New sports season springs into action at Milford High

Senior Haylee Scruggs will log a lot of innings for the Lady Bucs. (Milford Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Senior Haylee Scruggs will log a lot of innings for the Lady Bucs. (Milford Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

MILFORD — Play ball… or lacrosse, soccer, tennis. Even run.

Whatever the sport might be, it all begins this week at Milford High.

Depending on Mother Nature, of course, who already rained out the Buccaneers’ scheduled baseball and softball openers on Saturday versus North Caroline (Md.).

When the Bucs do take the baseball diamond to open the season, they will do so eager to put away memories of last season’s 6-12 campaign. And with a roster that will include multiple seniors, head coach Nick Brannan is confident Milford will do just that, even if others aren’t.

“I feel that not being on anyone’s radar, not having much expected of us, is something the kids are taking personal,” Brannan said. “And I think that’s great motivation to work towards getting back to the way we feel we should be performing as a program.”

The baseball team was scheduled to play Seaford Tuesday in a game that did not finish before press time. It’s slated to host Smyrna on Thursday, 4:15 p.m.

With nearly an identical schedule to the baseball team, Lady Buccaneers head softball coach Drew Holleger has already seen his team’s scheduled opener versus North Caroline washed out.

Unlike Brannan, however, he is leading a team that is on opponent’s radar despite graduating four senior starters from last year’s 14-6 club that reached the state tournament quarterfinals before losing to eventual runner-up Caravel.

Thanks to multiple returning players with varsity experience, though, Holleger is expecting his club to again reach the postseason as well as challenge for the Henlopen Conference and state championships.

“It’s going to be fun,” Holleger said. “I always say, ‘let’s go undefeated and win a state title. That’s the No. 1 goal.’”

Taking over for former leader Keith Short, Milford girls’ soccer head coach Allie Ford has had to overcome a late start to her tenure atop the program.

Although not overly familiar with her team’s Henlopen Conference opponents, Ford said she is excited about the upcoming campaign.

“We have a solid core group of returning varsity girls that have been playing together for years,” Ford said. “The drive is there to win this season.”

Cape Henlopen comes to Milford on Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. scheduled season-opening match.

Two more new head coaches at Milford will be getting their respective seasons started this week as well.

Longtime local track and field coach Charlie Pollard is tasked with taking over for Czar Bloom, who is now the Polytech athletic director.

Pollard is optimistic about the overall ability of both the Buccaneers’ boys’ and girls’ track teams.

“This team is legit,” Pollard said. “We want to win a lot and give everyone the opportunity to have success in the events of their choices.”

The track season was scheduled to begin Tuesday at Smyrna in a meet that didn’t finish before press time.

Boys’ tennis coach Paul Williamson is also new to his post, but his face is well known around the courts at Milford. Not only has he worked with Buccaneers teams of the past as an assistant, but also he is the grandfather of No. 1 singles player Colt Williamson.

“We have a lot of guys with good potential,” Paul Williamson said. “I’m going to predict that our starting team is going to be pretty good.”

For the girls’ team, head coach Jacquelyn Powers is also ready to for the upcoming season.

Her team, as well as the boys, were scheduled to open the season Monday versus St. Thomas More matches that did not end before press time. Wednesday the teams are scheduled to take on rival Lake Forest, the boys at home and girls on the road.

From the Milford Chronicle Sports Desk

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