Timber Creek's Ali picked for next year's U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Posted: January 19, 2014

Timber Creek junior defensive back Kareem Ali has played in a lot of big football games in his career with the Chargers.

He'll play in perhaps the biggest one when his final season is over.

Ali last week was invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl next January in San Antonio.

"It's a dream come true," Ali said. "I grew up dreaming about playing in this game. I saw so many guys play in it and go on to play in the NFL. I always wanted to play in this game."

Timber Creek coach Rob Hinson also was invited to serve as an assistant coach at the annual game, which features some of the best players in the country in an East vs. West format.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Ali is one of the state's top recruits in the Class of 2015. He has nearly 20 offers from some of the bigger college programs in the country, including Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin, Pitt, Rutgers, and Clemson.

Ali said he would make a series of recruiting visits this spring and summer, starting with Rutgers and making his way to schools that are farther away.

"I'm not really overwhelmed by it," Ali said of the recruiting interest. "I just talk to my dad and mom and they keep me focused. I don't have any kind of deadline. I just want to take my time and make sure I make the best decision."

Pennsauken appeals to NJSIAA. Pennsauken High School has appealed to the NJSIAA in protest of the West Jersey Football League's new division alignment.

Pennsauken athletic director Billy Wright sent an e-mail with his appeal to NJSIAA director Jack DuBois, who oversees football for the state association.

DuBois this week confirmed receiving Wright's appeal. DuBois said Allentown also has appealed to the NJSIAA in hopes of changing the WJFL's new alignment.

"It's on our radar," DuBois said. "We just got these [appeals], so we'll take a look and go from there."

The NJSIAA traditionally leaves alignment matters to individual leagues, so it's unclear whether the governing body of New Jersey high school sports would get involved in the matter.

Wright said he wasn't confident that the NJSIAA would address the issue but felt compelled to submit the appeal on principle. He also said he might appeal next to the NJSIAA's executive committee.

Wright based his appeal on two procedural points. He said the WJFL used last year's school enrollment figures because the state Department of Education had not yet released the enrollment figures for the current school year. Wright also said that Lenape was moved north to the Colonial Division out of the American Division because of "proximity" to schools in Mercer County but that Pennsauken has a "northing point" that is north of Lenape's.

Each school's "northing point" under the global positioning system is used by the NJSIAA for sectional alignment.

Worthy to visit ODU. West Deptford senior Isaiah Worthy will make an official recruiting visit to Old Dominion University this weekend.

Worthy, a first-team all-South Jersey linebacker, said Tuesday that if he likes the ODU campus in Norfolk, Va., and has a good feel for the school and program he might commit this weekend.

"I want to see what the campus is like and see how I am about the facilities and the school," Worthy said.

ODU has offered Worthy a scholarship. Worthy also has drawn recruiting interest in recent weeks from Rutgers, but the Scarlet Knights have not offered.

If Worthy commits to ODU, he would be the fourth South Jersey senior to commit to the program, which is in the process of moving up from the NCAA FCS level (I-AA) to the FBS level (I-A). The others are Kingsway running back Ray Lawry, Williamstown all-purpose player Marques Little, and Timber Creek defensive back Justice Davila.

The 6-2, 235-pound Worthy led West Deptford to a 9-1 record and the Colonial Liberty title last season.

Ellis to visit Delaware, Florida Atlantic. Holy Spirit defensive tackle Ray Ellis will visit Delaware this weekend and Florida Atlantic next weekend, according to Spartans coach John Iannucci.

The 6-2, 260-pound Ellis, a first-team all-South Jersey selection who led Holy Spirit to an 11-1 record, has nine offers. He picked up his ninth from New Hampshire last week.

Mini Max awards. Eleven South Jersey players were among the 50 players honored by the Maxwell Football Club with Mini Max awards at a banquet Sunday in New Brunswick.

Among the local athletes who were honored were Craig Cassidy of Lenape, Jeff Steeb of Holy Spirit, Tim Brown of Kingsway, Alec Vignola of Paul VI, Drew Burdsall of Pennsville, and Dan Williams of Timber Creek.

Also, Tom Flacco of Eastern, Andrew O'Neill of Washington Township, Matt Fitzpatrick of Bishop Eustace, Eric Rainear of Buena, and Ben Boyer of Gloucester.

This and that. Eastern two-way lineman Mike Montemurro is involved with Kutztown (Pa.) State and linebacker/fullback Kingsley Ayeni has serious interest from Rhode Island, according to Vikings coach Dan Spittal. . . . Holy Spirit defensive back A.J. Dawson has picked up offers from Maine and Rhode Island along with Villanova, and Spartans defensive back Tyler Flynn has an offer from Millersville (Pa.). . . . Northern Burlington running back Kenyatta Greene will visit Assumption College the weekend of Jan. 25.


panastasia@phillynews.com

@PhilAnastasia

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