Henlopen ADs ironing out a fall plan

Even when the high school sports world was grinding to a halt last March, the Henlopen Conference’s athletic directors kept meeting.

Henlopen secretary Bud Hitchens said the AD’s have kept up their virtual get-togethers every week during the coronavirus pandemic.

“These guys have been on top of stuff since March when we started trying to figure out ways we could get them back — even hoping that we could do it in the spring,” he said.

“I give them a lot of credit. For something that’s never happened before, they have made so many proposals and suggestions. They’ve really been on it. I give them a lot of credit for trying to get it done right. They thought they had things figured out.”

But that all changed last Thursday with the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association signing off on playing fall sports in the fall. Suddenly a September start to scholastic sports is a real possibility.

After its regular meeting on Monday, Hitchens said the conference isn’t ready to announce any decisions yet. The state Board of Education still has to vote on the matter on Thursday while each school district can still have a say on their own schools.

Some scheduling issues should be pretty straightforward, though.

Under the DIAA’s current plan, which calls for fall competition to start on Oct. 19, football teams would be able to play seven regular-season games. The Henlopen Northern Division has eight programs, so each team would play only divisional games.

The Southern Division schedule is a little more difficult since there are only five football programs. That means South squads would have to come up with two non-conference games apiece.

The other fall sports are allowed to play up to 12 games.

Decisions will also have to be made on whether conference championship games will be played and whether junior varsity or freshman schedules can be contested. The number of officials and available sunlight late in the fall will impact that decision.

Schools will also have to decide who can attend games as a spectator.

“One minute you’re not going to play until February, the next thing you’re playing September 28,” said Hitchens, referring to the proposed start of pre-season practice. “The guys have been scrambling to get stuff together and figure stuff out.

“We kind of had schedules already. It’s just moving dates around. We’ll just have to see.”

College sports

Wesley can’t play until at least Jan.: The Atlantic East Conference Presidents’ Council announced on Monday that the league’s suspension of sports will continue until at least January.

Wesley College is a member of the AEC. Normally, the Wolverines would begin playing men’s and women’s basketball in November.
The council isn’t slated to meet again until mid-November to try to determine when sports can resume.

DSU’s McCall signs new deal: Ricky McCall has signed a signed a two-year contract extension as Delaware State women’s golf coach, the school announced on Monday.

The Dover High grad has been the Hornets’ coach since 2019.

“Rick has demonstrated the skill and determination to lead our women’s golf team to new heights,” said DSU athletic director
Dr. Scott Gines. “In a short time, he has raised the profile of the program to the point of attracting top student-athletes from the region and across the globe. His local roots and connections are also beneficial in raising community support for the program.”