Veteran coach Sal Marchese has one of his best teams this season at Delsea.
The Crusaders went 8-3 last season and won the S.J. Group 2 title. This year's team will be even better.
Delsea has a beefed-up schedule, too. They play Group 4 Absegami in a non-conference game as well as Delaware state power Salesianum. The Crusaders picked up the all-boys Delaware school to replace Woodstown on the schedule.
Delsea has talent and experience all over the roster. Running backs Austin Medley and Sean McPherson are three-year veterans and quarterback Chris Jackson -- a magician in the ball fakes that are a big part of the Wing T offense -- is back for a second season as a starter.
TE/DE Chris Pondo and OG/DT Jon Hickman are just two of several veterans along both front lines.
"We have the ingredients of a great team," Marchese said.
Delsea and Williamstown are the favorites in the Tri-Co Royal. It's conceivable the two teams could each be 10-0 when they meet on Thanksgiving weekend.
And some folks think that game, which is at Williamstown this year, should be moved to Friday night. That event could draw 5,000 people.
In Group 2, Delsea will be challenged by West Deptford and Haddonfield, with Bridgeton and Willingboro also in the mix as well as a likely contender from the Shore Conference.
But the road to the Group 2 sectional title runs through Franklinville.
-- Phil Anastasia