The St. Joseph High School football players don’t say much.

That’s fine with Wildcats coach Paul Sacco.

“They just work,” Sacco said. “They want to get better. They know they have to get better.”

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St. Joe is the defending Cape-Atlantic League American Conference and state Non-Public I champion. The Wildcats should again contend for both those titles. St. Joe has won four straight state titles.

But this season St. Joe is young. The Wildcats will play mostly sophomores and juniors. But what they lack in experience they make up for with talent.

Many of the Wildcats young players were role players last season. This season they have to play key roles.

St. Joe junior running back Rocco Ordille (59 caries for 349 yards and six touchdowns last season) and senior Cody Sampson (155 carries for 882 yards and 10 touchdowns) will be the featured backs in St. Joe’s Wing-T offense. Ordille finished third in the 100-meter dash at the outdoor track and field Meet of Champions last spring.

C.J. LaFragola who played fullback last season takes over at quarterback. Junior Justin Kennedy and senior LaQuay Brown lead the defensive line.

Sophomore twins Salaam and A’Laam Horne will play defensive back and running back and wide receiver. The two have outstanding speed and have the potential to be dynamic players.

St. Joe cannot ease into the season. The Wildcats first three games – at Absegami, at Holy Spirit and home vs. Millville – are against three playoff teams.

I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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