First they beat one of their local rivals on Sunday, earning a semifinal berth in the Camden County Tournament. Then they defeated a defending state champion on Monday, and a defending South Jersey champion on Wednesday.

So this has been a pretty good week in a season that has been better than advertised for Haddon Township's baseball team.

Yet not surprisingly, the Hawks aren't that shocked at such a strong start, even if the rest of us might be at least semi-surprised.

Then again, here is a team that might not have had the most returning starters in the Colonial Conference, but surely has a unit that knows a little about winning.

Six of the players were on Haddon Township's Group 1 state-championship soccer team in the fall.

"We've tried to bring that same winning mentality that we got in soccer to baseball," said junior Patrick Burns, a soccer player and a righthanded pitcher who is 3-0 after earning the victory in Wednesday's 5-0 victory over defending South Jersey Group 2 champion West Deptford.

Shortstop Kevin Kasilowski, another soccer player, had the key hit against West Deptford, a two-run triple.

The week began with a 4-3 win over Haddonfield in a Camden County Tournament quarterfinal.

Then came Monday's 7-3 win over defending state Group 1 champion Audubon, also the Hawks' chief rival. And to add more to the win, it's the same Audubon team that beat the Hawks, 9-1, in last year's sectional semifinals.

Monday's win assured the Hawks that any thoughts of sneaking up on opponents are clearly gone.

"It was a big win, and we know that teams will be ready for us," said Kevin Griese, the winning pitcher against Audubon and another of the soccer players.

Haddon Township is 7-3 overall and 5-2 in the Colonial, after losing Friday to Gateway, and coach Doug Richardson says the quick start hasn't caught him off guard.

"But I admit that we may have snuck up on some teams," he said.

Of course, with victories over Haddonfield, Audubon, and West Deptford, South Jersey's best one-win team that still could be a Group 2 factor, the sneaking days are over.

And the Colonial offers a great brand of baseball for these Group 1 and 2 schools.

Not surprisingly, it was the one Colonial blemish that gave the Hawks a much-needed kick in the pants.

They have won four in a row since a 16-9 loss to a Haddon Heights team that can mash even the best of pitching staffs.

"Haddon Heights played a great game, but we were not ready to play in a game over spring break and we learned a lesson," Richardson said. "It became a launching pad for us and a real wake-up call."

The Hawks are now wide awake but also aware that with so much parity in the Colonial, this quick start means only that the first three weeks have been awfully impressive.

There are too many worth opponents, including Audubon in a May 8 rematch.

So Richardson understands there are no trophies presented for three good weeks of work. All that has been accomplished is that Haddon Township, as its soccer predecessor did, has served notice that it could make plenty of noise in the Colonial and Group 1 races.