Early opening for 2 football teams

Ahmir Mitchell
Ahmir Mitchell
Posted: September 06, 2014

The football season will start early for Holy Spirit and Cedar Creek.

Every other South Jersey team will open the season next weekend, but the Spartans and Pirates will begin play this weekend with out-of-conference games against unfamiliar opponents.

Holy Spirit, rebuilding after an 11-1 season in 2013, will play at Southeastern Pennsylvania power Malvern Prep on Friday night.

Cedar Creek, which returns several key players from last year's 8-2 team, will host North Jersey Group 1 power Cedar Grove on Saturday afternoon.

"It should be a good test for us," Cedar Creek coach Tim Watson said. "They've been one of the best Group 1 teams up there for a long time."

Cedar Grove, which has won seven Group 1 sectional titles, is coming off an 8-3 season and was 28-7 over the last three seasons.

Cedar Creek will be led by junior wide receiver/defensive back Ahmir Mitchell, who has scholarship offers from defending national champion Florida State, Michigan, and Mississippi, among other programs.

"We're preparing to win this season," said the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Mitchell, whose brother Damon is a redshirt freshman at Arkansas.

Holy Spirit will face a challenge in a Malvern Prep team that lost its opener last weekend to Roman Catholic, 38-27.

"People think because we lost 22 seniors from last year's team that we're not going to be any good," Holy Spirit senior two-way lineman T.J. Clayton said. "But we don't rebuild at Holy Spirit. We find a way to win."

Holy Spirit and Cedar Creek needed to add a game after the Cape-Atlantic realignment left both programs with just eight games within the conference.

The early start means both teams will be off the weekend of Sept. 12, when every other South Jersey team will open the season. Holy Spirit and Cedar Creek each will have a second bye in October.

And the teams will play each other Sept. 26 at Holy Spirit in a battle that could go a long way toward determining the Cape-Atlantic National Division title.


panastasia@phillynews.com

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