The Bordentown Regional High School football team is headed into the 2019 season with a focus on growth while under the direction of a new head coach.
Coming into his first year at the helm of the Bordentown football team, Skip Edwards is tasked with the duty of guiding a youthful squad that finished 1-8-1 overall and 0-4-1 in the West Jersey Freedom Division in 2018.
With a predominantly young group of players who Edwards said he believes have an opportunity to gain experience, the coach is optimistic as Bordentown prepares for its opener on Sept. 14.
The Scotties will launch the season with a road game against Holy Cross Preparatory Academy in Delran Township.
“Upperclassmen-wise, our numbers are not what they could be, but we have a great freshmen class of 20 [players],” Edwards said. “We are trying to get them to have confidence in themselves – to believe in what they are doing and to buy into the program. That is the most important thing.”
Although the Bordentown coach aims to build a competitive team upon a young group of players, he said his inaugural season may come as a challenge, but will look to his several upperclassmen to step up and become leaders.
“The first year is the tough year, but I have a couple of good athletes out there that I’m leaning on and hoping that they can deliver for us,” Edwards said.
Edwards pointed out that leadership for his team may come from the talents of players like Jayden Bryant, who rushed more than 260 yards in 69 carries and scored five touchdowns last year.
The coach also touched on the versatility on both sides of the ball from players John Tarawali, Dan Poinsett and David Konan, who could become impact players this season.
“Bryant has the heart of a lion,” Edwards said. “I think we have really good skill-players that have the experience with [Bryant], Tarawali and Konan.”
Although Bordentown does have some bright points on offense, Edwards said that his defense as a whole will have to improve headed into this season.
With more than 350 points conceded last year, a tighter defensive line will be crucial if the Scotties intend to compete against the likes of league opponents Florence, New Egypt, Holy Cross, Burlington City and Palmyra.
“We have to work on discipline on defense – not listening to the count, but watching the ball,” the coach said. “We also have to work on how to become a team and pull for each other.”
Edwards, a former educator and veteran coach, with multiple years of experience at both a high school and collegiate level, said he is pleased to return to the sideline.
“I’m excited to be back in high school football again. Last year, I was coaching junior college for the New Jersey Warriors. This is what I love doing,” he said. “I’m a retired educator and this is my passion.”