Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Football: Training camp confidential: Cedar Creek

Football: Training camp confidential: Cedar Creek

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By Phil Anastasia

Training camp confidential: Cedar Creek

Coach: Tim Watson

Last year: 8-2, won share of Cape National (with St. Augustine and Bridgeton), lost to Camden in first round of SJ 2 tournament

Schedule: Cedar Creek (Sept. 6), bye, Buena, at Holy Spirit, Bridgeton, bye, Oakcrest, at Lower Cape May, at Middle Twp., Pleasantville, St. Augustine (Thanksgiving)

Player to watch: Junior WR/DB Ahmir Mitchell (pictured). The 6-3, 205-pound Mitchell is one of the state's most highly recruited players in the class of 2016. He has offers from Florida State, Penn State and Michigan, among other programs. It's a measure of Mitchell's versatility that Florida State projects him as WR, Michigan as a DB and Virginia as a RB. He's the brother of former Cedar Creek star Damon Mitchell, now a redshirt freshman at Arkansas. Ahmir Mitchell will play mostly safety this season on defense but will likely to used in a variety of roles on offense -- WR, RB, Wildcat QB.

Outlook: Under Watson, Cedar Creek has developed into a small-school power right from the start of the program. The Pirates are 22-9 in their first three seasons. This year's seniors are the first class to play four seasons of varsity football. The PIrates have a lot of experience, especially up front. Their top lineman is 6-2, 320-pound senior nose tackle Felton "Trey" Blackwell, who has an offer from UConn. The offensive line is experienced and led by senior center Chris Lynch (6-3, 275) as well as seniors Krisha Guerra (6-0, 240) and Jayson Williams (6-2, 260). Other key veterans include senior RB Isa Willis (5-11, 200), senior DBs Gary Voss (5-9, 165) and Zach Newman (5-9. 175), senior OL.LB Angelo Williams (6-0, 215), senior RB/LB J.B. Burell (6-0, 195) and senior TE/LB  Nate Pauls (6-2, 220). Cedar Creek likely will feature some key young players as well, including sophomore QB Jesse Milza and sophomore DB Bo Melton (5-11, 165), the son of former Absegami and Rutgers star Gary Melton Sr. and brother of former Cedar Creek star Gary Melton Jr.

Fast fact: Cedar Creek can draw motivation from opposite ends of the spectrum in looking back at its last two games: a 48-0 loss to Camden in the SJ tournament and a 33-0 win over St. Augustine Prep in a Thanksgiving game that gave the Pirates a share of the Cape National title.

Quote: "That loss to Camden made us mad. We're determined to show we're a better team than that," Mitchell said.

-- Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com

-- Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter


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About this blog
Born and raised in South Jersey, Phil Anastasia prefers standing on the sidelines at high school football games on Friday nights to sitting in the press box at Eagles games on Sunday afternoons. He’s a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in English. Reach Phil at panastasia@phillynews.com.

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