2017 In Review: The Pirates were 8-3, losing to West Deptford in the South Jersey Group 2 semi-finals after beating Willingboro. They scored 211 points for a 21.1 average, while allowing 121 for a 12.1 average, including two shutouts. **This does not include a forfeit win on their schedule. Wins included Haddonfield, Absegami, and Ocean City, while their other losses were to St. Joe’s (Hammonton) and Camden.
Graduation Losses: SB/S Naz Chapman – Kutztown, ILB Mike Gulig – Kutztown, WR/CB Dom Simmons – Montclair State, T Elijah “EJ” Ford – Montclair State, WR/CB Shane Jones – Susquehanna (Pa.), K Clay Ali – Susquehanna (Pa.), T Jaquan Robinson – Stevenson (Md.), ILB Isaiah Campbell – Wesley (Del.), LS/LB Julian Connorton – U of New England
Offense: Cedar Creek runs a multiple spread and returns five starters. The backfield returns with junior Louie Barrios (6-0, 185) at quarterback and senior Kamaal Reed (5-10, 210) at running back. Senior Isaiah “Rosco” Davis (5-7, 160) was expected to get carries, but suffered a broken leg in a scrimmage and may miss the season.
Back at wide receiver is junior Malachi Melton (6-0, 170) and senior Aidan Richardson (6-3, 195) also saw action. The other two wideouts will be a committee of senior Russell Riek (5-10, 160), junior Manny Reid (5-11, 165), and senior George Ramp (6-3, 190). Another who will play in the slot is freshman JoJo Bermudez (5-7, 150). When a tight end is used, it will be senior Max Lister (6-1, 215), who did not play football last year.
Two starters are back on the line in seniors Evan Martinelli (5-9, 190) at guard and Jaylen Marable (6-0, 250) at tackle. The opposite tackle is junior Tyler Hendrickson (6-2, 215) and junior Andrew Mahieu (6-0, 210) will be the center. The other guard is senior Joe Curry (5-11, 205), who started defensively.
Defense: The Pirates run a 3-4 and return two starters. Curry will be the nose guard after starting at linebacker last year and he will also be lined up in a variety of positions. The ends will be junior R’mohni McGaney (5-11, 220) and senior Rashan Brumfield (6-2, 230).
The inside linebackers will be senior Lamar Fisher (5-11, 190) and junior Fatu Castillo (5-10, 205). The two outside positions will be a three-man rotation of Lister, Ramp, and Richardson.
Melton returns at cornerback, where his partner will be junior Richard McQueen (6-0, 175). The safeties are Riek and senior Kareem Tinsley (5-11, 190). Bermudez will also see time in the secondary.
Special Teams: The kicker is sophomore Taylor Manning and Ramp is the punter. The return men will be Melton, McQueen, and Bermudez.
Friday, 8/31, at Willingboro, 7 PM
Friday, 9/7, at Camden, 6 PM
Friday, 9/14, at Absegami, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/22, at Woodrow Wilson, 1 PM
Saturday, 9/29, Pleasantville at home, 1 PM
10/5-6, Bye Week
Saturday, 10/13, Oakcrest at home, 1 PM
Friday, 10/19, at Delsea, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/27, Camden Catholic at home, 7 PM
Recruits: Kamaal Reed and Curry are receiving 1-AA looks, while Ramp and Richardson are getting them from D2. Davis could have a D3 college career, but the injury has set him back.
The juniors have Melton receiving offers from Rutgers, Temple, and Boston College. Barrios is a 1-AA recruit and Manny Reid is a D2 candidate.
Concerns: Lack of experience and defense and depth.
Coach’s Comments: “I love the energy of this team. We are trying to uphold a tradition we have built in a short time. We’re up for the challenge and the kids want to leave their own legacy. On offense, we have weapons we can us, but we’re not one-dimensional. Defensively, we have a long way to go, but we’re hungry to get there.” – Head Coach Tim Watson