From the sports editor: Polytech title still special and other notes

Tyresa Smith is still second on the Blue Hens’ all-time scoring list with 1,632 points and she was twice named the CAA’s Defensive Player of the Year. She was named UD’s outstanding female athlete, as well as the state’s top athlete, in 2007 when she helped the Hens go 26-5 and reach the NCAA Tournament. (University of Delaware file photo)

With the weather outside all over the place this winter weekend, here’s a collection of random notes from the local sports world:

• Sixteen years after helping Polytech High win the DIAA state championship in girls’ basketball, that 2003 title remains a special moment in Tyresa Smith’s life.

“It’s one of those moments in my basketball career that I’ll always cherish,” said Smith, who was named the state Player of the Year that season.

“I just remember that team coming together. We just gelled. That senior year was amazing because we had so much support from our school. I feel like everybody was behind us — and you literally felt it. Being able to win it and play the way we did. …”

At the time, the only other Henlopen Conference team to capture the girls’ hoops crown was Cape Henlopen in 1973 — the tournament’s first year.

That fact hasn’t changed. Polytech and Cape are still the only downstate state champions in the sport.

There’s no reason to think that will change this year, either.

Since the Panthers beat Seaford in the ‘03 state finals, only two Henlopen squads have reached the title game — Seaford in 2004 and Smyrna in ‘10.

• Dover High grad Reggie Scott will be trying to earn his third Super Bowl ring when the L.A. Rams face the New Orleans Saints in today’s NFC Championship Game.

Scott is in his 15th season as an NFL trainer. Since 2011, he’s been the Rams’ head athletic trainer.

Before joining the Rams, Scott worked with the Buccaneers and then the Panthers.

• Rumors continue to circulate that former Smyrna High standout running back Will Knight may still end up at Delaware.

Remember, Knight first verbally committed to the Blue Hens before then signing with Old Dominion.

Knight played in four games for the Monarchs as a true freshman in the fall, running for 118 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries while adding 95 yards on seven catches. Under the new NCAA redshirt rules, Knight still has four seasons of eligibility remaining.

• At 13-0, Dover High’s boys’ basketball team owns its second 13-game winning streak in the last four seasons. The Senators won 14 straight in 2015-16 when they finished 17-4.

Dover plays six of its final seven games at home. That includes Tuesday’s 7 p.m. showdown with Caesar Rodney (10-2), which is the only team that can still catch the Senators in the Henlopen Northern Division.

• Downstate’s high school indoor track athletes will head over to the Worcester County, Md. Recreation Center on Thursday for the Henlopen Conference championship meet. The event is slated to start at 2:30 p.m. at the facility in Snow Hill, Md.

Smyrna’s girls and Dover’s boys are the defending team champions.

• After coaching Delaware’s secondary last fall, Nick Rapone has been reunited with coach Bruce Arians in the NFL. Rapone, who previously coached with the Cardinals under Arians, will coach the Tampa Bay Bucs’ safeties.

• Seven players were named to Slam Dunk to the Beach’s all-tournament team for the 2018 event held at Cape Henlopen High.

Selected to the team were Cameron Brown (Eleanor Roosevelt), Justin Champagnie (Bishop Loughlin), Chuck Harris (Gonzaga College), Jonathan Kuminga (Our Savior New American), Nnanna Njoku (Sanford), Symir Torrence (Vermont Academy) and Kahlil Whitney (Roselle Catholic).

• Who knows what NASCAR racing will look like 50 years now?

But some lucky fans will have their Dover International Raceway tickets locked down for the next five decades thanks to a contest the track is holding as part of its 50th anniversary. By filling out a survey (at www.doverspeedway.com/goldenticketscontest) between now and April 1, fans will be entered in a drawing in which one winner receives four ‘golden’ tickets for every Dover Cup race until 2069.

“This is certainly the longest-lasting prize we’ve ever offered in a fan contest,” said DIS president and CEO Mike Tatoian. “Fifty years of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tickets is a reward that generations of family members and friends can enjoy for years to come. We look forward to selecting a winner.”

• Nominations are being accepted for candidates to the Delaware High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, now through Feb. 9. They may be sent to: Mel Gardner, Executive Director DBCA, 2 Winnwood Rd., Newark, DE. 19711, or emailed to: wpbbcoach@aol.com.

Information on the Hall of Fame can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/delawarebca2.

• The Delaware Blue Coats, the new G League affiliate of the 76ers, are scheduled to play their first game in Wilmington’s 76ers Fieldhouse on Wednesday. They host Memphis at 7 p.m.

• The Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association will be holding its 70th annual banquet on Feb. 18, at the Sheraton Wilmington South Hotel in New Castle.

In addition to the John J. Brady Award as Delaware’s Outstanding Athlete of 2018, which will be announced that day, the banquet will honor the state’s Team of the Year, and the winners of the Tubby Raymond Coach of the Year Award, the Herm Reitzes Award for Public Service and the Buddy Hurlock Unsung Hero Award. Tickets are available at $35 at http://www.delasports.org/.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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