Two players who were Inquirer second-team all-South Jersey football offensive selections a year ago headline this year's first team.
In addition to the offensive player of the year, quarterback Bill Belton of Winslow Township, Timber Creek's Damiere Byrd is a first-team receiver after being a second-team all-purpose back last year.
This year's first-team offensive and defensive players will be honored at Monday's annual Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club banquet, 6:30 p.m. at the Westin Hotel in Mount Laurel.
Byrd, who frequently lined up at running back, but moved all around in Timber Creek's offense, rushed for 975 yards and 13 touchdowns on 81 carries and caught 34 passes for 590 yards and four TDs. Byrd also had 505 yards in returns. Among the fastest players in the state, Byrd has accepted a football scholarship to the University of South Carolina, where he also plans on running track.
The other receiver is Paul VI senior Jakwail Bailey, who caught 45 passes for 804 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also returned two kickoffs for 100 yards. Bailey has been in contact with schools such as Delaware, James Madison and the University of Massachusetts.
The tight end is Holy Cross senior Kevin Miller, a big-play performer. Miller had 14 receptions for 470 yards and eight touchdowns. He was also a tenacious blocker. Before the season, Miller made an oral commitment to Central Florida.
West Deptford senior Vaughn Scott and Bishop Eustace senior Sean Bell earned the running back spots.
Scott set a single-season school record with 36 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,746 yards and 33 touchdowns on 190 carries. Scott also scored on two kickoff returns and one punt return. He added nine receptions for 81 yards and played corner where he recorded 30 tackles and two interceptions. Fordham, Monmouth, Stony Brook, Delaware and Maine are among the schools he is considering.
Bell rushed for 1,611 yards (6.39 average) and 17 touchdowns and had another touchdown on a pass reception. A two-year starter, he finished with 2,824 career rushing yards. Navy, Colgate Lehigh, Cornell, Holy Cross and Albany are among the schools that he is pursuing.
The offensive line consists of Cherokee's Tim Swanson, Williamstown's Vince Kowalski, Paulsboro's Nick Curl, Holy Spirit's Tim Goodwin and West Deptford junior Jamil Pollard, the only non-senior on the first team.
During the last two years, Cherokee's Swanson has been a starter on a team that went 23-1 and won consecutive South Jersey Group 4 titles. "He was the best blocker on our team this year," coach P.J. Mehigan said.
That's saying something for an offense that averaged 33 points per game and 5.87 yards per carry.
Williamstown's Kowalski made an oral commitment to attend Villanova in the summer and then performed like a scholarship player. He was the key blocker on an offense that averaged 29.3 points and averaged 283 rushing yards per contest. Kowalski is among the scholar athletes who will be honored at Monday's banquet.
Paulsboro's Curl was a two-way tackle who was a three-year starter on defense and two-year starter on offense. Curl was also a two-year captain. He was part of an offensive line that helped Paulsboro average more than 5 yards per carry. Curl also recorded 82 tackles. A standout in wrestling, Curl said he hopes to play college football but said he hasn't narrowed his choices.
Holy Spirit's Goodwin was among the most versatile blockers. He was a starter at guard the previous two years, but he was lined up as either a fullback or tight end. "He should be listed as an offensive lineman because he was a dominant blocker," Spirit coach Chalie Roman said. "He was versatile enough to move around all over the place. Delaware, Villanova, Towson and Monmouth are among the schools he has been in contact with.
West Deptford's Pollard should be among the more highly recruited players in the state next year. A dominant two-way tackle, Pollard helped West Deptford have one of the top running games in South Jersey for an offense that averaged 40.7 points per game.
Kingsway's Rondell Gilmore has been selected as the team's all-purpose back. He completed 84 of 176 passes for 1,294 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 964 yards and 13 touchdowns on 129 carries. As a defensive back, he had five interceptions, seven pass deflections and 75 tackles. Villanova, Boston College, James Madison and recently Penn State have been among the schools that have remained in contact.
The placekicker is Shawnee senior Austin O'Brien, who constantly gave his team good field position with his booming kickoffs. O'Brien had 31 touchbacks. He also kicked 3 of 4 field goals and 31 of 33 PATs. Temple and East Carolina are among the schools he is in contact with.
All-South Jersey Offense
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Yr.
QB Bill Belton Winslow Township 5-10 180 Sr.
RB Vaughn Scott West Deptford 5-10 180 Sr.
RB Sean Bell Bishop Eustace 5-11 180 Sr.
WR Damiere Byrd Timber Creek 5-10 162 Sr.
WR Jakwail Bailey Paul VI 6-0 180 Sr.
TE Kevin Miller Holy Cross 6-4 240 Sr.
OL Vince Kowalski Williamstown 6-4 248 Sr.
OL Jamil Pollard West Deptford 6-4 275 Jr.
OL Nick Curl Paulsboro 6-2 315 Sr.
OL Tim Swanson Cherokee 6-0 240 Sr.
OL Tim Goodwin Holy Spirit 6-2 272 Sr.
ALL Rondell Gilmore Kingsway 6-2 177 Sr.
PK Austin O'Brien Shawnee 6-2 240 Sr.
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Yr.
QB Andy Martin Cherokee 6-2 190 Sr.
RB Donta Pollock Holy Spirit 5-10 196 Jr.
RB P.J. James Glassboro 6-1 195 Sr.
RB Ameer Richardson Collingswood 5-11 180 Sr.
WR Marcus Jones Pennsauken 6-1 180 Sr.
WR DeVante Waugh Winslow Township 6-0 170 Sr.
OL Mike Spear Bishop Eustace 6-4 275 Sr.
OL Traven Mable Willingboro 6-3 320 Sr.
OL Mike Mazzeo St. Joseph 6-2 225 Sr.
OL Steve Schwartz Absegami 6-4 285 Sr.
OL Mike Kane Holy Cross 6-0 210 Jr.
ALL Amar Williams Pennsauken 6-1 180 Jr.
PK Jim Cooper Mainland 6-1 190 So.EndText