St. Joseph, which returns most of the team that went 12-0 and finished No. 1 in South Jersey in the rankings last football season, will face perhaps the most daunting schedule in program history in 2018.
In addition to division games with Timber Creek, Millville, Vineland and Atlantic City, St. Joseph will play cross-over games with Haddonfield, West Deptford, St. Augustine Prep and Holy Spirit, according to the 2018-19 schedule for the West Jersey Football League that was released Wednesday.
All eight of those teams finished in the Top 25 rankings.
The league previously had released new division alignments.
The new division alignments along with a change in the football format — with teams being given just eight regular-season games by their respective leagues instead of the traditional nine — delayed the release of the schedules with cross-over games.
The new format also will impact the playoff system, starting in 2018, with changes in seedings and power points.
The WJFL stuck to its recent tradition of placing just one non-public team in a division. The league also has tried in the past to limit public schools from playing more than one game against non-public teams but that rule was bent a bit in the 2018-19 schedule cycle.
Cinnaminson will play both Holy Cross and Bishop Eustace. Camden will play both Camden Catholic and Paul VI. And Atlantic City will play both St. Joseph and Holy Spirit.
Among the interesting cross-over matchups are Timber Creek vs. Woodrow Wilson in Week 2 as well as the Chargers renewing their series with school-district rival Highland in Week 4.
Delsea will play West Deptford in a clash of Gloucester County powers in Week 2. West Deptford, which will have a new coach after the resignation after last season of the legendary Clyde Folsom, also will have a crossover game with St. Joseph.
Camden Catholic and Lenape will meet in Week 6, while Woodrow Wilson and Shawnee will play in Week 6 as well.
The three-way rivalry between former Cape-Atlantic League non-public powers St. Joseph, St. Augustine Prep and Holy Spirit will continue as each team will play the other two.
Paulsboro and Penns Grove will play in a clash of Group 1 powers in Week 2 and Haddonfield and Cinnaminson will meet in Week 2 as well.
Moorestown and Shawnee will play in a rematch of a Group 4 playoff game in Week 4.
Williamstown and Washington Township will renew their rivalry but the game will be played in Week 6, not on Thanksgiving as it has been in recent years. Both teams will be off on Thanksgiving.