Video: Wildwood Warriors Football PreviewPosted:
WILDWOOD, N.J. – The Wildwood Warriors prepare to start the football season this Friday despite having a small team.
Wildwood High School is the smallest public school in the state, which makes for one of the more unique football programs in South Jersey. Most years it's a challenge to even field a team at the school, but the Warriors have about 20 players this season.
The ambitious team also has a new head coach this year too, Ken Loomis, who was a former player and an assistant coach at Paul VI High School in Haddonfield. He replaced Bruce Lazeruk, who stepped down after two seasons in Wildwood.
Loomis certainly finds himself in a challenging spot, with the Warriors winning just one game over the last two seasons.
"I like the ability to rebuild. When I went to Paul VI they were a 0-10 team who had maybe 5 wins within 15 years. Even in my college career, we had a new coach my senior year so I've always been a part of that rebuilding process. And when I was able to find out that this job was open I applied on a whim because I thought it would be cool to live down the shore and coach football. And things worked out and it's great. I met the kids, they're awesome, they're hungry. They're tired of losing and so they're on board too with trying to turn this program around," said Loomis.
Wildwood will once again compete in the West Jersey Football League Classic Division this season, with two crossover games against Lower Cape May and Pleasantville. Despite the challenges that come with rebuilding a sports team program, the new head coach and his players are excited about the possibilities at Maxwell Field this season.
"Hope isn't a question. We all have that. We all fight. We're all brothers. We're all a team. We're not really too worried about winning and losing, we're worried about playing. We all really want to play, and that's the big deal," said wide receiver B.G. Lewis.
The Warriors' season opener against the Schalick Cougars this Friday has been moved up to a 6 p.m. start in Wildwood.
The Warriors will also get division games against Pitman, Gloucester, Clayton, and Gloucester Catholic this season.