The 85-pound and junior high school football players and coaches received certificates for their performance this season
In honor of what Mayor Brian Carlin proclaimed an “unbelievable” season for Burlington Township’s Jr. High School and 85-pound football teams, the council devoted its Jan. 23 public session to recognizing the players and coaches.
First up to receive their laurels were the 18, 85-pounders, who under first-year head coach Isaac Carter met and surmounted a series of obstacles throughout their season. Though they opened with a 19–13 home loss to Lumberton and temporarily lost team leader Jalen Jones to a fractured foot, the team managed to win one of its four remaining games to sneak into the playoffs as a №3 seed, Carlin said.
“Their journey through the season was met with many challenges, and they overcame those challenges through teamwork and hard work,” Carlin added. “Their resiliency reminds me of a team from South Philadelphia who will be playing in February.”
After finishing the season 6–4, they entered the playoffs against Burlington City with a freshly healed Jones, but on gameday, quarterback Julian Carter fell ill with the flu. To everyone’s surprise, a determined Carter showed up to drive down the field and tie the game, 6–6. Burlington Township walked away with a 12–6 win and a championship game matchup with the Eastern Junior Vikings, which they won, 13–12.
The junior high football program, which won the 2017 Champions in the Unlimited Weight Class of the South Jersey Independent Youth Football Association League, was met with congratulations for their 18–3 record this season.
“This group of players, coaches and families weathered an intense season with hard work, dedication and focus to produce championship winning results,” Carlin said.
Under head coach Dave Elliott, the junior high teams scored more than 600 points, with the varsity players outscoring the second-highest scoring team by 70 points at 314. With the defense allowing only 84 points over 20 games, the season closed with a record 15 shutouts.
The players and coaches were not the only ones to receive appreciation for their accomplishments in the community. Two members of council, Robert Jung and Patricia Siboczy, were called to the podium to accept their five-year pins for their service to Burlington Township.
Siboczy, a Board of Education member and teacher at Burlington Township Middle School, and Jung, a past Zoning Board chairperson, thanked the public for electing them to serve the community.