The Delsea High football team is playing for the South Jersey Group 3 title on Saturday, and senior linebacker/tight end Jake Hallowell is a big reason.
Delsea will be aiming for its fifth consecutive Group 3 title when it faces the Wall Crimson Knights at Rowan University.
Hallowell has been a part of the last three championships and hopes to make it 4 for 4 on Saturday.
"I think the main thing is being able to play really good on defense," Hallowell said. "We have to play better than we have in the past."
Hallowell has continued to improv since his freshman year, and his role has increased since then. Coach Sal Marchese has coached Hallowell for three seasons and has seen firsthand the type of player he is.
"Jake is a very, very tough kid," Marchese said. "He is kind of the throwback when it comes to toughness and work ethic. He gets dirty, and gets in there like an old-style kind of linebacker."
Marchese plays Hallowell on both sides of the ball because he is a good blocker and has a nose for the ball, but Hallowell realizes there are things he can improve.
"I think my main strength is finding the ball," Hallowell said. "I pretty much know where the ball is at all times. "One of the things I can improve on is getting to the ball a little bit faster."
Throughout his time playing for Delsea, Hallowell has been mostly a quiet player who leads by example, but Marchese has noticed that Hallowell has grown into being a true leader.
"From the time I was with him as a sophomore, he was a quiet kid," Marchese said. "He has become a little bit more vocal as a senior. He has always been a lead-by-example kid, but this year he has become more vocal, which you need."
Marchese realizes that his team will be put to the test against Wall and that someone like Hallowell will have to step up in a big way.
"We are going to have to have great leadership and a great game out of Jake on both sides of the ball," Marchese said. "Wall is a very good opponent, and I think our kids realize that."