By Phil Anastasia
Training camp confidential: Glassboro
Coach: Mark Maccarone
Last year: 7-5, won final five games and captured SJ 1 title
Schedule: at Gloucester Catholic, Salem, at Schalick, Gloucester, Woodstown, at Camden, bye, at Bishop Eustace, Penn Grove, Deptford (Thanksgiving)
Player to watch: Senior quarterback Mike Maldonado (pictured). The 5-11, 175-pound Maldonado sparked Glassboro to the SJ 1 title in 2013. He didn't come out for the team until early October but took over the starting QB spot and led the Bulldogs to five consecutive victories after a 2-5 start. Maldonado passed for 477 yards and 5 TDs. He also is a top baseball player who has committed to attend Rider on a baseball scholarship.
Outlook: Glassboro would be a heavy favorite to win the SJ 1 title for the sixth time in nine years but the Bulldogs have moved up to SJ 2, which is loaded with strong teams such as defending champion Haddonfield, Camden, West Deptford, Barnegat, Sterling and Cedar Creek, among others. Glassboro has two skill-position players who can match up with any team in any group. One is senior WR/DB Juwan Johnson (6-5, 205), a Penn State recruit. Johnson missed much of last season with an ankle injury but still caught 26 passes for 421 yards. He returned a punt and an interception for TDs in the SJ 1 title game. The other is senior RB/DB Ronnie James (6-0, 180), a Rutgers recruit. He ran for 1,168 yards and 16 TDs last season. Other players to watch include junior LB Qaadar Campbell, who made 87 tackles last season, as well as senior WR/DBs Ennis Hutchinson and Quentin Parnham, junior DB Jordan Johnson, junior DE Acosta Kittles and junior RB/DB Dezman Horne. The key, especially against the better squads on the schedule as well as in the playoffs, will be the development of a young front line. Leading the way will be senior two-way lineman Jagkirkpal Channa (6-5, 240).
Strange but true: Glassboro was last in the Diamond Division (1-4 record) last season and first in SJ 1.
More competition: In addition to the move up to SJ 2, the Bulldogs also face a tougher schedule as the WJFL gave Glassboro cross-over games with teams such as Camden and Bishop Eustace.
Quote: "We're looking forward to playing the bigger schools. We want to show what we can do," Maldonado said of Glassboro's move up to SJ 2.
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