Success came with a price for newly crowned South Jersey football champions Shawnee and Delsea.

The Renegades and Crusaders are projected to move up to play in divisions with larger schools in a realigned West Jersey Football League.

The 66-team WJFL unveiled its proposed new alignment on Wednesday. The league will have 11 divisions, each with six teams.

Shawnee, which won the South Jersey Group 4 title, would move up from the National Division to the American Division. The Renegades would be the only Group 4 team in an otherwise-Group 5 division.

Delsea, which won its second consecutive South Jersey Group 3 title, would jump two rungs from the Royal Division to the National. The Crusaders would be the only Group 3 team in an otherwise-Group 4 division.

"I like it," Delsea coach Sal Marchese Jr. said. "It's challenging. It will battle-test you."

Shawnee coach Tim Gushue reacted the same way.

"Bring them on," Gushue said of American Division opponents. "I don't mean that to sound cocky, but if you want to be the best, you have to play the best. We know those schools and look forward to playing them."

The realignment is not official as schools have until next Wednesday to appeal, according to WJFL president Bud Kowal, athletic director at Ewing.

Cherry Hill East and Pennsauken are believed to be considering appeals of the new divisional format. Officials from both schools were unavailable for comment Wednesday night.

Under the projected alignment, Cherry Hill East, which went 0-10 last season and was outscored by a combined 446-49, would remain in the American Division while Lenape would move from the American to the Colonial Division.

Lenape, which went 4-6 last season, would be in a division with Mercer County schools Allentown, Notre Dame, Nottingham, and Trenton, as well as Rancocas Valley.

"We'll take who they put on our schedule," Lenape coach Tim McAneney said. "You only play 10 games, and you need to be excited about playing every one."

Two sources close to the situation have indicated that Lenape and Cherry Hill East could swap positions, which would move the Cougars into the Colonial and keep the Indians in the American.

Kowal said the decision to move Lenape into the Colonial was based on "strength of program," but also on geography as Lenape is farther north than Cherry Hill East.

"The travel [from Mercer County] is easier" to Medford than Cherry Hill, Kowal said.

Kowal said that each team will be given a full, nine-game schedule but that crossover games will not be announced until after the new year.

Timber Creek, which won the South Jersey Group 3 title in 2011 and the South Jersey Group 4 title in 2012 and finished second in South Jersey Group 4 this season, will move up to the National Division from the Constitution.

Hammonton, which will join the WJFL next season, will be another member of the new National.

Hammonton and Timber Creek will be in the revamped National along with fellow newcomer Delsea and holdovers Kingsway, Clearview, and Pennsauken.

"We're excited," Hammonton coach Pete Lancetta said. "It's going to be tough competition, but we're looking forward to it."

The reworked Constitution Division will include Triton and Winslow Township, both of which moved down from the National to replace Timber Creek and Camden Catholic, which moved down to the Royal Division and effectively took Delsea's place.

In another change, Deptford and Highland switched positions, with the Spartans moving down to the Diamond Division and the Tartans up to the Royal.

Kowal said many of the moves were made because of the "strength of program" component of the WJFL's list of criteria for alignment.

With Timber Creek and Hammonton in the same division, the schools would not be scheduled to play a crossover game out of which they both could have opted - a scenario proposed by Timber Creek to allow the Chargers to play an out-of-state game and the Blue Devils to keep their traditional rivalry with Cape Atlantic League team St. Joseph.

Kowal said Timber Creek wanted to opt out of a Week 1 game and that was not feasible because the WJFL plays division games in Weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7.

Kowal said any team can opt out of a crossover game if it's agreed on by both schools.

Projected WJFL divisions

Here are the new projected division alignments for the West Jersey Football League for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Freedom: Burlington City, Florence, Maple Shade, New Egypt, Palmyra, Riverside.

Liberty: Bordentown, Cinnaminson, Delran, Holy Cross, Pemberton, Robbinsville.

Patriot: Burlington Township, Ewing, Hopewell, Lawrence, Northern Burlington, Willingboro.

Valley: Hamilton West, Highstown, Princeton, Steinert, West Windsor North, West Windsor South.

Colonial: Allentown, Lenape, Notre Dame, Nottingham, Rancocas Valley, Trenton.

American: Cherokee, Cherry Hill East, Eastern, Shawnee, Washington Township, Williamstown.

National: Clearview, Delsea, Hammonton, Kingsway, Pennsauken, Timber Creek.

Constitution: Cherry Hill West, Moorestown, Paul VI, Seneca, Triton, Winslow Township.

Royal: Bishop Eustace, Camden, Camden Catholic, Cumberland, Highland, Woodrow Wilson.

Diamond: Deptford, Glassboro, Gloucester Catholic, Penns Grove, Schalick, Woodstown.

Classic: Clayton, Gloucester, Pennsville, Pitman, Salem, Wildwood.

- Phil Anastasia
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panastasia@phillynews.com

@PhilAnastasia

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