With a unified team of players with and without disabilities that finished the regular season 4-0, the Eagles will now host Woodbridge in a playoff game that has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m.
It’s been another special year on the gridiron this season, as both Smyrna football programs are seeing success.
Smyrna’s Special Olympics Unified Football team finished off a unblemished regular season while earning the No. 1 overall seed in the Southern Division portion of the tournament bracket.
“This second year has been really exciting one,” said Smyrna Head Coach Andrew Mears. “This experience has just further confirmed how many compassionate and supportive kids we have in this school.”
This year Delaware’s unified flag football program has grown yet again, gaining eight more participating schools moving from eight to 12 in 2017.
Smyrna’s roster, which includes students with disabilities and without, stayed at a steady number this season featuring athletes from all classes.
The Eagles' roster includes seniors Caleb Matthews, Marissa McClenton, juniors Brandon Clark, Jaymeir Garnett, Jakir Hampton, Sara Miller, Scott Russell and Olyvia Smith, along with sophomores Matthew Bryson, Willek Murphy, Ishmael Reynolds and freshman Keith Demby, Ronald Hanton and Olumuyiwa Smith.
Smyrna posted a perfect 4-0 season, clinching the No. 1 overall seed in the Southern Division. Seaford earned the No. 2 seed in the Southern Division, followed by No. 3 Dover, No. 4 Woodbridge, No. 5 Caesar Rodney and No. 6 Middletown.
The Eagles opened the season with a 28-22 win over Woodbridge, followed by another close victory over Seaford, 30-25. After defeating Middletown 37-20, they closed out the regular season with a 36-30 win over Caesar Rodney.
PLAYOFF GAME NOV. 8 IN SMYRNA
The Eagles' home playoff game against Woodbridge has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 3:30 p.m. The game was originally planned for Nov. 7, but was postponed because of rain.
With a win over the Blue Raiders, Smyrna would advance to the state semifinals Nov. 14.
Newark Charter, this year’s No. 1 seed in the Northern Division, won the first ever Special Olympics Unified Flag Football state championship in 2016. It was also the first ever state title in any sport for the school.
Meanwhile, McKean occupies the No. 2 seed in the North Division in front of No. 3 Mt. Pleasant, No. 4 Glasgow, No. 5 William Penn and No. 6 Delcastle.
This year’s championship game takes place between the DIAA football Division I and II championship games on Dec. 2 at Delaware Stadium.
Playoff games and championship trophies are another special part of the unified program, but the growth the league has shown and the message that’s been spread is having an impact statewide.
“Through talking and interacting with some other coaches, I’ve seen how important these types of programs are to a school and community,” Mears said. “Seeing first hand how supportive our school and community is, I can only imagine how that is demonstrated in other schools.”