Hodgson's Darius Hale runs during a 2019 preseason practice

Hodgson's Darius Hale runs during a 2019 preseason practice

It's November, also known as fall championship season.

By the end of this week, we'll know the two finalists in the Delaware High School Volleyball Tournament, and the 4 DIAA Cross Country Champions.

We've got a new No. 1 in one of the cross country divisions, so hopefully it will set up for a great championship.

FOOTBALL

Division 1

1) Hodgson (9-0, Oct. 28: 1)

2) Smyrna (7-2, 3)  

3) Middletown (8-1, 2)

4) Salesianum (5-4, 4) 

5) Dover (5-4, 8)  

6) Sussex Central (7-2, 5) 

7) St. Georges (5-4, 6) 

8) Concord (5-4, X) 

9) Appoquinimink (4-5, 9)  

10) Sussex Tech (4-5, X)

DROPPED OUT: Mount Pleasant (4-5, 10) 

Dover continues to be the team to perplex any sort of logic. At this point, when you’ve swept Sussex Tech and Sussex Central, many things can be forgiven, and they slip back into the top 5… If you move them up, you’ve also got to move Salesianu, whose 3 in-state losses are to the 3 teams ranked above them, including a heart-wrenching 2-point conversion loss to Middletown… Also, Middletown and Smyrna have flipped. Sallies got one touchdown on a short field, but Middletown had 2 14-point leads and nearly lost both of them, the Cavs will have to play better than that defensively to get to Delaware Stadium. Harvest Bowl happened, Middletown won, but that was week 1. Maybe it would happen again, maybe not…

GAME TO WATCH:  No. 7 St. Georges at No. 8 Concord (Saturday, 10:30 a.m.) – If you’d have told many people this would be the most crucial in the playoff race in Week 10, you’d have gotten plenty of raised eyebrows. Winner has a very good chance of getting in, especially if it’s Concord.

Division 2

1) Howard (8-1, 1) 

2) Woodbridge (9-0, 2)

3) Friends (6-2, 3) 

4) Delmar (7-2, 4)

5) Lake Forest (7-2, 5)

6) Caravel (7-2, 6)

7) Tower Hill (8-0, 8)

8) Archmere (7-2, 9) 

9) Saint Mark’s (6-3, X)

10) A. I. duPont (7-2, 10)

DROPPED OUT: Delaware Military Academy (6-3, 7)

DMA falls out after the 44-0 loss to Caravel, replaced by Saint Mark’s, the other team to shut them out this season…. Lake Forest stays at 5 despite their 21-0 loss to Woodbridge, still being buoyed by the Friends victory…. 6-3 Red Lion is the only other team other than the 11 listed above who can get into the tournament, but they’d need a ton of help.

GAME TO WATCH (1): No. 2 Woodbridge at No. 4 Delmar (Friday, 7:30 p.m.) – The Henlopen South Championship Game.  Delmar may need the win to prevent a trip to New Castle County for the first round of the tournament. A 10-0 season for Woodbridge would be especially impressive given the emotions they’ve worked through this season.

GAME TO WATCH (1a): No. 3 Friends at No. 7 Tower Hill (Friday, 7:00) – Is Tower Hill actually good? That’s the question their poor schedule has been unable to answer. They’ve had arguably the worst schedule in Delaware this season, but as we learned last season, that doesn’t mean they’re a bad team. Friends is likely playing just to make the playoffs, despite their ranking here.

VOLLEYBALL (Rankings frozen until tournament ends)

1) Saint Mark’s (14-1, 1)

2) Newark Charter (14-1, 5) 

3) Ursuline (10-5, 2)

4) Padua (12-3, 3) 

5) Archmere (11-4, 6) 

6) Conrad (13-2, 4) 

7) Indian River (13-2, 7)

8)  Red Lion (9-6, X)

9) Wilmington Charter (6-9, 8)

10) Appoquinimink (10-5, 10) 

GAME TO WATCH: DIAA Quarterfinal – No. 5 Archmere vs. No. 4 Padua (Tuesday, 7pm at Saint Mark’s). The DSAC has a team in each of the 4 quarterfinals, but this is the one match-up involving the traditional powers. Padua swept the regular season match-up, but they’ve been dealing with injuries.

FIELD HOCKEY

Division 1

1) Cape Henlopen (14-2, 1)

2) Polytech (10-4-1, 2) 

3) Padua (12-3, 3)   

4) Dover (9-4-2, 4)

5) Smyrna (9-5-1, 5)

DROPPED OUT: None

No upsets in the final week of the regular season, so these will be the 5 ranked teams going into the tournament.

GAME TO WATCH: No. 7 Smyrna vs. No. 2 Padua (Tuesday, 4 p.m. at DMA) – Padua’s loss to Delmar certainly raised some eyebrows. Smyrna lost 2-0 to Cape in last year’s tourney, what did they learn?

Division 2

1) Delmar (16-0, 1)

2) Indian River (15-1, 2)

3) Lake Forest (11-3-1, 3)

4) Caravel (9-6, 4)

5) Sanford (10-3-2, 5)

DROPPED OUT: None

No upsets here either, Tower Hill should remain a big threat in the tournament.

GAME TO WATCH:  No. 7 Newark Charter vs. No. 10 Brandywine – DIAA First Round (Tuesday, 6pm at Caravel) – Brandywine looks to send Willy Miranda out with one more state tournament victory. Lake Forest and Tower Hill in a potential quarterfinal could be excellent, as well.

BOYS SOCCER

Division 1

1) Salesianum (14-1, 1)

2) Appoquinimink (12-2-1, 2)

3) Caesar Rodney (13-2, 3)

4) Wilmington Charter (11-4, 4)

5) Polytech (10-2-3, X) 

DROPPED OUT: Sussex Tech (7-7-1, 5)

Polytech ended their season on a 10-game unbeaten streak, could be a tough out in the state tournament.

GAME TO WATCH: No. 4 Wilmington Charter vs. No. 5 Polytech (Satuday, 7pm at Dover) Poly’s only upstate D1 game this year was a 3-2 win over Delcastle. Does that show the strength to pull a potential upset here?

Division 2

1) Archmere (14-1, 1)

2) Wilmington Friends (13-0-2, 2)

3) Newark (12-3, 3) 

4) Indian River (12-2-1, 4) 

5) Tower Hill (12-2-1, 5) 

DROPPED OUT: None

No changes needed here with the few games played.

GAME TO WATCH: No. 8 Saint Mark’s vs. No. 9 Saint Andrew’s (Tuesday, 8pm at Dover) – Both teams are 9-5-1, 8-9 games are usually the most exciting, like the combination. Tower Hill vs. Newark in the quarterfinals could be excellent if it is set up.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Division 1

1) Wilmington Charter (2)

2) Salesianum (1)

3) Concord (5)

4) Cape Henlopen (3)

5) Caesar Rodney (4)

Division 2

1) Tatnall (1)

2) Wilmington Friends (3)

3) Archmere (4)

4) DMA (2)

5) Saint Andrew’s (X)

DROPPED OUT: Newark (5)

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

Division 1

1) Padua (1)

2) Wilmington Charter (3)

3) Appoquinimink (2)

4) Mount Pleasant (4)

5) Milford (5)

Division 2

1) Ursuline (1)

2) Saint Mark’s (2)

3) Conrad (4)

4) Archmere (5)

5) Newark Charter (3)