By Phil Anastasia
Training camp confidential: Holy Cross
Coach: Frank Holmes
Last year: 7-4, second in WJFL Liberty, beat Hudson Catholic in first round of NP 2 tournament and lost to eventual champion DePaul Catholic in the second round
Schedule: Delran, at Palmyra, at Pemberton, Florence, Cinnaminson, at Willingboro, at Bordentown, at Burlington Township, Robbinsville (no Thanksgiving game)
Player to watch: Brandon Simmons (pictured). The 6-3, 170-pound Simmons is a returning starter at quarterback and one of the top athletes in Burlington County. He passed for 1,179 yards and 11 TDs last season and ran for 440 yards and 5 TDs. He's a team leader and part of a senior class determined to make something special of their final season with the Lancers. "He's made so much improvement (over last year)," Holmes said. "He's ready to have a big season."
Outlook: Holy Cross has a corps of seniors who have been playing at the varsity level for three years. The Lancers rank with Cinnaminson and Bordentown as the favorites in the WJFL Liberty and also should be a factor in Non-Public 2 (although North Jersey powers DePaul and Immaculata loom large in that group). Besides Simmons, the team returns all five starters along the offensive line led by center Tim Wagner (6-3, 295), tackles Gary Whelan (6-1, 240) and Jalen Singleton (6-0, 290) and guards James Chattin (6-4, 310) and Rafael Jackson (6-1, 305). These guys are veterans of the program's intense off-season weight-training sessions. Senior Omarr Jordan (6-0, 190) will be the primary ball-carrier. There are talented receivers in seniors Tymere DeShield (6-2, 190) and Brandon Anderson (6-1, 185). Among the team's top juniors is TE/DE Matt Correnti (6-2, 190).
Fast fact: Holy Cross has won 27 games over the last four years.
Quote: "It's our time now. We're been working so hard because we know as seniors this is our last year. It's now or never," Simmons said.
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