Fighting Clan adjusting to new conference and group

The Vineland High School football team tries not to worry about things it can't control.

Since the Fighting Clan last played a football game, they were moved into the National Conference of the Cape-Atlantic League and switched from South Jersey Group IV to the newly formed Group V.

No biggie.

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"No matter who they line up against us on Friday we're going to have to play them," senior Toure Douglas said. "We try not to focus on that. We try to focus on our responsibility and everybody going out there and doing their job."

Vineland seems to have come out the other side of realignment in pretty good shape.

The Fighting Clan finished 3-7 last season and still faces all three teams it won against. They only play two of the seven teams that beat them.

"It really doesn't change anything," Vineland coach Josh Hedgeman said. "You can call it group 10, it doesn't matter. If you choose to look at it as a big deal it will be a big deal, but we don't look at it that way. We can only play the schedule that's given."

Vineland will have some nice targets for its quarterback to throw to this season. The Fighting Clan just isn't sure who that quarterback will be.

Angel Rodriguez took over the job last year in the middle of his sophomore year last season and returns. Senior Rovell McArthur and junior transfer Chris Atoki are pushing Rodriguez for the job.

"It's not the worst problem to have a quarterback competition," Douglas said. "Our three guys are able quarterbacks. We'll be able to throw the ball."

Douglas has emerged as one of the area's top receivers and will also see time in the team's defensive secondary.

The 6-foot-4, 190 wideout is a standout in the classroom too, and has received interest to play from schools in the Ivy and Patriot Leagues, among others.

Lance Bryant (6-1, 174) will line up opposite of Douglas.

Bryant leads a talented group of linebackers that includes fellow returners Calvin Stiles (6-0, 205), Anthony Centeno (5-8, 182) and Raequan Flowers (5-11, 220).

Look for junior lineman Jamil Demby (6-foot-6, 275) to emerge as one of the league's best.

Sophomore Isaiah Spencer runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and hopes to find some open field this season. Spencer was the team's full-time starter as a freshman.

The Fighting Clan lost nearly half their team to graduation last season but do return 17 letter winners and a handful of impact transfers.

"We have a lot of guys that are young but that comes with everything," Douglas said. "When one guy leaves, another guy has to step up. Everybody gets their turn eventually."

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