The Millville High School football team experienced one of the best seasons in school history last year.
That’s saying something as the history of Millville football dates back to the early 1900s.
The Thunderbolts finished 11-1, won the Cape-Atlantic League American Division title and reached the South Jersey Group IV final, losing to Pennsauken 55-34.
Many Millville standouts graduated, including running back Alquann Jones, who was The Press Player of the Year. Jones rushed for a CAL-record 2,286 yards last year.
But enough talent returns for Millville to again be a contender this season.
Rutgers University already has offered 6-foot-3, 255-pound junior defensive tackle Antoine White a scholarship.
“We want to keep the intensity up through the whole season,” White said. “We realize we have shoes to fill. We realize the group we had last year was extremely impressive and talented. There’s always going to be comparisons, but we want to be the team of 2012.”
Millville not only graduated several talented players but also many of last season’s team leaders.
“Leadership needs to be found,” White said. “For every (position), we need a leader.”
Either Rashon Sorrell or Roberto Rivera will take over at quarterback.
Sorrell played wide receiver last year and averaged 20.1 yards per catch.
He is one of the CAL’s top athletes as he also plays basketball and runs track and field.
Center Jimmy Cessna, a 5-11, 260-pound senior, leads a talented but inexperienced offensive line.
Sophomore running back Rob Ennis showed plenty of potential and speed as a freshman last year. Ennis, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds, played for USA Football’s Under-17 team in Austin, Texas, in July.
While the Thunderbolts often simply outscored opponents last season (they topped 30 points eight times), this year they will rely more on their defense.
White and 6-1, 295-pound Josh Mercado give Millville plenty of size on the defensive line. Ed Shockley is a quality linebacker.
Sorrell excelled at defensive back last season.
“We want to do the best we can together,” White said. “We lack experience, but we have guys who are going to step up to the plate.”
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