Preseason football preview: South Jersey Group 3

Preseason football preview: South Jersey Group 3 There is a new sheriff in town concerning South Jersey Group 3, with Timber Creek moving down from Group 4 to prohibitively assume the favorite’s role.

Timber Creek is the two-time defending South Jersey Group 4 champion and won last year’s title with a 31-10 victory over Lenape to cap a truly dominating season.

Here are this year’s SJ Group 3 schools, with enrollment in grades 10-12.

SOUTH JERSEY GROUP 3

Manchester Township 741

Oakcrest 760

Pemberton 781

Pinelands 800

Deptford 822

Triton 849

Delsea 851

Woodrow Wilson 852

Seneca 866

Lacey 888

Cumberland 894

Timber Creek 904

Lakewood 913

Ocean City 916

Jackson Liberty 918

Not only does Timber Creek move in, but last year’s defending SJ Group 3 champion Wall, has moved out. The Crimson Knights are now competing in Central Jersey Group 3.

Timber Creek has a powerful offense led by record-setting quarterback Devin Leary, the North Carolina State commit who had 48 touchdown passes last season. The Chargers, however, have plenty of other big-play performers, including cornerback Deion Jennings, who is a Rutgers commit and running back Kyle Dobbins, who has committed to Temple and is a transfer from St. Augustine.

Coach Rob Hinson’s team opens the season Sept. 2 at vs. Belleville West (Illinois) at E. St. Louis High in Illinois

Who could be the Chargers’ top pursuer in Group 3?

It’s also a safe bet to mention Delsea. The Crusaders won four consecutive SJ Group 3 titles before falling to Wall, 20-7 in last year’s sectional final. Coach Sal Marchese Jr. must replace five first-team all-conference players, but has one of the better linemen around in senior center Tom Maxwell (6-0, 210). Junior linebacker Keison Fowler had 71 tackles, which was second on the team.

With a young unit, Delsea should be a much better team toward the second half of the season. Of course, there will be no easing into the schedule since Delsea opens Sept. 8 at Timber Creek and then hosts Cedar Creek the next week, a viable contender in SJ Group 2 after losing to West Deptford in last year’s championship game.

Woodrow Wilson is a team to watch. The Tigers moved down from Group 4, where they made the playoffs and lost a 21-11 decision to eventual finalist Lenape.

Wilson figures to battle defending champion Highland in what should be a competitive WJFL Royal Division race. Sr. WR-LB Travon King, who recently made a verbal commitment to attend Rutgers.

His brother Stanley King, a junior wide receiver cornerback, who at 6-5 and 180-pound is a redzone nightmare for any defense, is among a number other big-play performers for coach Preston Brown.

Maybe another team or two could emerge in Group 3, but the fact remains that Timber Creek might be the biggest preseason favorite among all Groups.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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