School: Dover High School

Nickname: Senators

2012-2013 Record: 1-16

Head Coach: Gerald Jester

Key Returning Players: Sarai Starkey, Kyndell Belcher, Caitlin Getrajdman, Heather Keller  

Season Outlook: After a disappointing 1-16 season last year, the Dover Senators enter this season hoping to see some growth from their young squad. While Dover has a number of newcomers looking to help jumpstart an improvement in this Senators team, they also have players returning with a year of experience under their belt. Sydney Collins, Chelsea Jennings, Chelsea McCoy and Teonna Miller are just a few of the new faces hoping to gel with the returnees to help begin the turnaround at Dover. Also, of all the returning players, only one, Sarai Starkey, is a senior. Which means many underclassmen saw action last season. And while there may have been few positives in a 1-16 season, there is no better teacher than experience and no better motivator to win than losing. Dover’s young talent coupled by their recent losing ways could make the Senators a very dangerous team this season.

From the Coach: “My expectation for the 2013 season is for Dover Softball to get better every day,” said Dover Head Coach Gerald Jester. “The team is working hard and I am happy to see their willingness to learn and improve. I don’t think our success this year will be measured in wins and losses, as much as how good we grow as a team. We are a young team with only one senior. We need to get good reps in and play as much softball as possible. If we do this I think it will be a fun year with good things to come. It will be exciting to watch this young talent grow as a team.”

School: Caesar Rodney

Nickname: Riders

2012-2013 Record: 10-8

Head Coach: Paul Damask

Key Returning Players: Cassetty Howerin, Maddie Harris, Kyra Watson, Kayla Popham, Nikki Mendes, Mary Haugh

Season Outlook: Last season, the Lady Rider earned a record of 10-8, losing to Delmar 2-0 in the first round of the DIAA State Tournament. They return this season, with some familiar faces looking to help the team improve and some new underclassmen ready to make their mark for the Riders. Along with their returning nucleus headed by Cassetty Howerin, Maddie Harris, Nikki Mendes, Kyra Watson, Mary Haugh, and Kayla Popham, the Riders have some new faces added to the fold. Mirabella Klebart and Chaney Jones are just two of the newcomers looking to contribute immediately for the Riders this season as they look to return to the State Tournament.

From the Coach: “We expect to continue the tradition of playing in the state tournament,” said Caesar Rodney Head Coach Paul Damask. “With the group of ladies we have this year, a deep run in the tournament is very possible.”

School: Polytech High School

Nickname: Panthers

2012-2013 Record: 17-1

Head Coach: Jennifer Bradshaw

Key Returning Players: Kristen Ball, Shaina Reed, Alexsandra Mycek, Tori Reed

Season Outlook: The Panthers from Polytech are coming off a tremendous 2012 season that saw them start the season 16-0 before finally falling to Sussex Central by only a run in the second to last game of the season. The Panthers followed that up with a first round victory over A.I. duPont 15-0 before losing in heartbreaking fashion to Milford in the next round by a 1-0 score. Looking back, all that stood between the Panthers and even more success last season was merely one run. This season, with an impressive returning group led by Shaina Reed and Kristen Ball the Panthers look to pick up where they left off last season in hopes of returning to the State Tournament.

From the Coach: “It is our expectation that the student athletes in our program will have a successful season as they grow as teammates and strive to achieve the goals they have set for themselves both in the classroom and on the softball field,” said Polytech Head Coach Jennifer Bradshaw.

School: Lake Forest High School

Nickname: Spartans

2012-2013 Record: 9-9

Head Coach: Charles Darling

Key Returning Players: Colby Wyatt, Emily Miller, Jessica Rumley, Gabi Cubbage, Destiny Thomson, Kat Betts, Julia Joyce

Season Outlook: After finishing 9-9, the Lake Forest Lady Spartans return to the softball field this season with a new Head Coach and a fresh start. With many returning players from last season, the Spartans look to grow more as a team and improve upon last season’s finish. With their nucleus intact, the Spartans hope a year of experience will help some of their returning underclassmen contribute along with some of the returning standouts like Colby Wyatt and Emily Miller.

From the Coach: “Our preseason goal (was) to be competitive in every game we play while asking each player to get a little bit better each and every day,” said Lake Forest Head Coach Charles Darling. “Wins and losses will take care of themselves.”

School: St. Thomas More High School

Nickname: Ravens

2012-2013 Record: 10-7

Head Coach: Gerald Szabo

Key Returning Players: Tyler Allen, Rebecca Blizzard, Sierra Hadik, Dana Mangrelli, Olivia Smith, Olivia Stafford

Season Outlook: The Ravens finished at 10-7 last season, a respectable record and certainly something to build upon. However, the Ravens lost 5 seniors to graduation last season, and now they have become a very young a relatively inexperienced softball squad. All six of St. Thomas More’s returning players are underclassmen and the team now has zero seniors on its roster. While it will be an uphill battle to repeat their 10-7 record from last season, wins and losses may not be the most important thing for this Raven’s squad. Building their program through the young talent they have in place and getting better each and every day may be their highest and most beneficial goals right now.

From the Coach: “Survival would be nice and an understanding on the teams part that we are building to reach a much higher level,” said Head Coach Gerald Szabo. “So, individual skill and improvement has to come first as we integrate and link team techniques.”