VIDEO: Oakcrest Relying on Seniors Plus ElliottPosted:
EGG HARBOR - Kendall Elliott sizzled his sophomore year for the Falcons. The Oakcrest quarterback is projected as one of the top-ranked juniors in South Jersey this season.
But while the much of the focus will be on Elliott, the falcons have been steadily building a strong supporting cast around him…
This year’s senior class saw Oakcrest finish a combined three and 17 their first two years in Mays Landing. But the falcons turned a corner last fall, finishing six and four and qualifying for the Group III playoffs.
“I know, previous years, we didn’t have a lot of seniors," said Will Fish, Oakcrest Senior. Maybe at practice, we would kind of let younger kids go, let them slide. So I think a lot of it is, at practice it’s us seniors saying ‘listen, coach is talking, stop talking and run a lap’. It’s that seriousness that these kids have to get into their heads to make the season just as serious.”
Now Oakcrest wants to take the next step – contending for a sectional title.
“This group of seniors, a lot of them have played four years now," said Chuck Smith, Oakcrest Head Coach. "We took our lumps their first two years, when we were in that rebuilding process. Cedar Creek opened up. We lost some kids there. We were young, very young. It doesn’t always bode well when you’re playing freshman and sophomores. The wins don’t really translate. But this is the year that we targeted. We knew four years ago, that if we played our cards right, the kids bought into it, believed in themselves, and we can see the improvement year to year. Not necessarily it was the wins. It was them getting better as football players and as a team. And this is the year. We’re very excited about this football season.”
The Falcons will have to wait a while to begin their 2015 campaign, just like last year, Oakcrest has a bye week one of the season. The falcons open on the road at East Orange on Friday, September 18th.
SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.