By Phil Anastasia
Last year: 12-0 (Colonial Liberty and S.J. Group 2 champions)
Coach: Clyde Folsom (210-66-5 entering 26th season, 21st at West Deptford)
Fast fact: West Deptford is 116-12 in the last 11 seasons, with six S.J. 2 titles
Opener: Sept. 13 at Gateway
Player of watch: Senior RB Gerald Owens (pictured) is a Michigan State recruit who has scored eight touchdowns in the last two S.J. Group 2 title games. He ran for 1,703 yards and 27 TDs as a junior. The 6-2, 260-pound Owens is one of the strongest players in SJ, having recently bench-pressed 375 pounds.
Outlook: This could be one of Folsom's best teams at West Deptford, and that's saying something. The Eagles will be deep, talented and strong. Owens plays like a man among boys, especially in the Colonial Conference. The front lines are sturdy and experienced and led by senior TE/DE Nick Pulli along with junior OL/DLs Jake Kull and Tyler Garrison. Senior Shai Mumford is a big-play WR/DB. Senior Mike Daws should be steady at QB. Senior RB/LB Isaiah Worthy and junior FB/LB Kevin DeCaesar are top athletes. Among the young players to watch are sophomore OG/LB Bob Brewer and sophomore WR/DB Marquise Owens, Gerald's little brother.
Schedule: Nothing is a sure thing in high school sports, but WD will be a four-touchdown (or more) favorite in most of its games. Haddonfield, which visits Oct. 25, will challenge WD in the Colonial Liberty and SJ Group 2 but the Bulldogs likely are a year away from being able to look the Eagles in the eye. Haddon Heights visits Nov. 1 in a game that will be televised by The Comcast Network, and and the regular-season finale will be Nov. 30 (two days after Thanksgiving) at rival Paulsboro. In SJ 2, Haddonfield, Sterling, Willingboro, Woodstown and Bridgeton could be dangerous. But if this team plays near its potential, WD is looking at another 12-0 season and probably more than 500 points.
Quote: "We have a lot of pieces to the puzzle but we have to put the puzzle together," Gerald Owens said.
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