This year’s all-state baseball team released by the Delaware Interscholastic Baseball Coaches Association featured a number of players from the Henlopen Conference, including five players from the state champion Cape Henlopen Vikings.
Backing up the continued emergence of the Henlopen Conference, 15 players from Henlopen North and South teams were named all-state baseball players.
Joining Cape Henlopen, Sussex Tech, Dover and Polytech were also represented from the Henlopen North; Sussex Tech had two selections including Matt Warrington (second-team, utility) and Brady Parks (third-team, first base), while both Polytech and Dover had one player each selected, Mitchell Barter (third-team, designated hitter) from the Panthers and the versatile Dominic Velazquez (first-team, pitcher, third-team, third baseman) for the Senators.
Meanwhile, in the Henlopen South, Delmar and Indian River were both represented.
Sophomore Gabe Rincon (second-team, first baseman) was selected from Delmar, while Indian River had two all-state selections in Cole Hitch (third-team, catcher) and J.J. Killen (third-team, utility).
Cape Henlopen led the way with five selections, including David Erickson (first-team, pitcher), Austin Elliott (second-team, pitcher), Luke Johnson (second-team, second baseman), Jake Gelof (third-team, outfield) and Delaware Gatorade Player of the Year, Zack Gelof (first-team, shortstop).
Zack Gelof and Austin Elliott were teammates at Cape Henlopen for four years at the varsity level, reaching the DIAA Baseball State Championship Game as freshman in 2015. Meanwhile, Erickson joined the trio his sophomore year, spending three seasons as a varsity player.
“I remember every single bit of that, and every year that’s what we kept working hard for,” Gelof said. “We built this program, Coach Evick, all the coaches, did a great job - it turned out well for us, it made us who we are and we grew as men because of it.”
Over the past four seasons, Cape Henlopen has compiled a record of 51-21, including four playoff appearances, including two trips to the state championship game.
The rest of the first-team all-state selections this season included catcher Marshall Awtry (Conrad), first baseman Nick Zegna (Newark), second baseman Ryan Speed (Hodgson), third baseman Kevin Buglio (Newark Charter), designated hitter Noah Finocchiaro (St. Georges Tech), utility player Joey Silan (Caravel Academy) along with outfielders Javon Fields (Appoquinimink) and Nicholas Hertzfeld (Delaware Military Academy).
William Penn’s Marvin Dooley was named Coach of the year, leading the Colonials to a 15-3 mark and the No. 1 seed in this year’s DIAA State Tournament, while Bill Moore of Newark Charter was named assistant coach of the year.