Delsea looked good on paper.

Actually, it was even more encouraging than that. The Crusaders looked good on the track in the winter and on the football field in the fall.

But they still needed to perform in the spring.

"Coach told us everybody would be gunning for us," Delsea senior thrower Kyle Jones said. "It was just like in football. He said we needed to embrace that."

Delsea never backed down from the expectations, thanks to an experienced, accomplished group of athletes and a confident, veteran coach.

Delsea's Ronn Flaim is the Coach of the Year in South Jersey boys' track because of his ability to get the best from a deep, talented team.

The Crusaders won three division titles at three relays, went undefeated in Tri-County Diamond Division competition, and captured the team title at the Gloucester County meet.

Delsea also won the South Jersey Group 2 title, scoring an imposing 133.5 points during the event May 21 and 22 at Buena.

"Up until the state meet, we won everything handily," Flaim said. "We thought this had a chance to be the best team we've ever had, and they probably were."

Flaim has been a line coach for the Delsea football team for 11 years. His familiarity with the athletes, many of whom were members of the football team as well as the track and field team, was a factor in the success of both programs.

"He's the best," said Jones, a center on the football team who placed in the shot put at the sectional meet and the state meet. "He can be tough on us and he can joke around with us. He always gets the best out of his players."

Expectations were high for Delsea after the Crusaders won the South Jersey Group 2 title in football with several of the same athletes, and captured the sectional crown in indoor track.

But expectations can be a burden for a team that lacks leadership, discipline and direction. That wasn't a problem for the Crusaders.

Their coach made sure they accepted the challenge.

"These are such great kids," said Flaim, who finished his eighth season as Crusaders coach. "They did everything that was asked of them. It's no secret why they are successful. They work." - Phil Anastasia