Haddonfield Sports Program Earns Top 10 National Ranking

Haddonfield Sports Program Earns Top 10 National Ranking

Haddonfield has for years has fielded among the top athletic programs in South Jersey and actually statewide.

Now the Bulldogs have received some impressive national attention after finishing eighth in the MaxPreps Cup standings.
 
The MaxPreps Cup is a system used by MaxPreps to determine the No. 1 high school sports program in the nation. (Portland Jesuit won this year’s No. 1 ranking).
 
Schools accumulate points for finishing first or second in the state championship competition or ending I the Top 25 nationally in a particular spot.
 
According to the criteria, points are also awarded based on the size of the state, the popularity of the sport, the playoff classification for the sport played and for the number of teams competing in that playoff classification.
 
Haddonfield is a Group 2 in most sports and Group 1 in a select few. In New Jersey there are either four Groups or five, depending on the sport. Group 2 is the second smallest enrollment.
 
According to MaxPreps, Haddonfield received 1,702 points.
 
The fall state champions were football and boys cross country. (It must be noted that technically there are no public school state champions in New Jersey. Teams in public schools can only be a sectional champion, which Haddonfield was. More impressive is that as a Group 2 school, Haddonfield was the consensus No. 1 football team in South Jersey last year, a truly impressive feat).
 
The fall sports state runners-up was the field hockey team.
 
The winter state champions were boys’ basketball, girls’ swimming and boys’ indoor track, while girls’ indoor track was a runner-up.
 
The girls’ lacrosse team was the spring state champion while boys’ and girls’ track were each runners-up.
 
Even by Haddonfield’s lofty standards, 2018-2019 was a special year in athletics.
 
For instance, the football team went 13-0 to set a single-season school record for wins. This was the first year a South Jersey team could play as many as 13 games. The team had so many standouts, including quarterback Jay Foley, who threw 23 touchdown passes.
 
The girls’ lacrosse won its second straight state Group 2 title and appeared in the state championship game for a third year. Senior Caroline Beckett, who scored a team-high 73 goals, was named a first-team all-state selection by NJ.com.
 
Maybe the most exciting state champion was the boys’ basketball team, which also won its second consecutive crown.
 
The boys’ basketball team used one of the best comebacks in South Jersey history along the road to their state title. Trailing by 11 points with under two minutes left in regulation, Haddonfield forced overtime and then stunned Camden, 69-67 in OT.
 
The Bulldogs were led by their two senior all-South Jersey players, guard Mike DePersia and forward Dan Fleming.
A year ago, Haddonfield finished 10th in the Max Prep standings.
 
One other South Jersey team was in the Top 100 as Moorestown finished 32nd, with state champion in field hockey, boys’ basketball girls’ swimming boys golf’ boys’ lacrosse, and girls’ lacrosse. In addition, the field hockey team and girls’ lacrosse team finished No. 15 and 16 respectively in the Max Preps national rankings.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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