Skip to content
Rally High School Sports
Link copied to clipboard

Crusaders counted on senior leaders

Some smart aleck might say Delsea won the South Jersey Group 2 title in track and field this season by three touchdowns.

Some smart aleck might say Delsea won the South Jersey Group 2 title in track and field this season by three touchdowns.

It wouldn't be completely wrong.

For one thing, the Crusaders scored 133.5 points, the most by any team in the 16 public-school sectionals in the state during that May 21 weekend. For another, there were a lot of football players in key roles for the Delsea track and field team.

But it was a group effort all season for the Crusaders. That's why they are The Inquirer's South Jersey boys' track and field team of the year.

"We've been gearing toward this season," Delsea coach Ronn Flaim said. "This was a senior-dominated team that really stepped up and performed this season."

With 13 seniors leading the way, Delsea won every title within the Crusaders' reach until the state championships May 28-29. Haddonfield won the Group 2 state title that weekend, thanks in large part to the distance events.

But Delsea's body of work was impressive. The Crusaders won their divisions in the Cam-Glo Relays, Bridgeton Relays, and Woodbury Relays. They went 5-0 in dual meets and won the Tri-County Classic Division title. They won the Gloucester County meet.

In the sectional meet, Delsea displayed a remarkable breadth and depth of talent against other South Jersey Group 2 teams.

Senior Sean McPherson, a star running back for Delsea's South Jersey Group 2 championship football team in the fall, led the way by winning the 100 and 200, and long jump.

But several of those burly senior linemen from the football team also came through in the spring. Jon Hickman took fourth in the discus, Dennis Handy was fourth in the shot put, and Kyle Jones took sixth in the shot put.

Junior Darius Convery, a wide receiver in football, was third in the long jump, and junior Tyler Coulbourn, a defensive back, was third in the 100. Junior Thomas Berryman, another wide receiver, was fourth in the high jump and high hurdles.

Non-football players were key for the Crusaders, too. Senior Kyle Webb was second in the intermediate hurdles and the 400, and junior Brady Deckert was third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600. Junior Steve Butenewicz was third in the 800.

"It wasn't just the football players," said Flaim, who serves as an assistant coach in charge of offensive and defensive lines for the football team. "But those teams kind of feed off each other."

- Phil Anastasia