Saint Elizabeth celebrates an interception against Christiana

Saint Elizabeth celebrates an interception against Christiana

It's often thought you need 2 weeks of data before you can make good assessments on what you see early in a sports season.

We don't always get that kind of time early in a season when rankings come out every 7 days, so we're left to guess on our own.

There's no new No. 1s this week, but Polytech and Tower Hill field hockey each moved up to No. 2, and a pair of teams entered the rankings for the first time.

FOOTBALL

Division 1

1) Hodgson (1-0, Last Week: 1)

2) Salesianum (1-0, 2)

3) Dover (0-1, 3)

4) Middletown (1-0, 4)

5) Smyrna (0-1, 5)

6) Sussex Central (1-0, 7)

7) Sussex Tech (0-1, 6)

8) Appoquinimink (1-0, 9)

9) St. Georges (1-0, 10)

10) William Penn (0-1, 8)

DROPPED OUT: None

No shortage of topics to talk about in the marquee games… Hodgson and Dover played a penalty-fest, but Hodgson able to keep the Senators in check for the 41-14 win, their second straight opening win over a Henlopen North contender... Middletown won the Harvest Bowl, but might have lost their QB, while Smyrna’s defense looked up for the task, if the offense can catch up… Flipped the two Central Sussex County teams after they split games against Maryland opponents… William Penn slipped two slots after the 42-0 loss to Salesianum, but did that tell us more about the Sals or the Colonials?

GAME TO WATCH: No. 3 Dover vs. No. 2 Salesianum (at Brandywine, Saturday 7pm) – Dover’s brutal opening stretch continues with the other of the top 2 ranked teams. Salesianum’s defense clamped down on William Penn, but Peace figures to be an upgrade in competition… Can the Senators slow down the Sals offense, that put up 6 touchdowns despite the QB switch from Puzzangara to Mooney.

Division 2

1) Woodbridge (1-0, 1)

2) Friends (1-0, 2)

3) Tower Hill (1-0, 3)

4) Howard (1-0, 4)

5) Caravel (0-1, 5)

6) Delmar (1-0, 6)

7) Archmere (1-0, 7)

8) Saint Elizabeth (1-0, 8)

9) Saint Mark’s (1-0, 9)

10) Delaware Military Academy (1-0, 10)

DROPPED OUT: None

Not much to change here, as there were 9 victories, and Caravel’s loss to what looks like a very strong Woodbridge team… They’re unranked for now, but it looks like Lake Forest should be fighting for a spot on this list sooner, rather than later, after a 41-0 over Polytech… Mount Pleasant also had a good showing in their 20-10 loss to Archmere.

GAME TO WATCH: No. 9 St. Mark’s vs. No. 8 St. Elizabeth (Saturday, 7:30 at Caravel) – It might get a little less attention than Dover/Salesianum, but the other Saturday Night special also figures to be a competitive game with playoff implications. Both teams looked strong, although St. Elizabeth took a little while to get going against Christiana.

VOLLEYBALL

1) Padua (0-0, 1)

2) Archmere (1-0, 2)

3) Saint Mark’s (1-0, 3)

4) Ursuline (2-0, 4)

5) Conrad (0-0, 5)

6) Wilmington Charter (2-0, 8)

7) Newark Charter (1-0, 7)

8) DMA (1-0, 9)

9) Friends (0-1, X)

10) Tower Hill (0-1, 6)

DROPPED OUT: Red Lion (1-0, 10)

Wilmington Charter affected the rankings with both of their games: The sweep of Tower Hill and 5-setted against Friends moved the Quakers into the rankings, where Tower Hill was placed below them… Red Lion did nothing wrong, but slides out for lack of space at the moment.

GAME TO WATCH: No. 5 Conrad at Red Lion (Thursday, 6pm) – An early important game in the chase to likely finish 2nd in the DSAC chase behind Archmere, Conrad has the feel of a sleeper state championship contender, but the Lions are expected to be strong, this will tell us plenty about both.

FIELD HOCKEY

Division 1

1) Cape Henlopen (1-0, 1)

2) Polytech (1-0, 3)

3) Padua (0-1, 2)

4) Wilmington Charter (0-0, 4)

5) Concord (1-0, 5)

Polytech’s 2-1 victory over Padua set the Panthers up with the best in-state victory to start the year, although Cape’s 5-0 win over South River was an absolute statement as to the favorite to win the title.

GAME TO WATCH:  No. 4 Wilmington Charter at (D2) No. 2 Tower Hill – We’re light on D1 match-ups this week, so Wilmington Charter’s trip onto the flat turf of Tower Hill will give them a sense of the pace of Rullo, a place they’re hoping to reach in the D1 state tournament.

Division 2

1) Delmar (1-0, 1)

2) Tower Hill (0-0, 3)

3) Lake Forest (2-0, 4)

4) Caravel (1-1, 2)

5) Indian River (1-0, 5)

Lake Forest’s dramatic overtime win over Caravel moved the Spartans up a spot, as it could be another excellent race in the Henlopen South (behind Delmar).

GAME TO WATCH: No. 2 Tower Hill at (D1) No. 1 Cape Henlopen – Much like Tower Hill is mentioned in the D1 section, the Hillers have another defining game for their season, as they travel to Cape Henlopen on Friday night. Tower Hill’s victory three years ago ended Cape’s state championship run, opening the door for Delmar to claim the crown.

BOYS SOCCER

Division 1

1) Salesianum (3-0, 1)

2) Appoquinimink (0-0-1, 2)

3) Caesar Rodney (2-0, 3)

4) Cape Henlopen (0-0, 4)

5) Wilmington Charter (0-1, 5)

Not much changing here, as Appoquinimink lost to a D.C. squad, and Caesar Rodney defeated Wilmington Charter.

GAME TO WATCH: St. Georges at Appoquinimink (Thursday, 4pm) – Battle of two of the better programs in lower New Castle County, the Hawks are off to a 2-0 start, but fell to Appo 4-1 last year in a season where they just missed the postseason.

Division 2

1) Wilmington Friends (1-0, 1)

2) Archmere (1-0, 2)

3) Indian River (1-0, 3)

4) Brandywine (2-0, 5)

5) Caravel (0-1, 4)

Caravel drops a slot after their 3-0 loss to Polytech, although shots were 8-8. Glasgow’s 2-0 start is worth noting, and Saint Mark’s might be right there as well if Caravel is in fact on the decline.

GAME TO WATCH: Conrad at Newark Charter (Friday, 3:45) – A very late start to the season for Conrad, who will play their opener 9 days after the first competition day. Last year they knocked NC out of the rankings with a 4-1 win as part of a 6-1 start, these are two more teams that could be right there in the competition for the lower part of the rankings.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Division 1

1) Salesianum (1)

2) Wilmington Charter (2)

3) Cape Henlopen (X)

4) Caesar Rodney (3)

5) Concord (4)

DROPPED OUT: Polytech (5)

Division 2

1) Tatnall (1)

2) Archmere (2)

3) Wilmington Friends (3)

4) DMA (4)

5) Newark Charter (5)

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

Division 1

1) Padua (1)

2) Wilmington Charter (2)

3) Appoquinimink (3)

4) Caesar Rodney (4)

5) Concord (5)

Division 2

1) Ursuline (1)

2) Saint Mark’s (2)

3) Mount Pleasant (3)

4) Tatnall (4)

5) Newark Charter (5)

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