Sports practices for fall sports at the high school level begin Monday, Aug. 12. Focusing on Cape Henlopen, those sports are field hockey, soccer, volleyball, cross country and football.
Cape is a place where a field hockey conversation can break out along the fence at a Friday night football game. This is the 40-year anniversary of Cape winning a state title in football under the direction of coach Jim Alderman with assistants Rob Schroeder, Bill Collick, Lou Norbeck and Bob Cassady. A recognition celebration is scheduled for halftime of the Dover game Friday, Sept. 27.
Cutting to the quick or quickly cutting away the chaff, by the end of September, all fall teams will know the 411.
Cape hockey, under the direction of Kate Austin, is coming off a 17-1 season and a Division I state championship. Since 2011, Cape hockey has won seven state championships, along with titles in 1995 and 1979.
But this fall, the Vikings face perhaps their toughest September in history, with games against Notre Dame and South River from Maryland, plus Tower Hill, Padua, Delmar and Good Counsel.
The Vikings lost eight players to graduation – all next-level players – including Division I Player of the Year Alia Marshall, now at Northwestern.
The Henlopen Conference will be divided into North and South Divisions this season, ending in a conference championship game. There is a good chance Cape could play Delmar twice, but do not overlook Sussex Tech, Cape’s biggest threat in the North.
Soccer, under the direction of Patrick Kilby, will play seven games in September, including rivals Caesar Rodney, Indian River and Sussex Tech. The Vikings booters graduated four stellar seniors, and by October, Cape will know if the team is in contention for the Henlopen Conference and postseason.
Volleyball, with Tyler Coupe at the controls, is also set for seven games in September, including Delmarva Christian, Indian River, Caesar Rodney, Smyrna and Sussex Tech. Cape finished 10-7 last season and qualified for the state tournament. The Vikings graduated just three seniors.
Cape cross country, under the direction of Matt Lindell, has made a resurgence in numbers the last few seasons, and that has resulted in dual-meet wins and all-conference runners. The Vikings will run in four September invitationals along with head-to-head competitions against Caesar Rodney and Sussex Central.
The Cape boys were 11-1 last season and graduated nine runners, while the girls also finished 11-1 and graduated two runners.
Cape football with head coach JD Maull is coming off a 1-9 season and graduated 14, with only six rostered players returning from the junior class.
Cape will play four games in September, including St. Georges, William Penn, Milford and Dover.
Cape’s first three opponents combined for a record of 14-16 in 2019, while Dover, the fourth opponent, reached the first round of the playoffs with a 9-1 record before losing to eventual state champion Sussex Central 21-20.
Nothing in sports is certain until the clock runs out, but by the end of September, teams will know if they need new batteries.
Cape practice schedules by sports are posted on capevikingssports.com.