Dominic Seta has played offense and defense.

He has played guard and center.

He has started for three seasons for the Cherry Hill East football team, taking some lumps as a sophomore, earning second-team all-conference honors as a junior and emerging as one of the top scholar-athletes in South Jersey as a senior.

But there's one thing — one significant thing — that Seta has never done in his three-year career with the Cougars.

He's never walked off the field after a victory.


"I think about it almost every day," Seta said. "I'm always just trying to imagine what it's going to be like to finally win a game."

Cherry Hill East senior lineman Dom Seta was honored this week as a Scholar Athlete by the Brooks Irvine Memorial Football Club.
Elizabeth Robertson/Staff photographer
Cherry Hill East senior lineman Dom Seta was honored this week as a Scholar Athlete by the Brooks Irvine Memorial Football Club.

Cherry Hill East has lost 31 games in a row. The Cougars' last victory was Sept. 19, 2015, when Seta was a member of the freshman team.

That was 1,105 days ago.

Who's counting?

Seta, for one.

"People come up to us in school all the time," Seta said. "They'll say, 'You guys ever going to win a game?'

"I'll say, 'This year.'

"They'll be like, 'Doubtful.'

"I'll just walk away. I don't let those people get to me. They don't know how hard we're working, how we've got guys showing up every day just because they believe we're going to turn things around."

On Saturday morning, Cherry Hill East (0-3) visits Princeton (0-3) in a West Jersey Football League crossover game.

Princeton has lost 21 games in a row. The Little Tigers have not scored a point this season.

Andrew Daley, Cherry Hill East's first-year coach, knows the Cougars have a chance to lift the burden of the losing streak from his players, especially long-suffering seniors such as Seta, Dante Gazzola, Nick Gazzola, Albert Chang, and Phil Drebick, among others.

Daley, a former standout quarterback at Eastern who is trying to lay the foundation for future success at Cherry Hill East, believes he has a cornerstone in Seta.

"He's the kind of kid you want to build your program around," Daley said. "He's a smart kid, great student, great work ethic and attitude.

"He's had 100-percent attendance since we started doing things as a team in April. He has never missed anything."

On Monday, the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Seta received the scholar-athlete award, reflective of his excellence on the field and in the classroom, from the Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club.

"He's an all-around great kid," Daley said. "He's quiet. But he leads by example."

Seta said his confidence has grown over his career. He was one of several sophomore starters for the Cougars in 2016, when the team went 0-10 and struggled to compete at times against a challenging schedule.

Last season, the Cougars went 0-10 again, playing four games against teams that were ranked in the top 10 at one time or another (Vineland, Delsea, Moorestown, Timber Creek).

"Sophomore year was tough," Seta said. "We were young and we took our lumps. Same thing as juniors, although we got a little better.

"But this year I feel like we have a lot of seniors who have experience, who are bigger and stronger after years in the weight room. We feel like we can compete."

As an interior lineman, Seta can be easily overlooked, especially since the Cougars have struggled on the scoreboard. Seta was dominant at times in Cherry Hill East's season-opening loss to Triton, registering several pancake blocks.

"He's a big boy and physical when he gets into someone," Daley said.

Like many of the Cherry Hill East seniors, Seta has maintained a positive attitude, even as the losing streak has grown through their careers.

"It's been a little tough at times," said Seta, who hopes to play college football, likely at the NCAA Division II or Division III level. "But I've always believed in my team. I've always trusted in my teammates."

Seta is confident better days are ahead for the Cougars, starting with Saturday's clash in Princeton.

He's going to play his typical game. He's going to try to be a road grader on offense, contribute at times on defense, and block for kicks on special teams.

And he's confident that this time, at long last, he's going to walk off the field after a victory.

"Sometimes we'll get together after practices and just try to visualize what it's going to be like to win a game," Seta said. "We'll get together with one of the coaches and start thinking about making plays to win the game, a big block, a tackle, a touchdown run, whatever.

"Sometimes, I can just see it. I can see just being on the field and watching the clock wind down and hit zeros and knowing what it's like to win the game."