As the leaves change, so too does the high school sports season. This past week made for the end of 2018 fall sports for Milford, with none of the Bucs sports qualifying for state tournament action. Milford finished with 28 wins across 6 different teams, with the Girls Cross Country team leading the way with 7 wins.
Milford football (5-5) had one of their most up and down seasons this year. When the Bucs were clicking, they were blowing teams out. When they struggled to find a rhythm, they ended up taking the beating themselves. Through the first 8 games of the year, Milford won or lost a game by a minimum of 17 points. The last two games of the season were close losses, 8 points to Delmar and 3 points to rival Lake Forest, but Milford has hope moving forward in the development of freshman quarterback Shawn Saxon.
“Saxon has gotten better from week to week. You have seen his skill grow, and you can see his natural ability as a leader. Everything we have given him he has been able to handle, and he is only going to get better with all the hard work he puts in,” Milford Head Coach Shaun Strickland said.
Milford Boys Cross Country (2-9) had two wins on the season against Delmar and Sussex Academy, but it was the Girls Cross Country team who really stole the show this year. The Lady Bucs (7-4) only lost 4 meets, and all of their losses were against teams from the Henlopen North. The most impressive part of the Lady Bucs season is not just their winning record, but the fact that the team consisted of 8 freshman and 1 senior. The Lady Bucs will have 3 more years to get better, and teams will have to be on lookout for this dynamic group of young ladies.
Milford Field Hockey (5-10) had a down year this season, but this was mostly due to a lack of varsity experience across the board. The Lady Bucs had talent, leadership, and cohesion, but what they really lacked was the confidence that comes with experience. As the season went on the team matured, playing their best game of the year against a top Sussex Tech team on senior night, but it ended up being too little, too late.
“Our girls came in with less varsity experience than usual, and that’s hard. Not being used to the speed of the game and the quick decision making…it takes a while to adjust to that. As the year went on, this team really grew individually and as a team, and we reached the level we needed to reach. It happened a little later in the season than we needed, but this team grew up so fast, and I’m really proud of them,” Milford Head Coach Andrea McPike said.
Milford Boys Soccer (5-9-1) finished with the same amount of wins as a year ago, 5, but there is something to be said for the way that the Bucs battled. Sure, the win total is no different, but Milford was the aggressor in almost every one of their games this season. The Bucs played forward, constantly attacking the opponent, and most of their losses came from one or two small mistakes that led to a counter-attack. One of the biggest changes for Milford was the comfortability of a very talented sophomore class. The young Bucs had another year of experience, and it showed in how confidently they moved the ball. Next year could very well be a big year for the Bucs.
Finally, Milford Girls Volleyball (4-11) doubled their win total from a year ago. The Lady Bucs had a large senior class, and there was a clear comfortability among the teammates. The girls had been playing together for their entire high school careers, and under the direction of Head Coach Heather Motter the Lady Bucs all knew their role on the floor. The Lady Bucs will have a lot of ground to cover next season, replacing 5 seniors, but the program has shown great strides in its early years and the outlook should be hopeful.
As the fall sports season exits, we now move on to winter sports. The winter sports season began on November 9, and the regular season begins on November 30.
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