High school sports notebook: Delmar’s field hockey streak to be put to the test

Delmar High’s field hockey players check out their Division II state championship trophy last fall. (Delaware State News file photo)

Like most coaches, Jodi Hollamon is a self-described control freak.

And, also like most coaches, she’s had to throw that personality trait out the window lately.

The Delmar High field hockey coach said there’s just too much unpredictability with sports in the midst of a pandemic.

Hollamon knows that a COVID-19 outbreak here or there could change everything as Delaware high school teams get ready to start their seasons later this month.

“I’d say the only mentality is ‘Play every game like it might be your last one,’” she said. “I just feel like everything is up in the air. You just have to go out there and hope that you can continue on each day.”

With that in mind, Holloman said it’s difficult to put too much importance on the Wildcats’ current 62-game winning streak — not that she normally does anyway. Delmar has also won four straight state titles.

And the Wildcats’ last loss to a team not named Cape Henlopen was to Polytech in the 2014 state tournament.

The fact that players in any program might come and go because of positive virus tests just makes the situation too unpredictable, Holloman said about the streak. Even holding a DIAA state tournament doesn’t seem like a guarantee to her with a regular season still to be played first.

Coach Jodi Holloman has led the Wildcats to four straight state titles in field hockey. (Delaware State News file photo)

Holloman said she and her daughter were just talking about winning streaks when North Carolina had its 47-game winning streak snapped on Friday.

“I’m like, ‘You know, teams are not supposed to win that many games,’” said Holloman. “So it’s a bonus that we do that. I don’t ever talk about it with the kids. I can guarantee you, with the young kids we have on our team, a lot of them probably don’t even know.

“I think the other teams probably realize it more than we do, to be honest. They want to be the team that beats us. I think we should just take that as a compliment and run with it.”

The Wildcats, who lost only three seniors from last year’s starting lineup, open their 12-game schedule at Smyrna on Oct. 20. With Delaware schools not traveling out of state, Delmar’s only contest against a non-Henlopen Conference team is against Caravel on Nov. 23.

It’s been great having the players back out said Holloman, whose school is still in virtual-learning mode. She said the players have been adjusting to following safety protocols, like wearing a mask while they play.

But the coach also knows that the players will be missing out on some little things in a season like this.

“I think the hardest thing is you’re taking away some of the team things that we usually do,” said Holloman. “We’re not going to be decorating locker rooms and having team dinners. For the kids to be on the field, I think that’s a sacrifice they’re willing to make but it’s definitely an adjustment.”

As for not being able to control what happens next — from big things to little ones — Holloman said she’ll just have to learn to adjust, too.

“I’ve had to decide that this is out of my control,” she said. “You have to take one game at a time — and one practice at a time — and adjust to everyday situations. It’s ‘Stay home, stay healthy and get back here when you can.’”

Notes

Henlopen Conference schools haven’t announced their policies towards allowing fans for games this fall. But it is believed some of them will permit only very limited amounts while other schools won’t allow any. … Middletown High standout quarterback Jaden Davis, who is playing this fall at Lake Minneola, Fla., completed 12-of-18 passes for 170 yards with three touchdowns in a season-opening win. But he was only 6-of-20 passing for 64 yards with two interceptions in three quarters in a second-week loss. … Sussex Tech is the only one of the 14 Henlopen Conference football teams that has only six games listed on its schedule. The Ravens’ one open date is on the final Friday of the regular season, Dec. 4. … Caravel is also facing Cape Henlopen and Polytech in field hockey. … Delaware is one of 24 states that have delayed or modified high school fall sports. Twelve states have delayed them until 2021 while only 14 states are playing sports as scheduled.