Roundup: Defending NCAA champion Hens No. 3 in D-I field hockey poll

The defending national champion University of Delaware field hockey team received its highest-ever ranking at No. 3 in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I preseason poll.

The Blue Hens collected seven first-place votes and a total of 1,003 points. Delaware, which finished last season as No. 8 in the NFHCA poll, has never been ranked higher than No. 6, a ranking that came during the 1998 campaign.

North Carolina earned the No. 1 spot in the preseason poll by recording 1,137 points and 14 first-place votes, while Duke was right behind at 1,081 points and 15 first place votes.

The Tar Heels fell to the Hens in the national championship game last season, 3-2, while Duke, then ranked No. 1, dropped a 3-2 overtime contest to Delaware in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Blue Hens kick off the 2017 campaign this weekend by traveling to Louisville for contests against Indiana (Saturday, 1 p.m.) and the Cardinals (Sunday, noon). Delaware defeated Louisville last season, 1-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Duke University.

College baseball

Central grad Hollamon hired at UMES: Sussex Central High grad Brian Hollamon was named the head baseball coach at Maryland-Eastern Shore on Monday.

Hollamon is a former UMES assistant as well as the long-time head coach at Parkside High. He was a graduate assistant with the Hawks from 1996-99.

“I am very excited for the opportunity,” Hollamon said in a press release. “When I coached here, I enjoyed my time and I’m looking forward to getting back to what we were building. From the moment I had to tell the players in 1999 that I wouldn’t be returning, I have had a desire to one day come back.”

Over the last 14 seasons at Parkside, Hollamon has built a perennial power in the Bayside Conference, while consistently producing players who go on to play baseball at all levels including Division I. Hollamon led the Rams to 14 straight winning seasons from 2003-2017.

Parkside won three Bayside South titles, one Bayside crown, two Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association 2A East Region Sectional championships, four Maryland 2A East Regional championships, and made two MPSSAA 2A state final appearances (2009, 2014).

After graduating from Sussex Central, Hollamon played four years of baseball at Salisbury where he was team captain from 1992-1995. He was named team MVP and earned All-Conference honors at shortstop.

The Hawks went 12-40 last season under coach Charlie Goens.

College soccer

Wesley names assistant: Wesley College head men’s soccer coach Steve Clark recently announced the addition of former Wolverine Sheldon Blue to the coaching staff for the 2017 season.

Blue comes from Cumberland County College in Vineland, N.J. where he served as the head men’s soccer coach for the 2016 season. Prior to his tenure at Cumberland, Blue was an assistant boys’ varsity coach at Buena Regional High School in Buena, N.J. during the 2015 season.

Blue has also worked as a coach and a trainer at the Three Lions Youth Soccer Academy since 2015.

A team captain his senior year at Wesley, Blue was named to the All-Capital Athletic Conference second-team in 2013. Blue was also a Dean’s List student at Wesley and earned All-CAC Academic Honor Roll accolades three times during his undergraduate years.

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