Balance. Discipline. Dedication.
Those have been the keys for football stars Quanzell Lambert of Timber Creek, Jim Cashman of Haddonfield, Andrew Lisa of Moorestown, and Jake Prus of Woodstown.
The four seniors applied those qualities to their sports careers and were among the best players in South Jersey this season.
But the four football standouts will be honored as scholar-athletes at the Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club banquet Monday night because they brought the same focus and determination to their schoolwork.
"Schoolwork has always been the most important thing to me," said Lambert, the highly recruited linebacker who led the Chargers to a 12-0 record and the South Jersey Group 3 championship.
Lambert has a 3.4 grade-point average and scored 1,370 on the SAT. He hopes to study mechanical engineering in college. He has narrowed his college choices to Northwestern, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Alabama.
Cashman scored a 1,980 on the SAT and has a 97 average in class. The two-way lineman led Haddonfield to an 11-1 record and a berth in the South Jersey Group 2 title game. The Bulldogs also captured their first outright Colonial Liberty title.
Cashman will attend Boston College on scholarship. He plans to study premed.
"My parents always told me if I don't have good grades I wasn't going to be allowed to play," Cashman said. "Time management is a big part of it. You have to make sure you do your homework before you start fooling around on the computer or anything like that."
Lisa has a 3.65 grade-point average and scored 1,840 on the SAT. The quarterback passed for 2,268 yards and 15 touchdowns in leading Moorestown to a 6-5 record and a berth in the South Jersey Group 3 semifinals.
Lisa plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania and attend the Wharton School of Business.
"My parents have always stressed to me if you work hard in school and work hard in practice that things will open up for you," Lisa said. "It was tough sometimes, but I always knew it was worth it."
Prus ranks seventh in his class at Woodstown. He has a 4.0 grade-point average and scored 2,060 on the SAT.
Prus, a two-way lineman, helped Woodstown to a 6-4 record this season and a berth in the South Jersey Group 2 tournament. He will attend Villanova on scholarship and plans to study premed.
"Ever since I took freshman biology I liked the subject matter," Prus said. "I picked Villanova because it's such a great academic school. I love playing football, but I know schoolwork is the most important thing."
If You Go
What: 67th annual Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club banquet.
When, where: Monday, 6:30 p.m., Crowne Plaza Hotel, Cherry Hill.
Who: The All-South Jersey football team will be introduced, and college players Johnnie Troutman of Penn State (Pemberton), Jon Grimes of William and Mary (Paul VI), Jay Donohue of the College of New Jersey (Seneca), and Ryan Piatek of Johns Hopkins (Bishop Eustace) will be honored.
Ticket information: 856-858-8712 or email@example.com.
- Phil Anastasia