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VIDEO: LCM looks to compete under new, but familiar, coach

Seniors (from left) Jackson Schiffbauer, Rob White and Sean Connelly are among the leaders of the 2020 Lower Cape May Regional High School football team.


While there’s been a coaching change with the Lower Cape May Regional High School football team, the Caper Tigers won’t be starting completely fresh.

Lance Bailey takes over for his second stint as head coach after leading the program for three seasons from 2004 through 2006. He also coached the seventh- and eighth-grade team in the district last season and has been a health and physical education teacher in the school for two decades. So there’s a familiarity with a team that opens on Friday at Pennsville, which finished 3-6 last season.

Lower (2-8 in 2019) will feature experienced upperclassmen along the offensive defensive lines mixed with quite a few younger players at the skill positions, which should create an interesting dynamic.

“We have a good senior class but we’re also really, really young in a lot of spots,” Bailey said. “It’s great to have a lot of seniors along the lines but our skill positions will be almost all sophomores and freshmen, with some juniors mixed in there. We only have 38 kids, freshmen through seniors, so they’re all going to play.”

Three multi-year two-way starters anchor the offensive and defensive lines. They include Sean Connelly, Jackson Schiffbauer and Matt Craig. Other key seniors include Rob White (RB/LB), Christian Campanaro (DB/TE/WR), Mikey Castellano (WR/DB) and Wesley Tosto (P/K).

Juniors expected to make an impact include Marcus Hebron (RB/LB) and Sean Stoner (OL/DL).

Quite a few sophomores and freshmen are expected to start or at least play regularly. The sophomores include Archie Lawler (WR/DB), Jacob Bey (TE/DE), Alec Giancola (QB) and Mike Cronin (WR/DB). Among the freshmen, Tom Walters (OL/DL) Ogur Nunez (RB/LB), Hunter Ray (DB/QB) and Aidan McCarraher (RB) are expected to get significant varsity time.

Lower Cape May suffered a blow in the preseason when senior Eric Konczyk (RB/LB) went down with a knee injury that could keep him out for most, if not all, of the shortened six-game season.

“Personnel-wise, that really hurt us,” Bailey said. “But the kids have bounced back.”

Bailey simply hopes for his team to compete each week.

“We’re just glad to be on the field,” he said. “The kids are fighting and competing every day. They’ve all given everything we’ve asked them to give us.

“We just want to compete. It’s not about the opposition. It’s about us and how we compete every Friday night and the effort we give. The wins and losses will take of themselves after that.”

Following the opener, Lower Cape May hosts Clayton on Friday, Oct. 9. Then it’s away to Schalick on Oct. 16 followed by home games against Oakcrest on Oct. 23 and Bridgeton on Oct. 30. The season culminates with the Anchor Bowl on Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 25) at Middle Township.

Bailey is assisted by Matt Danze, Larry Ziemba, Billy Damiana  Sam Lawler, Rick Venuto, Mike Wilson and Steve Camposeo. Also consulting is Colin Thompson, who was slated to be an assistant coach but is now playing for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.