WJFL National Division among South...

WJFL National Division among South... WJFL National Division among South Jersey's Best in Football

While the West Jersey Football League American Division is South Jersey's deepest, the National Division doesn't have take a backseat to anybody.

The National clearly doesn't have the depth of the American, but it does boost two defending South Jersey champions - Timber Creek and Delsea.

Timber Creek enters as the favorite. The Chargers are being investigated by the Camden County Prosecutors Office concerning whether some football players are maintaining a residence in the school district.

This type of situation will hang over the program until there is a conclusion, but the team seems primed to battle for the top spot in South Jersey.

The Chargers (9-3) have South Jersey's top quarterback, junior Devin Leary. Last season he completed 181 of 284 passes for 2,605 yards and 23 touchdowns. His top target could be senior Ezrah Archie, who had 42 receptions for 627 yards and 3 TDs. Archie has committed to the University of Pennsylvania.

Delsea (11-1) won its fourth straight South Jersey Group 3 title, the first South Jersey public school above the Group 1 level to win four in a row.

And the Crusaders may not be finished. They lost a lot to graduation, but return fullback Rashad Williams, who rushed for 1,267 yards (7.1 avg.) and 13 TDs. Williams was banged up a few games, so his totals could be even more impressive this year. And few teams run the ball as well as Delsea.

The only other team from the National Division that remains in the division this year is Clearview (4-6). The Pioneers have one of South Jersey's most exciting players in senior running back-defensive back Gyair Sharper, who averaged 12 yards per carry in rushing for 782 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Pioneers will contend for a Group 4 playoff spot.

Paul VI (6-4) is the two-time defending champion in the WJFL Constitution Division, but the sledding will be tougher in the National. The Eagles might have lost more to graduation than any other National Division team, but first-year coach Phil Brunozzi says he's been happy with how hard the team has worked in preseason. In reality, the Eagles are probably a year away from challenging for the title, but nobody should count Paul VI out.

Senior wide receiver-cornerback Erick Robertson was a first-team all-Constitution choice after intercepting four passes and making 29 tackles. He should also be a bigger part of the passing game.

Senior running back-linebacker Jay-Jay Vaughters is a transfer from Cherry Hill East who has been impressive in the preseason.

Speaking of East, the Cougars look to improve on a 2-8 season but it won't be easy in this division.

Senior two-way lineman Ryan Swenson (6-3, 265) was a first-team all-conference performer in the American Division on defense and will be one of the leaders.

Eastern (1-9) looks to move up after two rebuilding seasons.

The Vikings will bank on the leadership of returning two-way starters - Jr. running back-defensive back Shaun Davis and junior two-way lineman Cheston Bulgin (6-3, 265), who is also capable of playing fullback and tight end.

Photo by Marc Narducci: Erick Robertson, Paul VI for WJFL National

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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