VIDEO PREVIEW: Lady Tigers to use speed to compete
December 14, 2017
VIDEO PREVIEW: Middle striving to be back among CAL’s elite
December 14, 2017

VIDEO PREVIEW: Can Crusaders turn talent into championships?

Sophomore Jahlil White is one of many talented players returning to the Wildwood Catholic boys basketball team.


Mascot: Crusaders

Conference: Cape-Atlantic United

2016-17 Record: 16-11 (CAL United champions)

Head coach: Dave DeWeese (16th season, 244-161)

Assistant coaches: Scott DeWeese, Jim DiCarlo, Brendan Norris, Joe Rapczynski

Returning players: Seniors – Matt Capozzoli (6-4 F), Greg Carroll (6-2 F), Rakim Coyle (5-11 G), Caleb Fields (6-1 G), Charles Fields (6-1 G); Sophomores – Taj Thweatt (6-5 F), Jahlil White (6-4 F).

Top newcomers: Senior – Blaine Rossell (6-1 G); Junior – Brendan McGonigal (5-9 G), Sophomore – Jacob Hopping (6-3 G/F).

Strengths: Experience, size, athleticism

Weaknesses: Defense

Outlook: Wildwood Catholic is one of the most talented teams in the Cape-Atlantic League, if not all of South Jersey, with college prospects at various levels dotted throughout the roster. Senior Caleb Fields has verbally committed to play at Division I Bowling Green and sophomores Taj Thweatt and Jahlil White are already drawing college interest. Matt Capozzoli and Charles Fields are role players on this team but are talented enough that they’d be standouts on others. The team is also getting a boost from two transfers – senior Blaine Rossell from St. Augustine and sophomore Jacob Hopping from Holy Spirit. Wildwood Catholic’s experience, size and talent can match up well with a lot of teams. The Crusaders are heavy favorites to win the CAL United title for a seventh straight season and could challenge for the championship of the league playoff tournament. A deep run in the loaded South Jersey Non-Public B section is also possible. But chemistry must develop and the team will need to improve defensively in order to compete at the highest levels. Wildwood Catholic will certainly be battled tested by the end of the regular season, as the team faces perhaps the most difficult non-league schedule in program history.

Season opener: Saturday vs. Teaneck (at Ocean City), 3:30 pm

Sophomore Jahlil White is one of many talented players returning to the Wildwood Catholic boys basketball team.

Sophomore Jacob Hopping, a transfer from Holy Spirit, adds depth to the Wildwood Catholic boys basketball team.