Last year inexperience caught up to Eastern’s football team and the Vikings ended up with an uncharacteristic 1-9 season.
It was only the second sub .500 season in 11 seasons under Dan Spittal, whose career record is 65-49.
Now as a new season approaches, the Vikings appear to be improve, but the main question is how far are they realistically expected to move up?
Olympic American rivals Eastern and Lenape -- who shared a third of the division title this season along with Washington Township -- will meet for the third time this season in the SJ Group 4 semifinals this afternoon at Eastern.
Eastern won the previous two meetings. The Vikings (21-7) won 7-6 on April 14 and 6-2 on May 2.
They are one of South Jersey's hottest teams, with 14 wins in their last 16 games.
Let's look at the South Jersey Groups today and fast forward to the finals. In Group 1 Audubon defeats Maple Shade. Group 2 has Sterling beating Buena. In Group 3 Kingsway upends Pinelands. And in Group 4 Eastern edges Washington Township.
The NJSIAA softball brackets have been posted and the top seeds in South Jersey Groups 1 through 4 are as follows:
Group 1, Maple Shade, Group 2, Sterling, Group 3, Pinelands, Group 4, Eastern.
In Central Jersey only one area team is the top seed: Florence, in Group 1.
The first round of the Diamond Classic reflected well on the Olympic American and Cape-Atlantic.
The Colonial? Not so much.
Olympic American teams went 3-1, which was as good as possible since one of those games was a matchup between division rivals Cherokee and Lenape.
Washington Township clobbered No. 8 Eastern, 9-1, Wednesday to send shock waves through The Inquirer's Top 10 rankings.
The unranked Minutemaids stroked 14 hits, including doubles by Christina Austin, Kylie Mullholland, Kristen Turner, Alissa Schoelkopf, Nikki Sandelier and Jessica Fanty.
Junior Steph Vuono, the Vikings' No. 1 pitcher, suffered her first loss of the season.
When I looked at their records, I wasn't surprised that they finished the wrestling season not only as champs but also undefeated.
Eastern senior Rob Deutsch won the 119-pound title and finished the season with a 42-0 record.
Camden Catholic sophomore Thomas John Miller won the 135-pound crown, which capped the season with a 43-0 record.
Here at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall Sunday afternoon, five area wrestlers are shooting for state titles.
I'm guessing that three will walk away with hardware.
Eastern senior Rob Deutsch (41-0) has diominated the 119-pound weight class all season and there is no reason to think that he won't upend South Plainfield's Troy Heilman (36-2).