Local roundup: Blue Hens are ranked 15th in poll

Behind 16 returning starters from a year ago, Delaware has been ranked No. 15 in the HERO Sports Preseason FCS Top 25 poll.

With seven starters returning on offense and nine on the defensive side of the ball, Delaware will look to return to the FCS postseason and challenge for a conference title in the Colonial Athletic Association in the fourth season under head coach Danny Rocco.

The ranking marks the third straight season that the Blue Hens have found themselves in the Top-25 poll.

Redshirt junior QB Nolan Henderson (Smyrna) will handle the reigns of the offensive, along with a powerful 1-2 backfield combo of Freshman All-American Will Knight (Smyrna) and redshirt senior DeJoun Lee. Five of the six pass catchers will also be returning as the Hens continue to evolve in the second year of offensive coordinator Jared Ambrose’s system.

Defensively, All-CAA honoree Kedrick Whitehead (Middletown) leads a young, talented and more experienced defense from a year ago, alongside the return of LB Colby Reeder, who missed all of last year due to injury. Manny Rojas returns after a year at Lafayette as the program’s new defensive coordinator.

High school athletics

Six named DIAA honorees: Three downstaters were among the six winners of the DIAA/Harry Roberts-Senior Scholar Athlete awards that were announced on Wednesday.

The award is named in recognition and memory of Dr. Harry Roberts, former superintendent of the Caesar Rodney School District who served DIAA on several committees, most notably as chair of the DIAA Sportsmanship Committee for many years.

The female winners were: First-Katelyn Craft, Tower Hill ($2,000); second-Mara Abigail Agapito, Delmarva Christian ($1,500) and Kaylee Hall, Indian River ($1,000).

The male winners were: First-Sean Beberman, Tower Hill ($2,000); second-Andrew Workman, Delmarva Christian ($1,500); and Weston Marshall, Delaware Valley Classical School ($1,000).

The awards are presented annually by the DIAA based on a student’s academic, athletic and leadership accomplishments. This is the first time first place was awarded to a female and male student-athlete from the same school and the second time second place was awarded to a female and male student-athlete from the same school.

DIAA has named Harry Roberts Senior Scholar-Athlete winners since 1999 to 119 scholarship recipients from 35 different member schools.

College track & field

UD’s Meyer named All-American: Michaela Meyer officially became the first Indoor All-American in University of Delaware track & field history on Wednesday.

The USTFCCCA recognized all the indoor participants at the 2020 National Championships that had their competition canceled in March.

Meyer wrapped up her Delaware career with a big performance at the Boston Last Chance Invitational in February. She finished in a time of 2:03.40, which is six seconds faster than any other runner in program history and was the fourth fastest time in the entire country this indoor season.

Meyer graduates as a record holder in eight different events (indoor – 500m, 800m, 4×800 and DMR; outdoor – 800m, 4×800, 4×1500 and SMR).