2017 in Review: The Panthers were 8-2, losing to Cinnaminson in the first round of the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs. They scored 228 points for a 22.8 average, while allowing 159 for a 15.9 average, including two shutouts. Wins included Rancocas Valley, Cedar Creek, Woodrow Wilson, and Winslow, while their other loss was to Camden Catholic.
Graduation Losses: DE Eli Sloan-El – LA Pierce College (Cal.) JUCO, QB/DB Premire Wilson – LA Pierce College (Cal.) JUCO, OL/DL Dayvohn Washington – Delaware State walk-on, WR/CB Damon Rice – Johnson C. Smith, RB Najyere Edwards – Wesley (Del.), OL Stephen Jones – Wesley (Del.), OL Jamil Coley – Rowan, OLB Chad Rhone – Kean, ILB David Taplin – Kean, DB Ahmere Mitchell – Hudson JC (NY)
Offense: Camden runs a multiple spread and returns five starters. The quarterback will be senior Cherry Hill West transfer Monte Williams (5-9, 160). Competition at running back will come from senior returning starter Ramer Nock (6-0, 170), junior Imir Catoe, and junior Esaiah Dawson (5-9, 185).
The receivers return senior JaJuan Hudson (5-11, 175) at slot receiver and sophomore split end Corey Palmer (6-1, 170). The other slot receiver will be senior St. Joe’s Prep (Pa.) transfer Brian Whitmore (5-9, 170). Nock started here last year, but has moved to running back. Freshman Alijah Clark (6-2, 180) will be the split end opposite Palmer and senior Shawn Patterson (6-1, 225) will be the h-back after seeing time.
Two starters return to the line with seniors Hiram Castro (5-10, 250) and Kahlil Phillips (6-3, 320) at center and right guard, respectively. The left guard will be senior Kyle Brown (6-0, 249), who was going to start last year, but was injured in the pre-season and missed the season. The tackles will seniors Tidiane Bamba (6-0, 285) on the right side and Ronald Custer (6-3, 290) on the left side. Pushing Bamba at right tackle is sophomore Jahni Hanley (6-0, 225).
Defense: The Panthers employ a 3-3 stack and return five starters. Bamba returns, moving from nose guard to end, while junior Kenny Smith (6-0, 295) will be the nose guard and he saw quality action on the line. The other end will be either Patterson or Custer.
Nock and senior Nick Cataldo (5-9, 150) return at outside linebacker, with Cataldo in a battle with Catoe. Inside linebacker has junior Camden Catholic transfer Tirek Austin-Cave (6-0, 205) at the will, senior Zakere Neal (5-10, 195) at the mike, and the sam will be between senior Marc Venable (6-0, 185) and Dawson. Junior Emmett Prather (6-1, 205) started at the mike last year, but tore his MCL last Thanksgiving, had complications, and his status for the season is in doubt.
Returning at cornerback is senior Donald Williams (6-1, 180) and his partner will be sophomore Darian Chestnut (5-11, 175). The free safety will be either Palmer or Hudson, while Monte Williams and Whitmore may see action somewhere in the secondary.
Special Teams: Hudson is the punter and senior Roberto Lugo will be the kicker. Senior LeRon Selby is the long snapper and the return men will be Chestnut, Hudson, and Nock.
Friday, 8/31, at Wise (Md.), 7 PM
Friday, 9/7, Cedar Creek at home, 6 PM
Friday, 9/14, at Paul VI, 7 PM
Friday, 9/21, at Delsea, 7 PM
Friday, 9/28, Pemberton at home, 6 PM
10/5-10/6, Bye Week
Friday, 10/12, at Pennsauken, 7 PM
Friday, 10/19, at Camden Catholic, 7PM
Friday, 10/26, Willingboro at home, 6 PM
Thursday, 11/22, Woodrow Wilson at home, 11 AM
Recruits: Donald Williams verballed to Rutgers. Bamba is 1-AA; height is an issue or he would be higher. Hudson, Nock, and Whitmore have 1-AA potential.
Among juniors, Austin-Cave has a Rutgers offer and in the sophomore class, Chestnut has a Baylor offer. Palmer is another sophomore who has a chance to be a real good one.
Concerns: Replacing their quarterback and bringing the team together. Depth.
Comments: “Every year is a challenge and this year, we are in a new division and a different schedule. We will see how it shakes out.” – Head Coach Dwayne Savage