It's a difficult call, but just as it was suggested in the preseason, Shawnee has emerged as the football program of the decade. Other schools had better records and won more championships, but the Renegades finished No. 1 more than once in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings.

Shawnee was No. 1 in 2004 and 2008, and was 12-0 both seasons. The Renegades won four S.J. championships in this decade. Shawnee captured the South Jersey Group 4 title in 2002 and 2004 and won South Jersey Group 3 championships in 2007 and 2008.

The Renegades were finalists in 2000, losing to Jackson, 21-14, in overtime in the S.J. Group 4 championship.

Shawnee also won or shared five division titles. The Renegades were champions of the Burlco/Olympic Liberty Division in 2008, shared the American Division in 2005 and 2000, and won the American Division title outright in 2003 and 2004.

Shawnee, which qualified for the playoffs nine out of 10 years, finished the decade with a record of 87-25.

St. Joseph, which never has had to play a 12-game schedule because of fewer qualifying playoff teams in either Non-Public Group 1 or 2, was a candidate. St. Joseph won eight Non-Public state titles this decade, four in Group 1 and four in Group 2.

The Wildcats finished as The Inquirer's No. 1-ranked team in 2006 and were 91-17 this decade. While it is no fault of St. Joseph, its schedules were weaker than those of other contenders.

Other teams in the mix included Delsea, Cherokee, Paulsboro and West Deptford. Delsea won four sectional titles, two in Group 3 and two in Group 2, and was No. 1 in South Jersey during a 12-0 season in 2005. The Crusaders were also a Group 3 finalist in 2002. Delsea went 88-22 this decade.

Cherokee won at least seven games every season and captured South Jersey Group 4 titles this year and in 2005. The Chiefs were a Group 4 finalist in 2006. Cherokee finished No. 1 this season and went 86-25 while winning or sharing three American Division titles.

Paulsboro went 100-16 this decade and won five South Jersey Group 1 titles. The Red Raiders' last sectional title was in 2006. West Deptford went 97-16 this decade with four South Jersey Group 2 titles.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com.