Another in a series of early looks at South Jersey football teams
Last year: 8-3
Coach: Pete Goetz (44-50 entering 10th season)
Conference outlook: A contender (behind co-favorites Pennsauken and Shawnee) in the WJFL National Division
Playoff outlook: A contender (behind school-distrrict rival Timber Creek as well as Hammonton and Shawnee) in SJ 4
Opener: Sept. 7 vs. Pennsauken
Triton was a good team in 2011. The Mustangs went 8-3 and their three losses were to two of the best teams in South Jersey -- twice to SJ Group 4 champion Pennsauken, and once to SJ Group 3 champion Timber Creek.
But if the Mustangs want to keep their seat at the table of the top programs, they need to follow a good season in 2011 with another good season in 2012.
"We want to prove that we weren't just a one year thing," Triton senior OL/LB Chance Negri said. "We want to show that we weren't just one and done."
Triton has a chance to push into the Top 10 conversation this season. The Mustangs have a challenging schedule, but they return several key players from last year's team.
Leading the way is RB Josh Woods, who had 899 yards the first five games last season. Woods missed the final five games after suffering a knee injury in Game 6 against Paul VI.
Wood underwent surgery to repair a torn PCL in December. He's wearing a brace on his left knee but believes he will be 100 percent this season.
"I'm going to be even better," Woods said. "I'm so determined."
Triton should have a solid defense led by inside linebackers Negri and Artie Flemming, tackle Brian Marzi and junior end Isaiah Baylor, a top pass rusher.
"He's a stud," Triton coach Pete Goetz said of Baylor. "Teams can't block him."
Kris Baylor, Isasiah's cousin, is a top defensive back.
On offense, the Mustangs should have a solid line led by Marzi, while Baylor is a top TE. The key will be Woods, who will be one of the best RBs in South Jersey if he's healthy.
The Mustangs will need to have a strong ground game since they will be inexperienced at quarterback. Seniors Joe Cowley and Russ Urban and sophomore Jake McGlinchey have been getting snaps at QB during the summer.
Triton has a big opener with WJFL National rival Pennsauken, a game with extra meaning for the Mustangs since the Indians beat them twice last season.
The next four games: Cherokee, Shawnee, Kingsway and Williamstown.
"I'm full throttle," Woods said, "and that's the way we're going to be as a team, too."
-- Phil Anastasia