By BRIAN CUNNIFF
The Lower Cape May Regional High School football team goes into a season with a luxury most teams simply don’t have.
Nearly all of their skill position players are back.
“Our skills guys are very good across the board,” said Lance Bailey, in his second season of the second stint of his head coaching tenure.
The team is a bit young and inexperienced along the offensive and defensive lines. But if those skill position players are given enough time to make plays, Lower could be a rather dynamic team in 2021.
“It’s been going well,” Bailey said. “Like any camp, you’re going to go through your ups and downs and you have to work through it. But for the most part, we like what we’re seeing.”
Lower has been forced to wait a day for its season opener. Due to saturated fields from all of the rain and storm events this weekend, the Tigers will play a rare 10:30 a.m. game on Friday at Glassboro. The contest was originally scheduled for Thursday evening.
Lower is led by junior WR/DB Archie Lawler, who caught 25 passes (four for touchdowns) for 333 yards and also was among the state’s leaders in interceptions last fall.
Other key skill position players returning include senior RB/DL Marcus Hebron, senior RB/LB Jadan Farrow, senior RB/QB/LB/DB Mike Castellano, junior WR/DB Mike Cronin, sophomore QB DB Hunter Ray and sophomore RB/DB Oguer Nunez.
“We have at least three receivers where if we throw it up in the air they’ll go get it,” Bailey said. “We’ve never had that many before.”
Others being counted on for this season include seniors Sean Stoner (OL/DL) and Logan Morris (OL/DL), juniors Jacob Bey (OL/TE/LB) and Eulis Carter (WR/DB) and sophomores Ron Neenhold (OL/DL), Joe Franzillo (OL/DL), Quintan Hagan (OL/DL), Kody Lews (OL/DL/LB), Jackson Brown (WR/DB), Doug Leamon (WR/LB) and freshmen Dominic Battle (OL/DL) and Braswell Thomas (WR/DB).
“We’re pretty young up front, so those guys are going to have to learn to compete on every play. So far they’ve done that,” Bailey said.
Lower finished 4-4 last season. The Tigers are aiming to finish over .500 this fall.
“I like our schedule and with this being our second year in as a coaching staff, the kids know more of what to expect,” Bailey said. “We had a great summer in the weight room. We’re going to go out every Friday and compete. If we do that, good things will happen.”
Bailey is assisted by Billy Damiana, Matt Danze, Sam Lawler, Will Sunderland and Larry Ziemba. Cape May resident Colin Thompson, a tight end with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, serves as a consultant.
Lower’s first home game is Friday, Sept. 10, against Cumberland.
2021 LOWER CAPE MAY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Fri 9/3 at Glassboro 10:30 am
Fri 9/10 CUMBERLAND 7 pm
Fri 9/17 LINDENWOLD 7 pm
Fri 9/24 at Clayton 6 pm
Fri 10/1 at Pennsville 6 pm
Sat 10/9 WOODSTOWN 1 pm
Fri 10/22 at Schalick 6 pm
Wed 11/24 MIDDLE TOWNSHIP TBA