Bobby Brewer was a freshman when the West Deptford High School football team won its last sectional title.
On the sideline and in uniform, the two-way lineman remembers it like yesterday.
“Me and a couple of others were pulled up to fill some JV spots. It was the first time I was ever at a championship game at Rowan,” he recalled. “The atmosphere was huge.”
Brewer’s career has come full circle. Instead of being on the sideline, the 6-foot, 255-pounder will be in the trenches when the Eagles compete for the South Jersey Group 2 title Sunday.
And like last time, it will be at Rowan against Cedar Creek with a chance to culminate a perfect 12-0 season.
West Deptford posted a 42-28 victory in 2012. A junior that season, running back Gerald Owens rushed for 206 yards and five touchdowns.
“Everything has gone so fast,” Brewer said. “I’ve been playing football since I was 6 and now we’re down to the last week. I want to play for the kids who played in the past and hopefully come back to West Deptford with a 12-0 record as a team.”
Brewer was on the field last season as West Deptford fell to Haddonfield. Memories of that loss remain fresh, too.
“I want that feeling of putting a smile on the coaches’ faces,” he said. “There’s no worse feeling than losing a championship game that you’ve worked so hard to get to. I’m absolutely ready to go.
“There’s been nothing better than this year. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I got closer to so many more people. I could name everyone on the team and say they were my best friends.”
A three-year starter, Brewer has been ready to go since he first put on a West Deptford uniform. He’s made steady progress with each season and has played a major role in the Eagles’ dominating ground attack.
“He came through our youth program and has always been a top-level kid,” veteran coach Clyde Folsom said. “He was our most dominant offensive and defensive lineman.
“We often run behind him when we need to get the tough yards. He’s consistent on the practice field and has been an outstanding vocal leader for a couple of years. There have been no surprises with him. He was dominant last year as well.”
West Deptford has rushed for 4,144 yards this season, an average of 376 yards per game.
Defensively, Brewer has 44 tackles, five tackles for loss and seven sacks.
“He’s explosive and uses his hands very well. He reads schemes,” Folsom added.
In taking on Cedar Creek, Brewer knows West Deptford will need to dominate the line of scrimmage.
“Watching them on film, we have to go in knowing that we’ll have to play more physical than them,” he said. “If we can shut them down physically, I don’t think they can stop us. It’s going to come down to which is the tougher team.
“If you look at them, they’re pretty athletic. But two players (Michigan recruit WR/DB Ahmir Mitchell and junior RB/WR/DB Bo Melton) are not going to beat 11. We play as a family. West Deptford football is all about family.”
Kevin Minnick; (856) 486-2424; firstname.lastname@example.org
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