Pennsville's Wood Enjoyed A Great Run As Football Coach

Pennsville's Wood Enjoyed A Great Run As Football Coach Pennsville's Wood Enjoyed A Great Run As Football Coach

Ryan Wood resigned last month from the head coaching job at Pennsville and he leaves after a highly successful reign. It was an underrated tenure. Wood, who was also a successful baseball coach at the school before resigning and later becoming football coach, developed one of the most exciting offenses in South Jersey.

His record was 66-22.

Pennsville, which won a South Jersey Group 2 title in 1981, is a program that has had some ups and downs in football. One of the down periods came before Wood became head coach.

Before his arrival, Pennsville went 23 consecutive years without winning more than six games. In fairness, the year before his arrival, the Eagles went 6-4 and earned a playoff berth.

In Wood's first season in 2009, the Eagles improved to 7-3 and earned a South Jersey Group 1 playoff berth. The Eagles lost to eventual champion Woodbury, 28-21 in the first round. The next year the Eagles improved to 9-2 and lost in the South Jersey semifinals to eventual champion Glassboro, 27-21 in double overtime. That's a Glassboro team that would go on and defeat perennial challenger Paulsboro, 36-0 in the final.

In 2011, Pennsville went one step further by going 10-2 and advancing to the sectional final before losing to Glassboro 41-13. That was a Glassboro team that won its fourth title in five years and got one of the best individual performances by somebody in South Jersey playoff history to win.

In that game, current Wisconsin senior running back Corey Clement rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns, while also leading the defensive effort with three sacks. Nobody was going to beat Glassboro on that day.

The following season in 2012, Pennsville had the only non-winning campaign under Wood, going 4-6. Even in that season the Eagles qualified for the South Jersey Group 1 playoffs and lost three of the games by six points or fewer.

The Eagles rebounded to go 9-2 in 2013, advancing to the South Jersey Group 1 semifinal before losing to—you guessed it—Glassboro, 40-33.

In 2014, Pennsville, went 8-3, won a playoff game but then lost to Salem in the semifinals. 56-7.

The following season in 2015, The Eagles went 11-1 and won the South Jersey Group 1 championship.

After opening with four wins in 2015, Pennsville lost to Salem, 40-13. Pennsville would then close the season with seven wins, including a 28-6 triumph over Clayton for the South Jersey Group 1 title.

This season despite losing several key players to graduation, Pennsville went 8-3, losing to eventual champion Paulsboro 49-28 in the South Jersey Group 1 semifinals.

Wood did something that is extremely difficult - he kept a consistent winner at a Group 1 school. Working with a low enrollment school is difficult to keep it a winner year after year. Paulsboro has been able to do it, most others have experienced their share of down years.

Wood has indicated he would like to serve as an offensive coordinator. Maybe he will do that job at Pennsville. Any school would be wise to retain somebody who knows how to develop and offense and a program like few others have in recent years.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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