WJFL releases schedule
HAMMONTON—Hoping that it will be able to conduct at full season in 2021, the West Jersey Football League (WJFL) released its schedule for next season last week.
The WJFL is made up of 94 schools ranging from Mercer to Cape May counties. After pandemic-related issues shortened the 2020 season and forced the league to rework its schedules, the WJFL has opted to return to the divisional format originally set up for the two-year 2020-21 cycle. As a result, most teams did not see any significant changes to their schedule for next season.
Locally, Hammonton will compete in the Royal Division along with Clearview, Delsea, Deptford and Mainland. The Blue Devils’ WJFL schedule opens on September 10 at Ocean City. The remainder of Hammonton’s schedule is: vs. Mainland (Sept. 17); vs. Vineland (Sept. 24); at Clearview (Oct. 1); vs. Delsea(Oct. 8); at Millville (Oct. 15); at Deptford (Oct. 22); and vs. Highland (Oct. 29).
St. Joseph Academy will play in the Continental Division along with Cherokee, Eastern, Kingsway, Rancocas Valley and Washington Twp.
The Wildcats open WJFL schedule on September 10 at Holy Spirit, then host Cherokee (Sept. 17); at St. Augustine Prep (Sept. 24); vs. Eastern (Oct. 1); at Rancocas Valley (Oct. 8); vs. Notre Dame (Oct. 15), at Kingsway (Oct. 22); and vs. Washington Twp. (Oct. 29).
Schools may also schedule games prior to September 10, in what is referred to as “Week 0.” Both Hammonton and St. Joseph have expressed interest in playing that week, but no games have been scheduled as of February 1.
Reaction to the league’s plans and schedules, as expected, was mixed. Many coaches supported recreating the schedule to take into account competitive balance issues. The WJFL, however, chose to keep things mostly the same.
“You’ll never be able to make everyone happy. Hopefully, we’ll have a normal season. Let’s get through 2021 and then we can address everyone’s issues after the season when we prepare for 2022,” WJFL president Derryk Sellers said.