Fans of the Bridgeton football team don't want to see Rashaun Smith run the 40-yard dash.

They want to see him hit someone.

The 6-foot, 255-pound Smith is one of the state's top linebackers and a Division I college prospect. He leads a Bridgeton team that should contend for a South Jersey Group II playoff spot.

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"You're going to see a lot of physical play," Smith said when asked what to expect this season, "a lot of running around and smacking people."

Smith had 116 tackles last season. He also had eight sacks and picked off two passes, returning one for a touchdown.

"I want to stay focused like last year," Smith said. "I'm not letting individual goals get to my head."

A number of colleges, most notably the University of Pittsburgh, have shown interest in Smith. He isn't the type of the player who excels at combine workouts.

"He's the kind of kid you have to see in pads," Bridgeton coach Dave Ellen said. "He needs to be on the field and hitting people."

Smith finished last season at about 268 pounds. He is down to 255 in an effort to get faster to play linebacker in college.

Smith is just one reason why Bridgeton is a team all local high school football fans should make a point of seeing this fall.

"It's exciting," Ellen said. "I have had coaches say they have to turn off the film because they get so caught up in watching Rashaun."

The Bulldogs also feature running back Mike Cisrow.

The 5-7 senior rushed for 1,108 yards and 15 touchdowns in just seven games. He averaged 8.1 yards per carry.

Kyheem Simpson is another senior standout at wide receibver and linebacker. Sophomore quarterback Tamar Jackson threw for 504 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman.

The Bulldogs have made three straight playoff appearances.

This group can make it four in a row but Bridgton must avoid injuries.





LEAGUE/GROUP: Cape-Atlantic League National Conference/South Jersey Group II

COACH: Dave Ellen

(57-57, 10 seasons)

2008 RECORD: 5-5

2009 PREDICTION: Spoiler.

Bulldogs feature some of the region's most talented players in LB Rashaun Smith and RB Mike Cisrow.


Cisrow averaged 8.1 yards per carry last season and has the speed to score every time he touches the ball.


Dezuwan Davila, Sr., C/DT, 6-0, 310;

Kyheem Simpson, Sr., WR/OLB, 6-0, 190;

Rashaun Smith, Sr., OG/LB, 6-1, 260;

Mike Cisrow, Sr., RB, 5-7, 180;

Kevin Bunton, Jr., RB/CB, 5-8, 165;

Jae DeShields, Jr., WR/CB, 6-0, 175;

Taron Byers, Jr., OLB, 6-0, 180;

Sam Bell, So., OT/DT, 6-5, 255;

Sean Henigin, So., OT/DT, 6-6, 310;

Tamar Jackson, So., QB/S, 6-1, 170;

Troy Eubanks, So., LB, 5-9, 190;

Ricky Edwards, Jr., RB/DB, 5-9, 180;

Tyler Hadak, Jr., QB/L, 5-10, 175;

Lavon Hall, Jr., G/DT, 5-10, 175;

Tommy Harris, Sr., WR/DB, 5-11, 165;

Fred Hill, Jr, TE/LB, 6-0, 190;

Maurico Gutierrez, So, WR/LB, 5-9, 155;

Jerome Scurry, So., RB/DB, 5-9, 150;

Tamar Jackson, So., QB, 6-1, 175.


Chris Tharpe, So., OG/DT, 5-11, 215;

Shaquille Profit, So., WR/OLB, 5-10, 165.

Bridgeton's schedule

Sept. 11: St. Joseph 7 p.m.

Sept. 18: at St. Augustine Prep 7 p.m.

Sept. 25: Buena Regional

Oct. 2: at Lower Cape May 7 p.m.

Oct. 9: at Highland Regional 7 p.m.

Oct. 16: at Pleasantville 7 p.m.

Oct. 23: Holy Spirit 7 p.m.

Nov. 6: Middle Township 7 p.m.

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