The Cedar Creek High School football team graduated its first senior class and 2012 Press Player of the Year Damon Mitchell last spring.

That class built a top program. The Pirates finished 10-2 and reached the South Jersey Group II final.

Now Cedar Creek must sustain that success.

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The Pirates return some players but will be a different type of team this season. With Mitchell – now at the University of Arkansas – Cedar Creek relied on the big play last year. This year the Pirates will be more methodical. They are talented upfront with veteran linemen Nick Catherine, Ralphie Collazo, Jayson Williams and Chris Lynch.

Mitchell’s younger brother – sophomore Ahmir Mitchell – has plenty of potential and will play defensive back and wide receiver.

Sophomore Alex Dawn and freshman Jesse Milza are contending for the quarterback spot.

The strength of the defense is also upfront with Collazo and Keoith Alston.

Linebacker Dustin Voss leads the defense.

Coach Tim Watson said this year’s expectations for the Pirates are the same as last year’s.

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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