West Jersey Football League Ready for All Possibilities

by Marc Narducci; Photo courtesy of Marc Narducci | Jun 5, 2020
West Jersey Football League Ready for All Possibilities
Derryk Sellers has one of the more challenging job in New Jersey scholastic athletics. The athletic director at Lindenwold, Sellers is also the new president of the West Jersey Football League, which consists of every South Jersey team and a few from Mercer County.
“It’s been tough,” Sellers said.
First off, it isn’t known if there will be a football season and if so, would is start on time, or would it even be played in the fall?
The WJFL schedule is done but that may need some revision because perennial power St. Joseph of Hammonton isn’t sure it will be open next season.
In mid-April, the Camden Diocese announced that five schools would close on June 30, including St. Joseph Hammonton and the nearby St. Joseph’s grammar school.
As soon as the announcement St. Joseph’s football coach Paul Sacco said his school was working on a project to remain open, similar to Holy Cross, which has completed its second season of operation after the Trenton Diocese said it was closing the school.
If St. Joseph doesn’t remain open, the WJFL will have to adjust.
Then again, adjusting has been a big part of the job for Sellers, who said already, there are three plans in place for a potential season. Nobody knows for sure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have a plan with the full schedule as it is and we have two contingency plans, where we would be ready to play a six-game schedule," he said.
That schedule could come in the fall but also be moved to the spring. He isn’t sure if playoffs would be part of revised schedule.
He said one model to be discussed is to begin NJSIAA sports in January. That plan would have the winter sports play in the winter. The fall sports including football would play in March and April and the spring sport would compete in the end of April into June.
“What we are tying to do basically is have a contingency based on what the state and governor say,” Sellers said. “We have to have a plan in place.”
The most ideal plan would be to have the schedule the way it is drawn up in the fall, but in dealing with the pandemic, one has to wonder if student athletes will be able to return to school in the fall, let alone begin preseason practice in August.
Sellers, a former long-time football coach, is hoping for the best and is ready to react accordingly, during a high school sports season that will be a challenge to all.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo courtesy of Marc Narducci


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