Charter School of Wilmington celebrates the 2018 DIAA Volleyball Championship

Charter School of Wilmington celebrates the 2018 DIAA Volleyball Championship

The Charter School of Wilmington has earned the title of Delaware’s top overall athletic program according to WDEL/Delaware SportsZone’s annual ranking system.

The Force, knocked off Caesar Rodney, who earned the title the first two years of Delaware SportsZone, on the back of five top-2 finishes in DIAA events.

Their volleyball program claimed their first state title in school history, while both boys & girls cross country, boys swimming, and girls soccer all earned silver medals in DIAA competition.

That proved enough to edge the Riders, who dropped to second in a year they did not win a state championship, although they scored points in 20 of the 24 DIAA events, the same as the Force.

Tower Hill finished 3rd overall, and comes in as the Top Division 2 school, narrowly edging Archmere.

The Hillers also earned spots in 20 of the 24 DIAA events, winning championships in Golf and Boys Tennis during an especially strong spring for the school.

We openly admit that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If you broke things down just on state championships, Salesianum wins with (4 or 5), with Padua’s 4 being followed by Smyrna’s 3, Cape Henlopen’s (2 or 3), and two each for Tatnall, Dover, and Sanford, Caravel, and Tower Hill.

The single-gender schools: Salesianum, Padua, and Ursuline once again proved to be the best when you split into boys and girls-only rankings, with Salesianum still ranking 7th overall despite not fielding teams in the female DIAA sports. 

How did we come to this determination?

We took the postseason brackets from each DIAA sanctioned sport with at least 10 teams (no ice hockey, cheerleading, or boys volleyball, and we’ve only included the most-popular Unified Sport – Football, although we’re considering adding the others in the future as there becomes more involvement throughout the state), and awarded a set of points based upon how far in the tournament a team progressed. In sports without a tournament, such as swimming or track, the final team standings are awarded certain points.

A state championship is always worth 100 points, with second place being worth 90. If a sport split into Division I and Division II, they were scored separately, meaning both champions received 100, 2nd places 90, etc.

Some thoughts on the calculations.

- School Size Matters, to a point. Based on September 30 counts, Caesar Rodney is the second-largest school in Delaware with 1,927 students, giving them more potential athletes to field on teams, but William Penn is first at 2,186, and they check in at No. 29 on the list. Scoring the D1 and D2 competitions independently gives the best smaller schools a leg up in many sports.

- The traditional public school above the canal continues to struggle. A.I. duPont’s boys track title was the only championship won by those schools for a second straight year. Former traditional powers Concord (25th) and Newark (44th) are well down on the list.

- While Flight A/B are struggling, the same can’t be said for the Henlopen Conference. Caesar Rodney (2nd), Cape Henlopen (5th), Smyrna (10th), Dover (12th), and Indian River (14th) all are in the Top 15, while the Blue Hen Conference only could put Appoquinimink (11th) and Mount Pleasant (17th) in the Top 20.

- Think football the best indicator of overall success? Try Volleyball. Maybe it’s football specialization, but just 7 of the top 19 programs made the Football Tournaments, while 17 of the 19 top programs found their way into the Volleyball Tournament, and one of the two who didn’t is Salesianum, as the all-boys school doesn’t compete in Girls Volleyball (although they were 2nd to Indian River in the still-club Boys Volleyball version, and Indian River is a top 10 program if it was included). And no, just because they get the most attention, we’re not going to give football and basketball more points than the other sports.

- Why did Wilmington Charter edge CR? Girls Sports. They’re the first team to break the 1-2 lock that Padua and Ursuline had the first two years in female athletics.

Co-Ed Top 10

1) Wilmington Charter – 1277 (Last Year: 9)

2) Caesar Rodney – 1224 (1)

3) Tower Hill – 1196.5 (T-5)

4) Archmere – 1185 (3)

5) Cape Henlopen – 1069.5** (T-5)

6) Caravel – 1064.5 (7)

7) Salesianum – 1014** (10)

8) Newark Charter – 964.5 (15)

9) Tatnall – 920.5 (14)

10) Smyrna – 887.5 (4)

Boys Top 10

1) Salesianum – 1014** (1)

2) Caesar Rodney – 777.5 (2)

3) Archmere – 595 (7)

4) Tower Hill – 576.5 (X)

5) Caravel – 539.5 (X)

6) Dover – 536 (5)

7) Wilmington Charter – 504.5 (X)

8) Tatnall – 497 (X)

9) Appoquinimink – 481 (4)

10) Cape Henlopen – 463 (6)

Girls Top 10

1) Padua – 808 (1)

2) Wilmington Charter – 772.5 (8)

3) Ursuline – 664 (2)

4) Tower Hill – 620 (4)

5) Cape Henlopen -606.5 (10)

6) Newark Charter – 595.5 (X)

7) Archmere – 590 (3)

8) Caravel – 525 (6)

9) Smyrna – 505 (X)

10) Caesar Rodney – 446.5 (5)

* - While they are co-ed sports, for the sake of simplicity Golf and Unified Flag Football were placed in the Boys Sports category. Tower Hill and Archmere would have seen boosts if there were an easier way to statistically proportion their golf teams that included female medalists.

**- These points are subject to change after the Boys Lacrosse championship game. Cape Henlopen and Salesianum were both given 95 points, the split of 1st and 2nd place in the tournament, so the winner will gain 5 points, and the loser will drop 5. All other tournament teams have received their points already. The only major effect is Caravel will jump into a tie for 5th if Salesianum defeats Cape.

WDEL/Delaware SportsZone Sports Director. National Sports Media Association's Delaware Sportscaster of the Year (2013).