Rob Dieffenbach takes over as the Wildwood coach.

Dieffenbach graduated from Middle Township High School in 1988.

He played semi-pro football in Montana before moving back to Cape May County a few years ago. Dieffenbach was an assistant under former Wildwood coach Rich Hans.

"I looked at it as a good opportunity to build my coaching resume," Dieffenbach said of why he was interested in the job. "I'd really like to see the program build."

Wildwood seems to always be rebuilding.

The Warriors have one of the smallest enrollments in the state and sometimes struggle to field a team.

"Cape May County can be a wonderfully distracting environment," Dieffenbach said. "Kids will drop off from football because they want to surf."

Lack of depth is a perpetual problem.

"We can give a team a good half of football, but then we get worn down," Dieffenbach said.

The Warriors have 22 players - the same amount they've had the last few years. Most of those players are freshmen and sophomores, however.

But Wildwood should be fun to watch as it will run a high school version of the West Coast offense.

There are some positives. Wildwood's 24-18 triple-overtime win over Clayton last year was its first varsity victory in six years.

Many of the standouts from that night are back.

Quarterback and defensive back Rick Palmer ran and passed for a touchdown and also intercepted three passes that night.

Running back Dwayne Moody scored in overtime.

The Warriors will also rely on linemen John Matteo and Dave Bradshaw. Both are four-year starters.

If the Warriors are to continue to build, they need more players like Matteo and Bradshaw - athletes who stick with football all four years of high school.






LEAGUE/GROUP: Tri-County Conference Classic Division/South Jersey Group I

COACH: Rob Dieffenbach

(first season)

2008 RECORD: 1-7

2009 PREDICTION: Rebuiding:

The Warriors lack numbers but do return a few veterans in quarterback Rick Palmer and running back Dwayne Moody.


Dwayne Moody led the Warriors in rushing last season and returns this year.


John Matteo, Sr., OL/LB, 5-11, 180;

Dave Bradshaw, Sr., OL/LB, 6-0, 180;

Dwayne Moody, Jr., RB/DB, 5-9, 160;

Rick Palmer, Sr., RB/QB, DB, 5-9, 160;

Sean Reidy, Sr., QB/WR, 6-2, 175; Eddie Lopizzo, So., C, 5-8, 180; Scott Smith, Jr., FB.LB, 5-10, 180

Wildwood's schedule

Sept. 18: Pitman, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25: at Pennsville Memorial, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3: at Clayton, 2 p.m.

Oct. 9: Penns Grove, 7 p.m

Oct. 16: at Pitman, 7 p.m.

Oct. 23: Schalick, 7 p.m.

Oct. 30: Middle Township, 7 p.m.

Nov. 7: at Salem, 3 p.m.