NJSIAA associate director Jack DuBois, who oversees football, said the change was recommended by the advisory committee so that there is uniformity in competition for public and Non-Public football programs.
The NJSIAA also announced that for the 2012 playoffs, Camden Catholic will move up to Non-Public Group 3 after competing in Non-Public 2 last season.
Immaculata will move down to Non-Public 2 from Non-Public 3.
"That's fine," Camden Catholic coach Gil Brooks said of the move to Non-Public 3. "It probably means that we'll have to play some tougher teams, but that's OK."
DuBois said the football committee would work to develop a sectional format for the Non-Public tournament, starting in 2013. The advisory committee has considered a proposal to create two sections in South Jersey and three sections in North Jersey but decided not to present that format to the executive committee.
"We have time to work through this," DuBois said.
Camden Catholic went 10-1 last season, losing to Holy Spirit in the Non-Public 2 state final. The Irish project as one of the top teams in South Jersey next season, with a two-way star in running back/linebacker Jarred Alwan, a major recruit in the class of 2013, as well as standout lineman Jeff Miller, big-play wide receiver Thomas Wescott, and top linebackers Sean Collins and Will Jackson.
Non-Public 3 will include defending champion St. Joseph of Montvale, which has won 15 state titles, as well as Delbarton, Red Bank Catholic, and De Paul.
"St. Joe Montvale is one of the great programs in the state," Brooks said. "It's great competition."
Non-Public 2 will keep its South Jersey flavor with defending champion Holy Spirit along with Holy Cross, Bishop Eustace, and Gloucester Catholic.
St. Joseph of Hammonton will remain in Non-Public 1.
Contact Phil Anastasia
at 856-779-3223 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @PhilAnastasia. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports