South Jersey Football Preseason Top 10

Posted: September 07, 2012

South Jersey Football Preseason Top 10

1. Timber Creek (12-0 in 2011). The Chargers were unbeaten last season, and this team could be even better. It will need to be better to match that record, since the Chargers face a daunting schedule, including an opener against No. 3 Camden Catholic and a Sept. 28 clash with No. 4 Williamstown. And South Jersey Group 4 is loaded. Timber Creek has five Division I recruits, although defensive linemen Greg Webb (North Carolina) could miss the first month with a knee injury. Leading the way will be defensive linemen Dajaun Drennon (North Carolina) and Myles Nash (Rutgers) and defensive back Eric Church (Kent State), along with running back Zaire Williams (West Virginia), a transfer from Cherokee.

2. St. Joseph (10-0). The Wildcats won't be as physically imposing as last season, when they featured defenders Max Vales (Virginia) and Kaiwan Lewis (South Carolina). But this team has experience on defense, with seven returning starters, and sturdy front lines led by two-way standouts Charles Cade and Kevin Goldsmith. Running back Miles Pease and wide receiver Robert Thompson are playmakers, and quarterback Anthony Giagunto is 17-0 as a starter with 14 TD passes and zero interceptions.

3. Camden Catholic (10-1). The Irish have a strong group of linebackers, led by Temple recruit Jarred Alwan, along with returning starters Sean Collins and Will Jackson. Wide receiver Thomas Wescott is a big-play man, and Jeff Miller and John Blake lead a powerful front line. A key could be the development of junior quarterback Ryan Ziegler.

4. Williamstown (8-2). The Braves rate as the favorites in the WJFL American as well as South Jersey Group 5. Juniors Marques Little and John Chamberlin lead a powerful ground game, and Temple recruit Buddy Brown sparks a defense that also features linebacker Derek Lauria and end Marcus Riley.

5. Hammonton (9-3). The Blue Devils should challenge crosstown St. Joseph in the Cape American and Timber Creek and Shawnee in South Jersey Group 4. Hammonton has experience in the backfield in senior quarterback Christian Mortellite, senior twin running backs David and Dom Williams, and junior Dylan Rosu. Junior wide receiver/defensive back Alex Padovani is a playmaker, and juniors Bobby Frederico and Brandon Alphonso lead a young, strong offensive line.

6. Delsea (6-4). The Crusaders are on a mission to bounce back from a subpar season. Seniors Cody Mayo, Kobie Allen, and Dom Parisi lead a sturdy offensive line. Senior quarterback Josh Awotunde is one of the team's strongest players, and senior running back Tyrone Saud scored 13 touchdowns last season. This club could make major hay in the revamped WJFL Royal as well as South Jersey Group 3.

7. Pennsauken (11-1). The defending South Jersey Group 4 and WJFL National champions will take a different approach, with more emphasis on defense and the running game. Senior defensive ends Isaiah Ingram and Korey Mitchell combined for 22 sacks last season, and Hassan McDonald and Jarrett Hines are top interior linemen. Senior running back Marlin Finley is set for a big season after sitting out in 2011.

8. Shawnee (7-3). The Renegades will challenge Timber Creek and Hammonton in South Jersey Group 4 and Pennsauken in the WJFL National. Brothers Rob DiOrio, a senior, and Anthony DiOrio, a junior, are top two-way backs. Tight end Jake Dean and wide receiver Zach McHale are seasoned veterans, and the Renegades have a top kicker in Vince White. The key will be the development of the offensive line, which returns one starter in senior Chris Moran, as well as senior quarterback Andrew Bertolino.

9. Holy Spirit (8-3). The Spartans have won back-to-back state titles but are a program in transition with a new coach, John Iannucci. Senior Steve Domonoski returns from a dominating offensive line, and a loaded junior class includes two-way backs Tyler Flynn, A.J. Dawson, and Palib Gerald; lineman Ray Ellis; and tight end/linebacker Jeff Steeb.

10. West Deptford (11-1). The Eagles again loom as the favorites in the Colonial Liberty as well as South Jersey Group 2. Junior fullback Gerald Towns-Owens led the surge to the sectional title last season. Senior running back/linebacker Josh Cornelius is a top two-way player.

- Phil Anastasia

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