Local roundup: Blue Hens 13th in Athlon Sports Preseason Top 25

Mason Keene of Canal Post steals second as Smyrna Post’s Drew Zlock tries to make a tag in the second inning of American Legion baseball Tuesday night. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

On the field, Delaware is still trying to work its way back among the top NCAA Division I FCS football contenders.

But the Blue Hens have already earned some respect in the national polls.

Smyrna Post pitcher Hunter Barr fields a slow grounder and makes an easy throw to first against Canal Post (Middletown) Tuesday.

Delaware was picked No. 13 in the country in the Athlon Sports Preseason Top 25 Poll that was recently released.

The Hens are one of six Colonial Athletic Association teams in the ranking — including five in the top 13. The CAA has the most programs in the poll of any FCS conference.

Also, defending national champion North Dakota, which hosts Delaware on Sept. 22, is ranked No. 1. The Hens, who are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010, open the season on Aug. 30 by hosting Rhode Island at 7 p.m.

College baseball

Three DelTech players honored: Three Delaware Tech baseball players were named to the National Junior College Athletic Association All-Region XIX team.

Sophomore Kyle Lux was named first-team All-Region, while sophomores Nicco German and Tyler Cunningham were named second –team All-Region.

Lux (Sussex Tech), from Lewes, batted .384 with 58 hits, 39 RBI, and four home runs. German batted .337 with 30 hits and 23 RBI, and Cunningham batted .318 with 41 hits and 31 RBI.

Baseball

Cape’s Gelof wins Gatorade award: Cape Henlopen High senior Zack Gelof was named the state Gatorade Player of the Year in baseball.
He’s the third Cape player to win the award.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior shortstop and right-handed pitcher batted .448 with six home runs, 16 RBI, 29 runs and 24 stolen bases in as many attempts through the 18-game regular season. Drawing 12 walks, he compiled a .562 on-base percentage along with an .879 slugging percentage.

On the mound, he posted a 4-0 record with a 0.59 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23.2 innings pitched entering the postseason.

The Cape Henlopen class president for each of the last four years, Gelof has donated his time as a summer youth baseball camp counselor. As a National Honor Society and Cape Henlopen Leo Club member, he has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple community service endeavors.

“Zack’s the best player in the state, no doubt,” said Appoquinimik coach Billy Cunningham. “For them, defensively he runs the show at shortstop, offensively he can hit for power or bunt for a base hit. An absolutely complete player.”

Gelof has maintained a weighted 4.02 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play at the University of Virginia this fall.

Softball

Gatorade honors Caravel’s Marcon: Caravel Academy’s Nicole Marcon has been named the state Gatorade Player of the Year in softball.
She is the fourth Caravel player to earn the award.

The 5-foot-6 junior catcher/first baseman led the Buccaneers (16-4) to the state semifinals. She produced a .520 batting average with eight home runs, 25 RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.140.

A four-year varsity starter, she is a first-team All-State honoree.

Marcon has volunteered locally on behalf of the Horsey Family Youth Foundation, the Special Olympics and youth softball clinics. She has maintained a 3.96 GPA in the classroom.

Special Olympics

Summer Games on tap: The 48th annual Special Olympics Delaware Summer Games is being held at this weekend (June 8-9) at the University of Delaware athletic complex.

More than 600 athletes from across the state will compete in bocce, powerlifting, softball, swimming, tennis, and track & field. A gala Opening Ceremony takes place Friday at 12:30 at the Bob Carpenter Center. All events are free and open the public. For more information visit www.SODE.org.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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