Best Player: Justin Brown, Sr., WR, Concord
At wide receiver, Brown is the state’s most explosive player and a definite home run threat whenever he touches the ball. He caught 19 passes for 556 yards and eight scores last year.
Best All-Time Player: Randy White, McKean High School
Whenever talk of best player comes up, Randy White is always at the top of the list. The former McKean High School star played both defensive end and linebacker in a fine career that included a stop at the University of Maryland before becoming the second overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1975 NFL Draft. The Wilmington native has been inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the National Football League Hall of Fame. The football field at McKean is named in his honor.
2008 Must See: Appoquinimink High School
Starting in 2009, there will soon be a new kid on the block to challenge neighborhood bully Middletown. Appoquinimink High School is a new school in Middletown’s district, and will be pulling in kids from the Cavalier program. It started last year when the Appoqunimink freshmen took on the Middletown freshmen. It will be interesting to see the culture change in Middletown with the addition of a new school and the birth of a new, cross-town rivalry. Although it won't be playing during the 2008 season, Appoqunimink has already created a huge buzz.
On The Throne: Salesianum
Salesianum finished last season with a record of 7-5, an aberration of sorts compared to previous years. From 2004-2006, the Sallies lost only five games, and captured Division 1 state championships in 2005 and 2006. During the run, Salesianum claims victories over teams from both Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Best Rivalry: Middletown vs. William Penn
It’s hard to say that any rivalry in Delaware eclipses Middletown and William Penn recently. The state’s two largest schools have had some great battles recently. In 2004, Middletown avenged an early season loss by eliminating Penn from the playoffs. In 2005, the two powers were undefeated when they met, and Penn escaped with a 15-13 victory. Most recently, Middletown held off Penn last year, 13-7. Also worth mentioning is the Catholic school rivalry between Salesianum and St. Mark’s, which annually draws a big crowd.
Future Star: Jamaal Jackson, Jr., RB, Hodgson Vo-Tech
Vo-Tech rising junior Jamaal Jackson is primed for another fine season at running back. He rushed for nearly 2,000 yards last season, and garnered second team All-State recognition. He also plays cornerback and returns kicks for the Eagles, and should start attracting attention from Division I schools.
Can Hodgson repeat as Division II state champs? Last season, they reeled off the first 13-0 season in state history. The school is traditionally a baseball juggernaut, but won its first football title by scoring two touchdowns and two two-point conversions in the last 3:52 of the title game against Caravel Academy. Going from hunter to hunted will put a bulls-eye on the Eagles, and it will be interesting to see how Frank Moffett’s squad responds.
MaxPreps Preseason All-State Team
WR Justin Brown, Concord
WR Kevin Greene, Charter
WR Jamal Merrill, Hodgson Vo-Tech
TE Jules Jones, Glasgow
OL Malcolm Bunche, Newark
OL Chris Conklin, Milford Valley
OL, T.C. Howard, Indian River
OL Gifford Timothy, Middletown
OL Meaad Muse, Middletown
QB Kenny Anderson, Middletown
QB Brandon Baker, St. Mark's
RB Brian Fields, William Penn
RB Jamaal Jackson, Hodgson Vo-Tech
RB Josh Quinones, Woodbridge
ATH Duron Harmon, Casear Rodney
K Kyle Sullivan, St. Mark's
DL James Groce, Caravel
DL Jamil Merrill, Hodgson Vo-Tech
DL Chaz Malewski, St. Mark's
DL Jorge Young, Woodbridge
LB Tyron Davis, Archmere
LB Sam Goines, Alexis I. du Pont
LB Rick Johnson, Hodgson Vo-Tech
LB Corey Olson, St. Mark's
LB Keevis Thompson, Howard
DB JJ Dickey, Delcastle
DB Malachi Freeman, Glasgow
DB Colin McKeefery, St. Mark's
DB Cameron Thomas, Middletown
P Seth Benson, Delmar