In one of the first developments in what should be a constant theme in South Jersey football this season, the Timber Creek football program has found a way to honor Mainland's program.
The Chargers will wear helmet sticks that read "Mainland High School Mustangs" and included the numbers in the four corners of the four Mainland players who were killed in an SUV accident on August 20.
Timber Creek coach Rob Hinson said he wanted to show his program's respect and regard for Bob Coffey's devastated program at Mainland.
Hinson also wanted his players to appreciate the significance of the tragedy.
"I wanted to do something to remind our kids that we are not invincible and not to take things for granted (especially life)," Hinson said via email. "Without being religious or anything man, but life is a blessing and being able to play football is a blessing as well.
"I didn't want to interfere with how Coach Coffey and his family (team, school, community) grieved and got through this situation, but I wanted to make sure everyone but more importantly my guys knew/acknowledged what happened.
"I wanted to do something, and Mike Trant (my Booster Club President) suggested doing the helmet sticker and came up with the design/idea."
This is likely to be a continuing theme through South Jersey football. Hinson, Trout and the rest of the Timber Creek football family should be commended for reaching out to Mainland, even in this small, symbolic way.
-- Phil Anastasia