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St. Joseph, Delsea keep on winning state titles

Many football teams would love to win one championship. Many teams would love to end just one season in celebration on the cold turf in December, with ecstatic players lifting a trophy and thrusting their index fingers in the air.

Many football teams would love to win one championship.

Many teams would love to end just one season in celebration on the cold turf in December, with ecstatic players lifting a trophy and thrusting their index fingers in the air.

But for some teams, once is never enough. The overarching theme of championship weekend in South Jersey football was back-to-back titles.

Or, in the case of Delsea, back-to-back-to-back titles.

Or, in the case of St. Joseph, back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back titles.

"I'm so proud of these kids," St. Joseph coach Paul Sacco said Monday, looking back at another championship season for the Wildcats.

St. Joseph won its sixth consecutive state title Saturday with a 55-0 win over St. Anthony in the Non-Public 1 championship game at Kean University.

"Some kids never get to experience this once," Sacco said of winning a championship. "For our seniors to have done it four times, they are just so fortunate. They've worked so hard to be able to put themselves in that position."

Delsea won its third straight South Jersey Group 3 title with a 42-35 overtime victory over Allentown in the championship game Saturday at Rowan University.

The victory capped a remarkable run by the Crusaders, who were 0-3 in September. Delsea won eight of its last nine to capture the program's 12th sectional title, including the fifth since 2008.

"The kids never got rattled," Delsea coach Sal Marchese Jr. said Monday. "They just came to practice every day, worked their tails off and never lost faith or confidence."

Other repeat champions were Cherokee in South Jersey Group 5, Shawnee in South Jersey Group 4 and Haddonfield in South Jersey Group 2.

In fact, Paulsboro in Group 1 was the only South Jersey team to win a title in 2014 after not capturing one in 2013.

"We have 18 seniors and a lot of them have been playing football together for 13 years," Haddonfield coach Frank DeLano said. "I think a lot of times people wonder about Haddonfield kids, 'Are they tough enough? Are they strong enough? Will they put in the time?'

"These guys made sure that all Bulldogs, past and present, are proud of Haddonfield football."

Creek rising. Timber Creek junior wide receiver Cameron Chambers set the tone for 2015 during the final huddle of 2014.

As the Chargers gathered on the Rowan University turf after a 28-7 loss to Shawnee in the South Jersey Group 4 title game on Sunday night, Chambers spoke up for one of the few times in his career, according to coach Rob Hinson.

"He told them, 'Next season starts tomorrow,' " Hinson said of Chambers' comments. "It was good to see, him stepping up and telling everybody that things were going to be different next year. It's his team now."

Chambers, a Michigan State recruit, projects as one of the Chargers' top players in 2015 along with junior wide receiver Noah Ellison, junior running back Walter Lewis, sophomore all-purpose Ezrah Archie and freshman quarterback Devin Leary, among others.

"We've got to get back at it," Hinson said.

Rebuilding job. Shawnee's roster included 31 seniors as the Renegades went 11-1 and captured their sixth sectional title, including their second in a row.

Many of those seniors started on back-to-back South Jersey Group 4 championship teams.

"I think we're going to return three [starters] on offense and three [starters] on defense," Shawnee coach Tim Gushue said. "We're going to have to get back to work."

This and that. Haddonfield in the last two South Jersey Group 2 championship games has outscored opponents by 48-0. The Bulldogs beat Woodstown, 21-0, in 2013 and West Deptford, 27-0, in 2014. . . . The last time West Deptford was shut out was 2006, when the Eagles lost the South Jersey Group 2 title game to Manasquan, 28-0.

St. Joseph will enter the 2015 season on a 21-game winning streak. . . . Haddonfield will enter the 2015 season on an 18-game winning streak. . . . Delsea in 2015 can become the first South Jersey public school to win four straight sectional titles since Paulsboro's six-year run in Group 1 from 1992-97.

Delsea sophomore fullback Rashaad Washington on his increased role in 2015: "I've got to get in the weight room.". . . Haddonfield senior Jake Klaus on his team: "A lot teams, guys are thinking about being D-1 players. They are trying to make a highlight tape. We just want to win." . . . Gushue on Shawnee's offensive line against Timber Creek: "They had their best game of the year. They were truly spectacular."