Paul VI football used to be under the radar.
The Eagles went 9-1 last season. Their only loss came in the Non-Public 4 playoffs to St. Peter's Prep, a team that's likely to be No. 1 in the state this season.
Paul VI returns a lot of talent, led by running back James Kenner, quarterback Khaalig Burroughs, wide receivers Jakwail Bailey and Chris Hutton, and young lineman Greg Webb.
"We've been building to this point," Paul VI coach John Doherty said. "This is where we wanted to get."
Paul VI will have a bulls-eye on its back this season. But the Eagles don't mind.
"That's a sign of respect," said Kenner, a 6-1, 215-pound back from Pennsauken who ran for more than 1,200 yards last season. He's drawing recruiting interest from Boston College, among other schools.
The Eagles have a tough schedule in the new West Jersey Football League. They are in the same division with Seneca, another Top 5 team, along with Camden Catholic. Paul VI also plays Winslow and Bishop Eustace in non-division games.
"It's going to be a challenge but we look forward to it," said Burroughs, who passed for more than 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
-- Phil Anastasia