The team was recognized for its recent accomplishments.
At last week’s Lenape Regional High School District Board of Education meeting, the Shawnee High School football team was recognized for its recent accomplishments.
The 2018 football team was honored for its NJSIAA Group 4 championship win. This marks the eighth title in school history. The team, led by 27 seniors, was able to get into the playoffs as a №4 seed, and defeated Mainland, Millville and Clearview.
The team also participated in the NJSIAA inaugural gold championship game, where it played Long Branch at Metlife Stadium — home to the New York Giants and New York Jets.
Shawnee Principal Matthew Campbell thanked the board of education for its support in not only academics, but extracurriculars as well.
“You see the success that they have on the field and the classroom and all forms of competition, and that doesn’t happen without your support,” Campbell said. “This board of education, over my years here in the district, has held firm that that is a key component to what the students get to experience, and I truly think that’s one of the reasons our district is the way that it is, so I want to thank you for that and everything that you do.”
Campbell noted the team made remarkable achievements in the season, and head coach Tim Gushue and the rest of the coaching staff are to thank for shaping them into leaders.
“Coach Gushue has instilled this concept of leadership with them and I’m very proud of how they handle themselves, yes, on the field, but that’s a small part of where my pride comes from,” Campbell said. “It’s to watch these students in the community and the hallways every day. They represent Shawnee High School, their families and the communities of Medford and Medford Lakes tremendously.”
Athletic Director Rich Dodd extended gratitude to the board for its assistance in athletics and academics and also toward the coaching staff.
Dodd described the team as one “that plays with class and leads with integrity.”
Board member David Stow supported that statement with a personal experience he had with the team off the field. Stow said he’s had the opportunity to see team members around the community, and their demeanor represents Shawnee well.
“Their conduct outside of the control of the coaches was just as classy and professional as when they were together as a team on the field. That’s what always impresses me,” Stow said.
Gushue said a main goal as a coach is to shape the players into adults, making them great members of the community and one day great dads and great husbands. He has watched all teammates accept and welcome one another, treating each other with mutual respect.
Gushue noted the team had a challenging October, but although they may have been disappointed on a Friday night after a loss, they always came to practice on Monday eager for the next challenge.
“The senior leadership here, in all the years I’ve coached — and this is now number 42, I really, really believe this was one of the best examples of leadership I’ve seen in my career,” he said.
The next LRHSD board meeting will be held on Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lenape District Administration Building.