A Trio of Top Boys Athletes

A Trio of Top Boys Athletes There were so many outstanding boys athletes from the recently graduated senior class in South Jersey. Here is a look at three who really stood out due to their individual and team success.

Tom Flacco, Eastern. In an era of specialization, Flacco (pictured) was a rarity: a three-sport athlete. Not only that, but he competed for one of South Jersey’s top sports programs at Eastern. During the football season, he passed for 2,782 yards and 25 touchdowns and rushed for 641 yards and 12 scores. Flacco, who began his career at Camden Catholic before transferring to Eastern as a sophomore, threw for 7,387 career yards. He helped Eastern earn a share of the West Jersey Football League American Division title, and guided the Vikings to the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 5 championship game, where the Vikings lost to Cherokee.

Flacco wasn’t a star for the basketball team, but a major contributor on a squad that won 21 games.

In baseball, he was the lone returning full-time starter from a team that won a state title his junior year. With an almost new lineup, Eastern successfully defended its South Jersey Group 4 title. Flacco, who has played center field and third base in the past, was used mainly at shortstop as a senior. He batted .506 with 30 RBIs. After the season, he was drafted in the 32nd round by the Phillies. Flacco has indicated he is likely to attend Western Michigan and play football while enrolling in January. He is the youngest brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, himself a former standout at Audubon.

Bryan Dobzanski, Delsea. As a senior, he won his second straight NJSIAA state wrestling title at 220 pounds. Dobzanski went unbeaten his final two years, and ended his career with a 155-8 record. During the baseball season, he was 3-0 with a 0.91 ERA. Dobzanski had 68 strikeouts in 48 innings. He had earned a baseball scholarship to Louisville and was set to attend, but then signed with the St. Louis Cardinals after receiving an offer he couldn’t refuse. A 29th round draft choice, Dobzanski was offered a $700,000 signing bonus. So he bypassed the college Cardinals for the professional Cardinals.

An all-around athlete, he played football as a junior, but decided to concentrate on baseball during the fall of his senior year.

Adonis Jennings, Timber Creek. Jennings was a consensus all-South Jersey performer in both football and track. A sure-handed wide receiver, he had 83 catches for 1,434 yards and 14 touchdowns in helping Timber Creek advance to the South Jersey Group 4 championship game. At 6-foot-3 and 195-pounds, Jennings was big enough to out-leap opposing defensive backs and fast enough to out run them. Jennings and then sophomore Cameron Chambers were among the best receiving duos in the state. In addition, Jennings averaged 29.6 yards on 11 kickoff returns and also spent some time playing free safety. During a wild 50-41 loss to Eastern, he had 13 receptions for 288 yards and 3 TDs.

In track, he was part of the Chargers 4 x 100 relay that won the Meet of Champions title in a record of 41.45 seconds. He won the South Jersey Group 3 title in the 100 meters in a time of 10.77 seconds, and placed third in the 400 meters. The next week at the state championships, Jennings placed second in the 100 meters in a time of 10.76 seconds. He has accepted a football scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh.

Photo (Marc Narducci): Eastern's Tom Flacco

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Author: Marc Narducci; photo by Marc Narducci

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