The Atlantic City High School football team has one of the most difficult schedules in South Jersey, and there’s no soft opening: the Vikings will face West Jersey Football League Continental Division rival St. Augustine Prep at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8 in Atlantic City.
The Vikings also face Millville, Vineland and Holy Spirit, along with fellow Group V schools Williamstown, Kingsway Regional and Washington Township in non-division contests.
Atlantic City finished 4-6 in each of the past two seasons, but the Vikings usually improve as the season goes along. Last year was no exception, as they ended the season with a near-upset of top seed Toms River North in the Group V playoffs and almost upended rival Holy Spirit in the annual Thanksgiving Day tilt.
Holy Spirit’s quarterback in that game, Mike Costabile, is now wearing Viking blue after transferring to Atlantic City. Costabile threw for 713 yards and six touchdowns to help the Spartans reach the state Non-Public II title game last season.
His presence will allow versatile senior Nazim Derry, who threw nine touchdown passes last season, to see more time at wide receiver. Paired with fellow senior Nah’sir Morgan, a 6-foot-4 senior who averaged 17.1 yards per catch last season, the Vikings could have one of the most potent passing attacks in South Jersey.
The Vikings also have a talented core of offensive and defensive linemen, led by veterans Cory Howe, Beau Nolan, Michael Arrington and Julian Monsalve. A trio of senior linebackers, Ahmad Jones, Jehni Rice-Williams and Tylil Davis, will lead the defense.