High school notebook: Riders to play on the road in September, send five to Wesley football

CAMDEN — Bob Beron knows, when it’s all said and done, the juggling of schedules will be worth it.

But, in the meantime, the Caesar Rodney High athletic director says the Riders will have to be a little flexible over the summer and early fall.

CR is slated to begin installing two new artificial athletic surfaces this June after its graduation.

The new fields are part of a bigger construction project involving other additions to the school.

In case the fields aren’t ready for the start of next school year, CR has scheduled its home games in football, field hockey and boys’ soccer for the month of September to be played at other venues.

As things stand now, the Riders’ first two home football games will be played at Wesley College’s Miller Stadium while the boys’ soccer and field hockey contests will be held at the DE Turf Complex in Frederica.

“I’ve actually talked to every coach — especially our fall coaches — and they have all basically teamed up,” Beron said about the school’s staff. “They are willing to work together with limited practice space because, in the long run, it’s going to be worth it to have these significant upgrades to our facilities.”.

The Riders will also use the turf field at the Kent County Sports & Recreation Complex in Camden for junior varsity and freshman football games in September.

CR will be the sixth Henlopen Conference school to have artificial playing surfaces.

“Our teams are definitely ready to get turf, being that they play a lot of teams that are currently on turf,” said Beron. “And obviously, with having limited practice space, that would make it a little easier with practice time.

“We could get more teams on the same field versus, when we have grass, we can only get one team on there because they’re tearing it up so much.”

Of course, artificial turf will also allow the Riders to play contests in wet weather. Beron said CR’s current grass stadium field doesn’t drain very well.

According to the current schedule, CR’s first football game on the new turf field will be on Oct. 12 against Cape Henlopen. It’s slated to be the Riders’ homecoming.

Smyrna close to 10th game

Smyrna football coach Mike Judy said the Eagles are close to signing a team out of the Washington, D.C. area to fill out their 10-game schedule.

Three-time defending Division I state champion Smyrna was left without a game on Sept. 21 when Irvington, N.J. had a schedule change due to a conference realignment.

The Eagles’ other nonconference contests are against Middletown (Sept. 7), Franklin, Md. (Sept. 14) and Salesianum (Nov. 2).

Middletown, which Smyrna beat in the last two state championship games, is playing a nonconference game in Florida this year against IMG Academy.

College destinations?

• Smyrna High’s Caleb Matthews, the state Player of the Year in boys’ basketball, reports that he has received his first two NCAA Division I scholarship offers — from Binghampton and NJIT.

The senior guard previously had four Division II offers, including one from Wilmington University where his sister, Emma, will be a senior on the Wildcats’ women’s team this winter. The Matthews’ father, Jason, played for Wilmington.

Former University of Delaware assistant coach Jeff Rafferty is an assistant at NJIT.

• A total of five Caesar Rodney football players plan to continue their careers at Wesley: Brenden Holder, Josh Windsor, Jared Wagenhoffer, James Holmes and Bailey DeAtley.

• A number of other CR student-athletes have either signed with or announced their college choices. That list includes Demetrius Stevenson (men’s lacrosse, Rutgers); Natasha Sijan (women’s tennis, Tennessee-Martin); Patrisha Davis (women’s track and field, Millersville); Isobel Moyer (women’s golf, Jefferson); Kayley Peugh (softball, Immaculata); Carissa Thorne (softball, Delaware State); Tommy Pomatto (baseball, Delaware); Nolan Brockmeyer (men’s lacrosse, Catholic); Noah Longest (men’s lacrosse, McDaniel); Josh Cosden (men’s lacrosse, Widener); Sara Cessna signing (volleyball, Pittsburgh-Johnstown); Karly Timmons (women’s lacrosse, Chowan); Jazmin Hall (women’s lacrosse, Salisbury) and Steven Ferrandino (men’s soccer, U.S. Coast Guard); and Kimmy Glasser (women’s soccer, Long Island).

• Smyrna offensive lineman Saleem Wormely has added a scholarship offer from Oregon to his collection. The junior now has about 18 offers,

• Milford cross country runner Emily Holstein signed with St. Bonaventure on Wednesday.

Notes

• Will Knight, Smyrna’s star running back, is not expected to play in the Blue-Gold All-Star Football game in June after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.

Coach Mike Judy, though, said the state Offensive Player of the Year is taking part in other Blue-Gold activities.

• Smyrna’s 400-meter relay team of Lauren Summers, Saani Edwards, Shaneese LaMons and Aniyah Black set a school record (48.15 seconds) while winning its heat at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia on Thursday.

• Indian River’s Fabrea McCray (Sussex County) and Lake Forest’s Riana Miller (Kent County) were named the top female athletes in their counties by the Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame.

• While the Cape Henlopen girls’ lacrosse team had its 18-game winning streak snapped with an 8-6 loss to South River, Md., on Tuesday, the nine-time defending DIAA state champion Vikings still own a 115-game winning streak against Delaware programs. Cape’s last in-state loss came on May 22, 2009 to St. Andrews (13-12).

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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