For Absegami High School football, the in which it will compete this upcoming season presents an opportunity to be the first champion in the group.
"Our kids are excited about the fact that nobody has ever won Group V before," said Absegami Head Coach Dennis Scuderi. "So our goal is to try to make history and be the first team to win it."
Scuderi said that he does not anticipate the new division to be any more difficult or any less difficult than the years spent in Group IV.
"EHT, AC, Milville," he said. "They're all pretty much still there...they added Jackson into Group V, which is pretty neat...whenever you take a team from other conferences, especially north conferences, I think that's pretty exciting."
Most of what Scuderi called the traditional top 20 teams in south Jersey are in the new Group V, with the exception of Mainland Regional High School, which will remain in Group IV, despite two state championships in the past decade.
"Everybody in Group V will compete to be the first one ever to put their name on that trophy...whenever you have that, it always serves as extra motivation," said Scuderi. "We have a large group of seniors who really are self-motivated, and football means a lot to them. This is a chance for them to step up and really show that."
South Jersey's Group V Division will include the following fifteen teams:
- Atlantic City
- Cherry Hill East
- Egg Harbor
- Jackson Memorial
- Rancocas Valley
- Southern Regional
- Toms River North
Eight teams will qualify for the playoffs, which means that if a team has a record below .500 but is still in the top eight, that team will be included in the playoffs.