Group 2: What a Race it Should Be

Group 2: What a Race it Should Be There is no question that Group 2 will have one of the most competitive football races in South Jersey. Haddonfield is the defending champion and the Bulldogs had to beat West Deptford, Camden and Woodstown to win the title. All four of those teams will be contenders, as will newcomer Glassboro. Here is a look at one of the more fascinating sections in the area. The numbers by the schools are the enrollment grades 9-1 from the 2013-2014 school year, which the NJSIAA uses.

South Jersey Group 2
Barnegat 711
Camden 683
Sterling 664
Cedar Creek 651
West Deptford Township 633
Lower Cape May Regional 628
Middle Township 575
Haddonfield Memorial 568
Buena Regional 561
Pleasantville 551
Overbrook 528
Woodstown 525
Collingswood 519
Audubon 505
Glassboro 486

Who’s in: Glassboro, the defending South Jersey Group 1 champion, is the biggest new profile school. Also in from South Jersey Group 1 is Audubon. Barnegat, a South Jersey Group 3 finalist, is another talented newcomer.

Who’s out: Bridgeton has moved to South Jersey Group 3. Cinnaminson and Willingboro have moved to Central Jersey Group 2.

Recent history: Haddonfield is the defending champion, with one of the greatest runs in South Jersey history. The Bulldogs had to face a undefeated team in each round, handing West Deptford, Camden and Woodstown their only losses of the season. The last four champions have come from the Colonial Conference Liberty Division. West Deptford won in 2012 and 2011 and Haddonfield won in 2010.

Outlook: Camden, with the best array of skill position players, led by sensational Jr. wide receiver Brad Hawkins, might enter the season as the slight favorite. Hawkins, projected to be a major college recruit, caught 45 passes for 805 yards and 14 TDs. The Williams brothers should cause opposing defenses plenty of headaches.

Quarterback Khalil Williams threw for 1,964 yards and 29 TDs, while rushing for 737 yards and 10 TDs. Twin brother Khalif William rushed for 628 yards and 5 TDs.

Haddonfield must replace quarterback Mike McLaughlin, a true leader, but the Bulldogs have plenty of firepower. And with eight starters back on defense, led by lineman Tyler Klaus, a William & Mary recruit, the Bulldogs should be strong.

West Deptford will be out for revenge after losing to Haddonfield, 21-9 in the opening round of last year’s Group 2 tournament.

Coach Clyde Folsom has guided the Eagles to 12 consecutive seasons of nine or more wins. Even though there were some key losses to graduation, this is not a rebuilding program.

Senior Jake Kull (6-0, 270) is considered one of the best offensive linemen in South Jersey. Linebacker Kevin DeCesar is a true defensive force. Last season he recorded 20 tackles for loss.

No doubt when Haddonfield hosts West Deptford on Oct. 2, that will give an indicator on which team has the early edge.

Nobody should go asleep on Glassboro. The Bulldogs won their last five games to finish 7-5 and beat Penns Grove, 44-0 in the South Jersey Group 1 final.

Any team with two Division I recruits has to be taken seriously. Receiver-defensive back Juwan Johnson, is headed to Penn State and running back Ronnie James has committed to Rutgers.

It could be argued that these are two of the top 10 players in South Jersey and, with a solid supporting cast, Glassboro is just another reason why Group 2 is so loaded this year.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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