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Football: Proposed new WJFL division alignment

Timber Creek, Millville, and St. Joseph, the top three teams in the current Inquirer rankings, will be in the same division under a projected new format for 2018-19.

St. Joseph’s Qwahsin Townsel and Jada Byers celebrate touchdown in a September game vs. Holy Spirit.
St. Joseph’s Qwahsin Townsel and Jada Byers celebrate touchdown in a September game vs. Holy Spirit.Read moreElizabeth Robertson/Staff photographer

The football teams from Timber Creek, Millville, and St. Joseph are a combined 28-0. They are No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the Inquirer Top 25 rankings.

They also are projected to be members of the same division in the WJFL for the 2018-19 scheduling cycle, based on the proposed realignment of the South Jersey football super-conference.

These division alignments are unofficial, as teams have until Friday to appeal in writing and request the league place them in a different division. But the league is very likely to look a lot like this in the next two years, as WJFL officials have leaned toward creating some powerful new divisions that are likely to generate new rivalries and spark old debates about public vs. non-public competitive advantages.

St. Joseph, Millville, and Timber Creek could make for a whale of a three-way rivalry. Timber Creek is 9-0 after scoring 62 in a playoff game on Friday night. Millville is 9-0, and St. Joseph is 10-0.

How about a stacked division of mid-sized programs with Camden, Camden Catholic, Cedar Creek, Delsea, Willingboro, and Woodrow Wilson? Or a five-team division with four squads that spent time in the top 5 this season in a grouping of Atlantic City and Vineland along with Timber Creek, Millville, and St. Joseph? Or a heavyweight division with Cherokee, Lenape, Rancocas Valley, Shawnee, St. Augustine, and Williamstown?

Those divisions are on the table, along with an unusual division with two schools in Gloucester — Gloucester City and Gloucester Catholic — and four Cape-Atlantic League schools in Buena, Lower Cape May, Middle Twp., and Pleasantville.

Note that the proposed new alignment follows the same guideline as the current setup in separating all the non-publics into different divisions, to avoid having public schools play more than one game against non-public foes.

Again, these divisions are unofficial. They could be tweaked here or there before they are set in stone. Also, remember that if the new football format passes a vote by the NJSIAA's general membership Dec. 4, teams in 2018 will play just eight regular-season games before the start of the playoffs (or seven if they play on Thanksgiving). That means teams in six-team divisions will play just three crossover games.

Here are the proposed new divisions:

  1. Division A: Camden, Camden Catholic, Cedar Creek, Delsea, Willingboro, Woodrow Wilson.

  2. Division B: Eastern, Hammonton, Holy Spirit, Kingsway, Washington Twp.

  3. Division C: Burlington Twp., Clearview, Highland, Moorestown, Paul VI, Winslow Twp.

  4. Division D: Absegami, Bridgeton, EHT, Mainland, Oakcrest, Ocean City.

  5. Division E: Bishop Eustace, Cinnaminson, Delran, Ewing, Northern Burlington, Pemberton.

  6. Division F: Cherry Hill East, Cherry Hill West, Cumberland, Pennsauken, Seneca, Triton.

  7. Division G: Atlantic City, Millville, St. Joseph, Timber Creek, Vineland.

  8. Division H: Cherokee, Lenape, Rancocas Valley, Shawnee, St. Augustine, Williamstown.

  9. Division I: Clayton, Haddon Twp., Maple Shade, Riverside, Robbinsville, Wildwood.

  10. Division J: Buena, Gloucester Catholic, Gloucester, Lower Cape May, Middle Twp., Pleasantville.

  11. Division K: Glassboro, Penns Grove, Pennsville, Salem, Schalick, Woodstown.

  12. Division L: Audubon, Gateway, Haddon Heights, Lindenwold, Paulsboro, Woodbury.

  13. Division M: Bordentown, Burlington City, Florence, Holy Cross, New Egypt, Palmyra.

  14. Division N: Collingswood, Deptford, Haddonfield, Overbrook, Sterling, West Deptford.

— Note: Two divisions featuring Colonial Valley Conference teams are not included, and Pitman is not projected to field a varsity team in 2018-19.