punch to six-time defending state champions
Unified flag football season kicks off
Partnership between DIAA and Special Olympics expands to eight teams, and adds playoffs and a state championship game.
Athlete of the Week: Madelyn Judge
Libero anchors defense for the third-ranked Padua volleyball team
Doc’s HS football picks Week 2
Middletown-William Penn highlight the schedule.
Jon Dorenbos inspires Caravel long snapper
After Jake Reed met Eagles long snapper, Jon Dorenbos, he sent him an email, asking if Dorenbos could work with him on long snapping.
Zachariah Burton signs with Virginia
Defensive back to graduate from William Penn in December, enroll at Virginia in January and participate in spring practice
Salesianum 7, Caravel 0
Top-ranked Sals shut out Buccaneers in early season soccer matchup
Athlete of the Week: Mickey Henry
St. Elizabeth offensive tackle helps Vikings rush for six TDs in win over McKean
Dover coach Rudy Simonetti looks to turn program around
New coach comes from North Jersey to take over Senators in his first high school head coaching job
Doc’s Week 1 #delhs football picks
The mad scientist returns for another season of Delaware gridiron action.
Delaware high school football Div I preseason rankings
Delaware high school football Division I preseason rankings
Delaware high school football Div II preseason rankings
Delaware high school football Division II preseason rankings
Woodbridge favored in Henlopen South
Blue Raiders return much of team that reached Division II semifinals
New Newark coach Barry Zehnder
Newark alum Barry Zehnder reolaces Butch Simpson, who coached the Yellowjackets for 39 years
Ten can’t miss Delaware high school football games
With each of Delaware’s 43 high school football teams about to embark on nine- or 10-game seasons, there will be no shortage of action throughout the fall. Here are 10 games that will capture a lot of interest on each weekend of the season.
4-foot-8 football player relishes hitting
Brandywine High School junior Felicia Perez strives to make an impact
Brad Myers tours the state on the first day of football practice
News Journal high school sports reporter Brad Myers travels the state for the fifth annual Gridiron Tour as he goes from school to school on the first day of football practice in Delaware.
Tatnall football to play night home game
Hornets to bring in temporary lights for Sept. 30 game against Tower Hill.
Coaches prepare for high school football season
Delaware high school football coaches begin preparation for the start of the season on the first day of practice.
Ed Manlove knew Woodbridge High’s history. He was well aware of its football reputation.
He’d uttered a popular refrain himself as head coach at Laurel from 2002 through 2008.
“Everybody always said Woodbridge is never going to be any good,” Manlove said this week. “We used to say it [at Laurel].
“I always thought, in the back of my mind, those [Woodbridge] kids are tough. There’s something there.”
So in the summer of 2009, Manlove made the move up U.S. 13 and down the Henlopen Conference Southern Division standings to become football coach at Woodbridge.
His last Laurel team reached the 2008 Division II state final. Not surprisingly, Woodbridge had been 0-10 that season. It took several years before Manlove’s faith and foresight paid off, as his first four teams went a combined 10-30.
Now Woodbridge is 12-0 and on Saturday plays in a state championship football game for the first time in its long and largely unspectacular history. Woodbridge faces Wilmington Friends, which won the 1984 Division II title in its lone previous state final appearance. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. at Delaware Stadium.
“It was a bit of challenge but it kind of rejuvenated me, too,” said Manlove, who left Laurel more because of professional and family reasons than coaching, “but I made the move and here we are.”
Delaware instituted state football playoffs in 1971. Woodbridge was in a run of 17 straight losing seasons that included an 88-0 loss to Seaford when, recognizing the vast enrollment differences between the largest and smallest schools, the tournament was split into Division I and II in 1975. Woodbridge has annually been among the state’s smallest public high schools (its 2015-16 enrollment was 656).
In the 41 previous Division II state finals, Henlopen South teams have made 28 appearances and won 15, the last by Indian River in 2011.
Now it’s the Blue Raiders’ turn. For the tiny towns of Greenwood and Bridgeville – hence “Woodbridge” – and the surrounding rural area in northwestern Sussex and southwestern Kent counties, it’s been a long wait.
Woodbridge fan celebrate a third quarter touchdown during the Woodbridge-Caravel Division II state semifinal game at Woodbridge Friday.
“It feels pretty great playing for our first state title,” said Shymere Vessels, a senior two-way lineman, “and everyone’s pretty much excited because we can become the first team in Woodbridge history to go 13-0 and win the state title.’’
Vessels said he and some of his teammates had a feeling they could be something special when they played together at Phillis Wheatley Middle School.
Though many elected to attend other public or vo-tech schools, Vessels and his friends “wanted to stay here and prove them wrong and say Woodbridge can be one of those dominant schools in the Henlopen Conference.”
The Blue Raiders, who first qualified for the state tournament in 1999, won the first state tournament game in their history in 2013 and made a return trip to the semifinals in 2015. Now they’ve reached their first final and covet a championship.
“We have more people behind us, cheering us on,” said senior defensive end Leah Styles. “It feels great that everyone is trusting in us.”
Saturday’s game is a rematch of Woodbridge’s 35-7 win over Friends, played Sept. 23 on their home field at their new high school, which opened two years ago. Considering Woodbridge lost to the Quakers each of the previous two seasons, its players know better than to take Friends lightly.
“We’re not trying to focus on what happened in the past because we know teams can come up with new things,” Styles said, “so we’re focused on working harder. It’s hard competition with Friends every year and we know they’re a good team. We’re trying to improve still.”
Woodbridge football coach Ed Manlove knows the Blue Raiders could have a special season. Woodbridge starts the year ranked No. 1 in Division II by The News Journal
A 1987 Middletown High graduate, Manlove was a student at the University of Delaware when he volunteered to join the Cavaliers staff under their new coach, Bill DiNardo, in 1988. Joining him was former teammate Mark Delpercio, a year older and then a fellow UD student. DelPercio is now Middletown’s head coach.
“We coached jayvee together,” DelPercio. “I had the offense. He had the defense.”
Manlove stayed at Middletown on DiNardo’s staff until leaving to coach at Laurel in 2002. DelPercio became Glasgow coach before taking over at Middletown after DiNardo moved to Salesianum.
DelPercio remembers being curious why Manlove would leave Laurel for Woodbridge.
“Laurel was so rich in football tradition,” DelPercio said. “I said to him, ‘I don’t get it, man.’ There were some things outside of football that were frustrating to him, and when he got to Woodbridge he said ‘We’ve got good players. If I can keep them here . . . ’ What he’s done there is not surprising at all.”
Manlove says improving its academic profile has helped Woodbridge attract and keep students.
“I have some great coaches now and that makes a difference,” Manlove said. “We have a program that’s got a little bit of a legacy now. We’ve had a fantastic bunch of kids and they started it in place and now it’s just taking care of itself.
“We’ve had great turnout for our games, people just being supportive. It’s a nice feeling. It gives life to the town, gives people something to talk about. It’s been a great experience, especially this year. It took off last year but this year you can’t even describe it.’’