Football preview: Williamstown

Williamstown made a strong entrance to the WJFL American Division.

The Braves started fast in 2010 but faded down the stretch and were ushered out of the playoffs in the first round. They hope to show a little more staying power in 2011.

"This might be the fastest team I've ever had," Williamstown coach Frank Fucetola said.

The Braves have lost a lot of talent over the last three years. This year's team is fairly young, and lacks size -- at least from a Group 4 standpoint -- but Fucetola thinks his underclassmen are ready to make an impact.

The Braves have experience at quarterback in senior Dan Collins, who started as a junior. They also have a weapon in veteran kicker Mike Burke.

Fucetola said the Braves were outplayed by Hammonton in their first scrimmage but handled Rancocas Valley in their second scrimmage.

That might be the pattern for this team, at least early: Up and down, up and down.

There's talent at the skill positions in guys such as senior Chris Inge and sophomore Marques Little. Both of those guys are projected to go both ways at halfback and cornerback.

The lines are anchored by senior Mike Martucci, who will play center and nose guard.

Fucetola also is looking for an immediate impact from linebacker Shawn Brown, a transfer from St. Joseph's.

The Braves probably pushed harder for the formation of the WJFL than any other program. They felt as a Group 4 team that they had outgrown the Tri-County Royal and wanted the challenge of regular-season games against the likes Cherokee, Lenape, Eastern and Washington Township.

Williamstown isn't outclassed in the WJFL American. They belong with those other programs.

But this is a bit of a transition year for the program as Fucetola and his coaches work in more and more young players. Those kids, they've got a lot of speed, so maybe they'll catch up fast.

-- Phil Anastasia