New Alignment in the West Jersey Football League

by Marc Narducci; Photo Marc Narducci | Dec 24, 2019
New Alignment in the West Jersey Football League
There will be a new look in South Jersey football, one that occurs every two years. The 95-team West Jersey Football League, which includes all the teams from the seven-county South Jersey area, along with several schools from Mercer County, is re-aligning its divisions for next year.
 
The reason this is done is because some teams may be overmatched in a certain division, and if that is the case, the WJFL organizers look to make it a more even playing field.
 
Consequently, if a team has played well, then they are likely to move up to face more difficult competition.
 
At this time the divisions don’t have names yet, but below are the teams that will compete in each division:
 
Mainland, Clearview, Delsea, Deptford, Hammonton
Highland, Burlington Township, Timber Creek, Moorestown, Pennsauken
Lenape, Shawnee, Williamstown, St. Augustine, Millville, Vineland
Eastern, Kingsway, St. Joseph, Cherokee, Washington Township, Rancocas Valley
Holy Spirit, Woodrow Wilson, Pleasantville, Camden, Winslow Township, Cedar Creek
Audubon, Princeton, Camden Catholic, Cinnaminson, Haddon Heights, Bishop Eustace
Bridgeton, Paul VI, Cherry Hill West, Atlantic City, Cherry Hill East, Triton
Egg Harbor Township, Oakcrest, Absegami, Ocean City, Seneca, Pemberton.
Ewing, Steinert, Hightstown, Lawrence. Windsor Plainsboro, Northern Burlington,
Gloucester, Maple Shade, Wildwood, Riverside, Pitman, Bordentown
Paulsboro, Woodstown, Penns Grove, Salem, Gateway, Buena
Delran, Haddonfield, Sterling, West Deptford, Collingswood, Willingboro
Robbinsville, Gloucester Catholic, New Egypt, Overbrook, Haddon Township, Lindenwold
Cumberland, Pennsville, Clayton, Schalick, Lower Cape May, Middle Township
Palmyra, Glassboro, Burlington City, Holy Cross, Woodbury, Florence
Hopewell Valley, Notre Dame, Hamilton West, Trenton Allentown, Nottingham
 
Keep in mind that it’s not only the division that determines the strength of a team’s schedule, but what non-division teams it is assigned.
 
One of the interesting changes comes to what was known and could still be the WJFL American Division. Last season Lenape and Williamstown shared the crown with 4-1 division records. Williamstown beat Lenape, but the Indians beat St. Augustine. And St. Augustine defeated Williamstown, but also lost to Shawnee in addition to Lenape.
 
Toward the end of the year St. Augustine, with the addition of some transfers who had to sit out the first 30 days of the season, was playing as well as anybody in South Jersey.
 
Anyway the new division that might be the deepest consists of Lenape, Shawnee, Williamstown, St. Augustine, Millville, Vineland.
 
Williamstown is the defending SJ Group 5 champion. The Braes outlasted Lenape 14-10 in an epic South Jersey championship game.
 
Lenape then turned around and defeated Shawnee on Thanksgiving to earn a share of the American Division title. Had Shawnee won, then the Renegades would have shared the division title with Williamstown.
 
In the WJFL, head to head competition doesn’t break ties. If teams are tied, they are declared co-champs.
 
Of the teams in this new division, Shawnee and Millville are likely to complain since they are Group 4 schools playing four talented Group 5’s, or in St. Augustine’s case, a large Non-Public Group 4.
 
Then again, Shawnee was likely placed in this division based on the Renegades success over the years. Not only did the Renegades vie for the conference title this year but they also captured their third straight South Jersey Group 4 crown.
 
There will be many highly competitive divisions but none should be as deep as this one, where many of the teams should also compete for sectional and/or state titles.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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