Decatur Starts New Era With Home Opener

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity football team is scheduled to christen the school’s new turf field completed late last month with a season opener against Arcadia on Friday.

As much as things are different this year for the Seahawks, much will remain the same. Coach Bob Knox returns to lead Decatur for the 36th year and 20 of the 37 players on the opening day roster return from last year’s 3-7 team. That’s where the continuity ends, however.

The aforementioned new turf field will be christened with Friday’s opener against Arcadia. Later this month, the new field will be christened the Robert G. Knox Field at Louis H. Taylor Stadium for the long-time coach and former Decatur principal, now the superintendent of Worcester County Public Schools.

In addition, Knox has brought in a handful of new young coaches from Bayside North schools and from neighboring Sussex County in Delaware. With Knox at the helm and the new coaches and returning coaches this summer have been implementing new schemes and systems on both sides of the ball and the new-look Seahawks will be revealed on Friday.

After the opener on Friday against Arcadia, Decatur will play a steady stream of Bayside North schools through the rest of September and into early October, beginning with a road game against Queen Anne’s next Friday. The new field and stadium christening and renaming ceremony is set for halftime of the home game against Easton on September 20.

After the run of four straight games against Bayside North teams, the Seahawks play their usual Bayside South rivals down the stretch including Bennett, Wicomico and Parkside. The regular season culminates with the annual showdown against Worcester County rival Snow Hill on the road on November 1.

Under the new scheduling format, Decatur and other high school teams this season will play a nine-game regular season scheduled instead of the traditional 10-game regular schedule. The upside to the abbreviated regular season schedule is an expanded field of playoff teams and an extra round of playoff games. With so much new and so much remaining the same, the Seahawks appear poised to break into the post-season this year under the new format.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.