The long road back to the Group 2 championship game and a title defense for the football team officially begins Thursday morning.
After a week and a half of practice—plus summer workouts and the annual —the Eagles will suit up this morning for their first chance at live action, hosting Deptford in an 11 a.m. scrimmage.
Here are some of the storylines that will unfold as the season goes on:
–How do the Eagles make up for losses on the lines? Jamil Pollard is up on the banks of the old Raritan, working to find his place on the Rutgers football team. Josh Roane is gone, too, off to Widener University. With those two foundation blocks gone, West Deptford will need to find ways to make up for their contributions on both sides of the ball.
–What will the running game look like this year? With a three-headed monster still in place—Gerald Owens, Josh Cornelius and Connor Smith—the Eagles don’t lack for talent, but they may have to work harder to have the same gains as last year, especially with a new line in front of them.
–Who will take up the helm at QB? Head coach Clyde Folsom said during the passing league it’s likely to be senior Alex Hilbmann, who backed up Jake Hannan last year, but waiting on the sideline are Mike Daws and Isaiah Easterling.
–Is a repeat likely in a new-look Group 2? After the , there’s no denying it: The road to the Group 2 title runs through the Colonial Conference. With the departure of shore powers Point Pleasant Boro and Barnegat to Group 3, Colonial teams are now more than a third of the group, and the conference champ should have the pole position in the playoffs.
The answers will start to emerge after the first whistle againt Deptford. The Eagles also have scrimmages next week against Schalick on the road (Monday at 11 a.m.) and Kingsway on the road (Friday at 11 a.m.).
The full regular season schedule:
Saturday, Sept. 8
Friday, Sept. 14
Saturday, Sept. 22
Friday, Sept. 28
Friday, Oct. 5
Saturday, Oct. 13
Friday, Oct. 19
Friday, Oct. 26
Friday, Nov. 2
Friday, Nov. 9
Friday, Nov. 16
Friday, Nov. 23
7 p.m.Saturday, Dec. 1 NJSIAA Finals Rowan University TBA