This will be the 68th and Final season for Cape-Atlantic-League Football. Many fans are sad to say goodbye to a South Jersey league that has been around since 1948. It’s hard to imagine the State of New Jersey without the CAL as it has tremendous history.
Over the Summer, the West Jersey Football League voted to allow the 17 Cape Atlantic League schools to enter the power conference. This will bring the WJFL from 66 to 83 overall teams, making it by one of the largest conference’s in the Country.
It will be interesting to see how the 17 CAL teams fit into the organization of the league. Right now the WJFL features 11 divisions. We will see teams like Atlantic City, Mainland, and Millville possibly compete against Shawnee, Cherokee, Willliamstown, and Lenape during the regular season. The merger could also bring back the always celebrated Thanksgiving Day tradition between St. Joseph’s and Hammonton High School.
The biggest question will be what happens with the CAL’s non public schools. Later on in the year, the State will take a vote on whether to begin a Non-Public Football League. This would allow the CAL to be admitted to the WJFL without St. Joseph’s Hammonton, Holy Spirit, and St Augustine. Many WJFL public school coaches have had mixed opinions about playing those three CAL programs.
Nonetheless, the CAL will open Week 1 with a great schedule ahead. South Jersey can look forward to some fantastic matchups. There are plenty of teams that are ready to make a statement and prove they can compete for division titles.
HERE ARE 2 CAL GAMES TO WATCH ON FRIDAY NIGHT!
ST JOSEPH’S HAMMONTON AT ST AUGUSTINE – 6PM
Head Coach Paul Sacco will lead his Wildcats down into Richland to start the season. The Wildcats are the Class of the CAL, coming off another State Championship Season. It’s not everyday you see a program that has put together 23 Sectional Titles. Sacco is one of the best in the business.
The Wildcats will look to continue their 21 game winning streak. Quarterback Salaam Horne is a multi-talented player that is nearly impossible to stop. Salaam threw for 14 touchdowns, and ran for 8 as well. Salaam’s twin brother A’Laam Horne is also one of the best offensive players in the State. A’Laam carried the ball 96 times for 1180 yards, crossing the end zone 22 times.
The offensive line for the Wildcats is also one of the most athletic around. Veteran starters Chris Carey, Rha-Sun Tapp, and Eddie Testa will anchor this group. St Joe’s will have the size and strength to really boost this running game again.
As for St Augustine, the Augies will look to build on the success they had in 2014. St Augustine finished the season 8-2. They had a very impressive showing against the always respectable Don Bosco Prep. St Augustine played DBP right down to the wire. This was a lineup that continued to get better throughout the year. The skill positions are loaded with players who are a threat to score at anytime. Head Coach Mark Reardon has a lot to be excited about!
Senior Quarterback Jose Tabora returns after coming on to the scene this past year. Tabora passed for 788 yards and rushed for 150. Sophomore Running Back Kyle Dobbins will step into a full time starting role. Dobbins will replace one of the best backs in school history after the graduation of Lamont Harris. Dobbins had a great game in relief for Harris against Cedar Creek, rushing for 105 yards, including a 55 yard touchdown.
CAL All Star Jim Brady will once again lead the defense. Brady was as shutdown of a defender as you can get, making 112 tackles and dropping opposing Quarterbacks for 5 sacks. He will use his experience to help some of the new starters on the defensive side of the ball.
While the Auggies have improved over the past two seasons, the Wildcats are simply too strong. St. Joe’s have too many athletes on both sides of the ball. St Augustine will make it interesting for a bit, but Horne and Company are just too much.
THE PICK: ST JOSEPH’S HAMMONTON
ATLANTIC CITY AT EGG HARBOR TWP – 7PM
The Atlantic City Vikings will look to build on their 6-4 campaign from 2014. The team will open up with an EHT team looking to make some serious noise. Last years’ version of this game did not disappoint, as EHT edged the Vikings 28-27 in a shootout. Head Coach Tom Kelly will look for a different result this Friday night. He has a lot of players with tremendous athleticism and speed on both sides of the ball.
Dual threat Quarterback Jamir Prevard is a good signal caller for the Vikings. Prevard has a great all around skill set and can hurt you with his arm or legs. Prevard threw for 1406 yards and ran for 453 during the 2014 season. It will be tough for EHT to slow him down.
Prevard has a lot to work with at the skill positions. Running Back Aaron Jackson will look to take a step up, after rushing for 262 yards. Leading Wide Receiver Doug DeBerry is back an action, after catching 26 passes for 473 yards. DeBerry is a tough for any defender to keep up with on the outside.
Head Coach Kevin Stetser will have this Egg Harbor Twp team ready to compete. For a program that has struggled in recent years, EHT was significantly improved with a 5-5 record in 2014. Atlantic City will be a great test for the program as they look to get off to a fast start.
Quarterback David Rice be the full time starter after playing a limited role last season. Rice is a young Quarterback with good vision. He brings a lot to the table. He threw for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2014.
The skill positions are also very strong for EHT. Both Running Backs Dontate Moore and Connor Agostino return. They are strong downhill runners. Moore piled up 541 yards and 4 touchdowns. Agostino also chipped in with 499 and 7 scores. Wide Receiver Spencer LaSure is a matchup nightmare, averaging 34 yards per catch and finishing with 512 yards.
This will be a tough opening game that will come down to defense. Last year, both sides gave up a lot of big plays. The EHT front seven must get after Prevard from the start. The EHT Secondary must also stay with the athletes on the outside. The Vikings are always full of speed.
I like Atlantic City in another close game. The teams will score quite a bit, but Prevard and Jackson will find a way to get it done. Look for a big second half out of both of those leaders.
THE PICK: ATLANTIC CITY
FULL CAPE-ATLANTIC LEAGUE SCHEDULE AND PICKS
Middle Twp at X – Vineland 6PM
X – Malvern Prep (PA) at Holy Spirit- 7PM
X – Bishop Shanahan (PA) at Pleasantville – 7PM
X – Buena at Bridgeton – 7PM
X – Mainland at Millville – 7PM
Absegami at X – Ocean City – 7PM
X – Cape Henlopen (DE) at Lower Cape May – 1PM