DIVISION I FOOTBALL
1. Smyrna – The defending state champion Eagles return the lethal QB/HB combination of senior #2, Nolan Henderson (University of Delaware commit) and 2015 Mr. Delaware junior #25, Will Knight. Along with a slew of talented skill positions that will make Smyrna a very tough game for any opponent.
2. Middletown – With key returning starters, junior HB #3 Kedrick Whitehead, senior SE #6 Anthony Delpercio & senior SE #7 Ken Edelin coming back, the Cavaliers expect to be in the thick of the Flight A race with state title aspirations.
3. Concord – The Raiders return STUD LB/HB senior #11 Avery Roberts who is committed to The University of Nebraska and his younger brother junior SS/HB #6 Grahm Roberts. Also returning senior WR #15, Gerald Hill and junior RB #31 Brandon Dennis. With this amount of experience and talent coming back, the Raiders look to get back into the playoffs after missing out last season.
4. Salesianum – Losing a ton of leadership to graduation and last seasons Divison I title game, the Sal’s, unlike most schools have the talent to avoid rebuilding and simply reload. They return senior SE/DB #7, Michael Drake, senior LB #8, Josh Patrick, senior LB #33, Bill Stradley, senior OL/DL #59, Zeb Wright, senior OL #71, Randy Sinnott. Junior QB #15, Zack Gwynn will be at the helm after gaining valuable playing time filling in for last year’s starting QB after injury. With plenty of talent and experience to help 2016’s run at a state title, Salesianum will be one of the last teams standing.
5. William Penn – The Colonial’s have University of Virginia commit, senior #1 Zach Burton whose making the switch from WR to QB looking to lead his team to the playoffs. Also returning senior DB #13 Isaiah Gaynor and senior LB #55, Charles Hope. State champs in 2014 Burton & Co. are hoping for a memorable 2016.
6. Cape Henlopen – Looking to improve after finishing 4th in the tough Henlopen North Conference, the Viking’s return a full talented backfield with junior RB #11, Rasheed Woods, senior RB #36, Raiquan Mosley and junior FB #42, Kolbi Wright.
7. Sussex Tech – Finished 2nd in the Henlopen North behind state champion Smyrna. Looking for a return and a better showing in the 2016 state playoffs after losing to Middletown 42-7. The Raven’s bring back senior RB #5, Griffin Dunn and fellow senior RB #35, Jordon Walters.
8. Sussex Central – After finishing 3rd in the Henlopen North and making the state tournament, the Knight’s look to build on winning five out of their last six games in 2015. Returning senior RB #7, Fulton Holland, senior QB #10, Drew Morris, and talented senior OL #72 Myles Vernet provide a good foundation for 2016.
9. Mount Pleasant – After a surprising 2015 state tournament birth the Green Knights return dual-threat senior QB #7 JaShawn Johnson. Behind him is junior RB #25, Nyair Small and on defense, senior LB #4, Sean Carroll & senior DL #56, Sam Mousley are all hoping for similar outcomes in 2016.
10. Appoquinimink – After some tough losses in 2015, the Jaguars have a strong nucleus of returning players on both sides of the ball that make 2016 a much more hopeful year. Could be the most improved team in the state.
DIVISION II FOOTBALL
1. Howard – Defending Division II state champion Wildcats return super wide-out senior, #10 Korey Kent along with most of its offensive line. Skill positions at Howard are always at a premium and the defense seems to get tougher as each week passes. A tough schedule lies ahead with an October 8th date with Smyrna. Expect these Wildcats to accept the challenge.
2. Wilmington Friends – After finishing 10-2 in 2015 and loosing to Howard in the state semi-finals, the Quakers are poised to make a state title run in coach Bob Tattersall’s 49th season. Friend’s has plenty of talent and a load of experience returning including three-year starting QB #7, Justin Beneck, and his backfield.
3. Caravel – 2015 was a rare down year at Caravel Academy as they finished 3-6. 2016 brings a chance for the Buccaneers to redeem themselves as a perennial state title contender. An experienced offensive line anchored by massive seniors #55, Keith Medley and #76, Curtis Linton combined with a few transfers should have Caravel in the hunt for a playoff birth and more.
4. Woodbridge – The Blue Raiders return the majority of their team that finished 8-4 after a close loss in the D-II Semi-finals. An experienced offensive backfield led by junior RB #3, Antwain Holden & senior RB #2 Terrique Riddick will take care of the ball behind an offensive line anchored by “Monster” senior OL/DL #66, Shymere Vessels and Co. If Woodbridge starts fast the Blue Raiders could be a threat to win it all.
5. Delaware Military Academy – After finishing 9-1 in the 2015 regular season the Seahawks suffered a disappointing first round playoff loss. Returning senior QB #8, Jacob Hudson has most of his offensive line back which will help the Seahawks chances of getting back into the D-II playoffs picture.
6. St. Elizabeth – University of Delaware commit, offensive lineman senior #54, Mickey Henry will help open holes for the talented speedster, junior RB #7, Chris Cropper. The Viking’s also return junior QB #15, Casey Rock, all together this group is looking to improve upon last years 4-6 record.
7. Archmere – A tough opponent for any D-II school to match up with, the Auks return bruising senior RB #44, Patrick Udovich along with senior utility player #24, Mark Dombroski. If the new starting QB, junior #16, Joseph DeGregorio can get the ball downfield the Auk’s will once again be a tough team to beat.
8. Tatnall – A very popular pick for most improved team coming into 2016, the Hornet’s return almost every starter from a team that finished 6-4, losing some close games. Do it all senior RB #21, Sam Ragland can get loose on any play. With an experience offensive line and a seasoned defense, expect Tatnall to go toe-to-toe with all opponents.
9. St. Marks – Finishing 2015 4-6 and not making the playoffs after their first season back in Division II, the Spartan’s will try to blend new comers with experience starters to navigate one of the states tougher schedules. After losing more than a few games by single digits, St.Marks experience and talent should guide them into their second season back in Division II .
10. Lake Forest – Finished 8-3 in 2015 after losing in the first round of the D-II playoffs. The defending Henlopen South champions have a long conference winning streak intact. It has been over two seasons since the Spartans have lost to a Henlopen South football foe. If junior QB #1, Xavier Daniels can bring the offense together, Lake Forest’s stingy defense should make the Spartans match up with Woodbridge determine the south champ.