Delcastle is the high school your Garmin can’t find. It is the place you went to once a long time ago to watch a football game in the daytime. Northern Delaware blue-collar neighborhood residents from places like Newport and Elsmere still give directions that involve landmarks like Acme, Mexican Ice Cream Store and Shop Rite. Downstate Cape fans know that any time Kirkwood Highway or Route 141 is close by, they are getting lost.
Cape football found its way to Delcastle Aug. 21 for a three-team scrimmage versus the Cougars of Delcastle and the Wildcats of Howard. The grass was cow pasture thick, all breezes had dropped out, the sun was beating down and it was unrelentingly hot.
Cape is coming off an 8-2 season in 2012 and a state tournament appearance where they lost to Saint Mark's 21-7. “Our goal has always been to get better, so an improvement on last year would really be something," coach Bill Collick said. “We lost some great kids, but there is enough talent on this team to make the postseason again.”
Delcastle, coached by Cordie Greenlea, is coming off consecutive 1-9 seasons including a 72-18 loss to Middletown last year, a game in which the score was 58-6 at halftime.
Howard, coached by Dan Ritter, is coming off consecutive state tournament appearances and tallying a 17-3 record over the last two seasons.
The format of the scrimmage was 10 and 10, going from offense to defense. Frontline two-way players can get as many as 40 plays. Coaches are looking for hitters and players who can execute under real-time action. No scores are kept, but everyone knows what time it is.
Cape's Tavon Scott, a transfer from Lake Forest, started at quarterback but alternated with Todd Keene on the first series. Both players looked good completing passes on waggles. Cape has tall targets in Andrew Grau and Jason Wiberg and fast guys on the outside in D.D. Gooch and Maurice Mills.
The Vikings have a stable of good running backs including Juan Saez, Bill Gibbs, Andre Flowers, Zach Stevenson, Mike Williams, Justin Lopez and others.
Coach Herky Billings congratulated the offensive line after a second 10-play series of moving the football. ‘You guys are doing some great things out there opening up holes and protecting the quarterback. Now we just have to get the backs to run where the play is designed.”
Cape jumps into the heavyweight ring this Saturday, Aug. 24, when they travel to Middletown for an 11 a.m. scrimmage against the defending state champion Cavaliers coached by Mark DePercio. Middletown went wire-to-wire 12-0 in 2012, winning the state title by shutting out Salesianum 27-0.
Cape will host a game situation scrimmage at 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29 versus Delmar and J.M Bennett.
The season opens for real Friday, Sept. 6, when the Vikings travel to play Milford.