Coach Kenny Loomis and the Wildwood High School Warriors battled

through their usual late-summer numbers issues and hope to field a

competitive team this season.

“The major positive is that we have our offensive line and quarterback

returning this year,” Loomis said. “That experience is going to pay

off huge this year.”

Loomis is referring to senior signal-caller Christian Tyson, and

linemen Kenzee Delgado, Divad Reyes, Connor Heym, Michael Juarez and

Anthony LaRossa.

The coach thinks his core group will shake off a winless 2016 campaign

-- Loomis’ first -- and begin to reach for the next level.

“Last year was the beginning of a new era for our program,” Loomis

said. “All of the kids had a bit of adjustment period to the new

philosophy, but they began to pick it up after a few weeks.

The Warriors are healthy heading into the season, which Loomis thinks is key.

“That’s crucial to be injury-free, especially with our numbers,” he

said. “We will continue to work week to week to get better and compete

during the season. Success builds interest, and we have athletes from

other sports and students that will be playing for the first time this

year.”

Senior linebacker Vito Hernandez will be one of the leaders on

defense, and senior Nate Lopez returns at wide receiver. Junior Davon

Jones will step into a starter’s role at wideout and defensive back.

“We need leadership if we are going to be successful,” Loomis said.

“It doesn’t matter whether the leaders are freshmen or seniors.”

The Warriors will search for that elusive first win since 2014 with a

clear in-game philosophy.

“We plan on controlling the clock and controlling the game,” Loomis

said. “If we can control the tempo, we have a fighter’s chance. The

key to our season is playing smart, sound football.”

-- end of story --

WILDWOOD

Coach: Kenny Loomis (0-10, 1 season)

League/Group: Tri-County Conference, Classic Division, Group I

Last season: 0-10

Playoff appearances: 1

Championships: 0

2017 prediction: Rebuilding

Game to watch: The Warriors host Lower Cape May Regional on September 29.

Key returnees:

Top newcomers: Karl Brown, So., WR/DB, 5-11, 180; Dylan Callahan, Jr.,

WR/DB, 5-11, 180; Cecilio Concepcion, So., OL/DL, 6-3, 240; Greg

Mitchell, Fr., WR/DB, 6-0, 210; Keniel Rivera, Sr., TE/DL, 6-3, 215.

LAST FOUR SEASONS:

2016: 0-10

2015: 0-10

2014: 1-9

2013: 2-5