East football team is in for a year of changes

The Cherry Hill East football team is in for a year of changes, moving from group four to the new group five and switching divisions, from the West Jersey Football League’s National division to the American division.

The Cougars will be one of 15 teams in South Jersey’s group five, a classification that was made this year for football only.  Each group divides the state into sections, and then even further divides them based on total number of students at the school.  Group one is the smallest and group five is the largest.  The NJSIAA, New Jersey’s governing body of high school sports, created the group as an attempt to give more teams a chance at making the playoffs.  Each group has eight teams qualify, and last year, East came in tenth based off of a power point system.  Had the new group been created last year, East would have placed eighth and made the playoffs.

The other change was a change in division for the Cougars, putting them in a division with more traditional rivals.  Last year, the Cougars were in a division with teams like Clearview and Winslow Township, schools that most other teams rarely play.  However, this year they will be in a division with teams like Cherokee, Eastern and Washington Township in a division similar to the Olympic Conference’s American division, which most other school sports are a part of.

The change in division will be just a small change as East played most of the teams in the new division last year in the inter-conference play and will play some teams from the old division this year.  However, the new group will give the Cougars a better chance at making the playoffs, a feat the team will look to accomplish for the first time since 2006.