Local college notebook: Except for football, Wesley calls off fall sports season

Wesley College won’t be competing in field hockey this fall after the Atlantic East Conference canceled the season. Delaware State News file photos

DOVER — Wesley College was hoping it could hang on to its fall sports schedule.

But now the Wolverines have had to join the club after the Atlantic East Conference announced on Thursday that it is shutting down fall sports because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The one Wesley fall sport left standing at the moment is football, which plays in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

Even there, however, the Wolverines are down to only a six-game slate right now.

Tracey Short, Wesley’s athletic director and field hockey coach, said the cost and work needed to follow the virus protocols were just too much for schools in the NCAA Division III league.

The AEC does hope to play fall sports in the spring. Fall sports teams will also be permitted to practice over the next several months.

“With the new (health) recommendations, it was just going to make it very difficult for people to do what they needed to in order to comply,” said Short.

Women’s soccer is one of six Wesley fall sports teams that won’t have a normal season.

“We’re looking forward to having everyone on campus and being able to keep everyone safe so we can practice, get better and be ready for spring competition,” Short added.

Wesley’s fall sports teams include field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country.

As for football, season-opening opponent Franklin Pierce has now canceled its season. As things currently stand, the Wolverines wouldn’t open their season until Oct. 3 at Rowan — although there is the chance of adding more opponents.

The NCAA has ruled that Division III programs that play less than half their maximum number of games won’t have the season count against a player’s eligibility. The NJAC hasn’t made any public announcements about football’s status.

Wesley’s football program is the last college sports program in Delaware still scheduled to play games this fall.

“We’re working on figuring all that out in the next week,” Short said about football’s status.

Knight talks football

Former Smyrna High standout running back Will Knight has written a piece on Bluehens.com where he talks about what it’s like to not have football this fall.

Knight is a sophomore at Delaware, which has postponed its football season for the fall. The Blue Hens are hoping to play this spring.

Knight talks about how the coronavirus pandemic has turned everyone’s world upside down.

“And now, it was flipped upside down again and we faced the reality that the one thing that we all had been doing every fall since we were old enough to hold a football was gone,” he wrote.

The plan, though, is to face this like any other adversity, said Knight. He expects the Hens to be ready when the time comes.

“Each and every one of us have faced adversity in their lives,” Knight wrote. “We’ve been doubted. We’ve been knocked down. We’ve had to overcome obstacles. For us, that’s what this is, it’s another obstacle that we’ll overcome and we’ll do it together as one brotherhood.”


Ryan O’Connor, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound quarterback from Easton, Md. High, is the third verbal commitment to Delaware’s 2021 football recruiting class. O’Connor is a two-time all-Bayside Conference pick for Easton, which lost at Delmar, 35-21, last fall.

• Delaware State All-America bowler Alexis Neuer has been was announced as DSU’s nominee for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The senior was the first Hornet named to the National Tenpin Coaches Association All-America first team after being named the MEAC Bowler of the Year for the second time.

• A new adult baseball league in New Castle County has been named after former DSU baseball player Mike Ingram. In 2010, Ingram was killed in a car accident.

The five-team league, which began play last weekend, is for players 25-and-over and is affiliated with the National Adult Baseball Association. DRyan Hunter, a childhood friend of Ingram’s, named the league after him with proceeds expected to go to the MI2 Forever Foundation.

• Former Delaware All-America lacrosse goalie Matt DeLuca is getting ready to start his career in the Premier Lacrosse League Championship Series. He is a member of the first-year Waterdogs Lacrosse Club in Herriman, Utah.

“We’re definitely a team that’s being slept on right now, so that gives us a nice chip on our shoulder,” said the 6-foot-6 DeLuca. “We have a great group of guys already building connections, so I’m excited to see what we can produce on the field.”

• The Delaware State women’s bowling team was ranked second among 57 programs to achieve National Tenpin Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors. The Hornets posted their highest finish in program history with a GPA of 3.77 (on 4.0 scale).

• The Delaware women’s golf team tied for 22nd place in the Women’s Golf Coaches Association GPA rankings announced this week. The Blue Hens posted a 3.811 team GPA.

• Recent Delaware grad Jack Melville was named a Second Wave Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar this week, while the Delaware men’s golf squad was tabbed an All-Academic Team by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Melville, who posted a cumulative 3.574 GPA, currently ranks fifth in program history with a 74.29 stroke average.

• Delaware women’s basketball head coach Natasha Adair announced the promotion of Sarah Jenkins to associate head coach. Jenkins, who is entering her fourth season with the Hens, was named earlier this year as a Top 50 Division I Women’s Basketball Assistant by Silver Waves Media.

• Delaware athletics director Chrissi Rawak has been named to the NACDA Executive Committee. The NACDA, now in its 56th year, is the professional and educational Association for more than 15,700 college athletics administrators.