The realignment of the Henlopen Conference for the next two years has taken its toll on Delmar's in-state football schedule.
The 2017 Division 2 champions and 2018 semifinalists are facing an athletic director's nightmare.
The admission of the Early College High School and Sussex Academy to the conference gave them 16 teams, and in the split both of them end up in the smaller-school Henlopen South. The problem is, neither play football.
That leaves Delmar, Indian River, Lake Forest, Laurel, Seaford, and Woodbridge pooled together. While that means 5 games, that also means 5 open dates have cropped up.
Three of the schools: Indian River, Lake Forest, and Laurel, managed to five 5 in-state opponents to fill the void, while Woodbridge's addition of Rock Ridge (VA) and Seaford's games with Middle Township (NJ) and Washington (MD) have put them to the DIAA maximum.
Delmar hasn't been so lucky.
Delaware's southernmost high school is slated to play out-of-state schools their first four weeks: St. Mary's, Parkside, Queen Anne's County, and Easton, all from Maryland.
What they don't have is a Week 5 game.
WDEL's review of the officially posted schedules for each school revealed that there are still 6 schools looking to sow up a 10-game schedule.
Sussex Central needs games for the opening two weeks, while their rival Sussex Tech has a Week 2 open date after playing at Northern (MD) in Week 1.
First State Military Academy needs a week 6 game, while Independent Conference rivals Tower Hill and Friends both lack week 9 games, the week before their season-ending showdown.
Friends also has one other open date listed on their calendar: Week 5.
The Quakers have had a fantastic rivalry with Delmar's Henlopen South rival Woodbridge in recent years, meeting 6 times in the past 4 years, with 2 of them coming in the playoffs.
One can hope that the athletic directors of Friends and Delmar can get together, because that would be a wonderful solution to give both of them the 10 games, plus a match-up that Division 2 football fans would enjoy.
It would be a nice change for Delmar, who likely struggles to find opponents due to a point system that can penalize Division 1 teams who lose to the Division 2 power. A loss to Delmar can be worth as much as 3 playoff points, while beating a winless Division 1 team is worth 4.
The biggest perk looking at Delaware's overall schedule is the lack of out-of-state games.
Delmar is the only school tabbed to play more than 2 games against non-Delaware foes, with usual suspects Salesianum (2) and Caravel (1) playing just thrice against unusual opposition.
Salesianum is playing a new name in one of them, as Pennsylvania's Mastery Charter hosts the Sals on October 12 (week 6), while Smyrna has a date in Chester (PA) in on September 14 (week 2).
The point system rewarding playing Division 1 schools will always be important, and Wilmington Charter once again will play 10 Division 2 schools, giving those foes a chance for two extra points with a victory.
The high school season in Delaware begins on Friday, September 6, the weekend after Labor Day.