High school football frenzy reaching a peak

Amidst the chaos and suspenseful NFL season, fans are realizing the sporadic ups and downs many teams are facing as they try to make a viable run toward the perpetual divisional playoffs. No different is the race toward the Delaware high-school post-season as teams hit the gridiron this weekend, closing in on their last regular-season games.

Through brow-raising upsets and disappointing let-downs, high-school teams this year have been keeping fans on the edges of their seats in what promises to be one of the most dramatic post-season races the conferences have seen in years.

Of course, Division I – comprising the Henlopen Conference Northern Division and Blue Hen Flight A – will see its usual powerhouses. Sussex Central’s Golden Knights (8-1) sealed up their bid after toppling Caesar Rodney (8-1) last week and clenching the North for the third straight season. CR still earned their seat this year, with their first loss coming just last week. Blue Hen Flight A heavy-hitters William Penn (7-2) and non-conference St. Mark’s (7-2) will also have a chance to bring home the title in Division I.

In Division II, Howard (8-1) and Concord (7-2) from Blue Hen Flight B and the independent school of Wilmington Friends (9-0) will make a run for the championship, but plenty of Henlopen Southern Division teams are ready to put in their two cents, too.

The Southern Division also receives an automatic bid, and Milford and Laurel, both 7-2, are tied at the top. With a win this Friday against Lake Forest (3-6), Milford would clench the bid, regardless of the Laurel-Seaford (2-7) game’s outcome, as Milford’s win over Laurel earlier this year would settle a tiebreaker.

The Indian River Indians, now sitting on a 7-2 record, too, have their work cut out for them this Friday playing away against Sussex Central – a team that hasn’t given up a home loss in more than three years. An upset by IR would improve their seeding in the state tournament, though losses to both Milford and Laurel put the Indians out of the running for the conference.

Wilmington Friends, Caravel (7-2), Red Lion Christian Academy (7-1) and Delmar (7-2) all find themselves in must-win situations in their final games if they are to avoid being passed by other teams. The defending Division II champions from Hodgson (6-3) will likely miss the cut to this year’s state tourney.

Confused yet? There is still a lot to be settled on the gridiron this weekend, and the state bracket will soon be hashed out, so stay tuned to the Coastal Point for continuing Delaware high-school football coverage.