December 3, 2011, is a day that will be permanently etched in West Deptford High School football coach Clyde Folsom’s mind—but not just for the Group 2 championship his players claimed in the win over Haddonfield.
Folsom will also remember it for the people who jammed the stands at Rowan, whether they were there at every game during the Eagles’ long season, or were making it out for the first time to see West Deptford try to claim the trophy.
“This isn’t only about the high school and the football program, it’s about the community,” he said.
And it was in that spirit the West Deptford township committee paid tribute to the 40-man-strong team last week, honoring the team’s Group 2 championship and all its accomplishments over the fall.
The players came in white “Dominate State” T-shirts, filling the front of the meeting room in front of the dais, as Mayor Ray Chintall rattled off the roster and the team’s successes.
“I salute you and your success,” Chintall said.
Folsom gave credit to the community for its support for the program, which he said feeds off that idea of West Deptford pride.
“You’re equally as much a part of that as these guys are up here,” he said. “Our goal—believe me—is always to play in that game and bring the title home.”
The mayor spoke briefly of his own playing days, and said the championship season is likely something the players will still be talking about, long into the future.
“I’m still talking about my football time, but we weren’t as successful as you were,” Chintall said.