After going 9-3 in 2009 and reaching the SJ Group 3 title game, Timber Creek seemed poised for another big season in 2010.
It never happened.
The Chargers went 5-5 and lost their finale by 36-14 to school-district rival Triton on Thanksgiving Day.
This year could be different. Although Delsea is the favorite in the WJFL Royal Division -- and the Crusaders rate as one of the teams to beat in Group 3 along with Hammonton and Moorestown -- Timber Creek could be in the mix.
"This is going to be a different team," said junior defensive tackle Greg Webb, a transfer from Paul VI.
Webb, who also will make a major impact on the Timber Creek wrestling team, is part of one of the most physically imposing defenses in South Jersey.
Linebacker Quanzell Lambert might be South Jersey's top recruit. Like Webb, junior defensive end Dajuan Drennon is a D-I prospect. Senior free safety Calvin Lowe likely will play at the old I-AA level.
The key for the Chargers will be playing efficient offense, limiting mistakes and riding out the adversity that hits every team.
Lowe is a veteran quarterback, starting for the third year. Juniors Khalil Pierce and Eric Church, a transfer from St. Anthony in Jersey City, are explosive running backs. Those guys also could see action at defensive back.
Timber Creek coach Ron Hinson loves his linebacking corps, which is led by Lambert -- who could end up at Alabama or Oklahoma -- and includes Taliq Chambers and Jamie Schiavo.
Although the Chargers made the tournament last season, they were disappointed to finish 5-5. They were a better team than that, at least on paper.
They are a 8- or 9-win team on paper this season. They just need to make it happen on the field.
-- Phil Anastasia