CHERRY HILL: Brahim Wynn says he knows about the football championships Timber Creek was bringing home just a few years ago.
Wynn said he would like to see the glory days return to the Chargers program. “We just want to bring the Creek back,” Wynn said. “We’ve got some coaches who coached here back in those days when Devin used to play, when they got the championship rings. That’s the stuff we look back to. We really want to bring that back.” The 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end/tight end may see that success this fall. Head coach Brian Wright said he is bringing back nine starters from a team that struggled to a 3-7 record in 2021.
“The numbers (record-wise) are what they are,” Wright said. “But we have a lot coming back. It’s been a different vibe this summer. We’re excited with Brahim leading that.”
Wynn, a junior, was asked about his role this fall.
“I just want to be a leader:” Wynn said during an interview at the Adrenaline Sports Performance facility in Cherry Hill. “Coming up as a freshman and sophomore I looked up to a lot of guys on the team. Now they’ve graduated, now it’s my role to be that leader. We have goals as a team to win. The last two seasons that I’ve been here, we haven’t had a winning record. Our goal right now is to win every game.”
Wynn named some players he looked up to including quarterback Donovan Leary, who will play for Illinois this fall, plus LB Jihaad Campbell, Marcus Miller and Jimmy Wills.
According to published reports, Campbell transferred for his senior season to a sports prep facility in another part of the country. He is listed on the University of Alabama’s roster as a freshman.
The Timber Creek football program is used to winning. The Chargers won the NJSIAA - South Group 4 title in 2016. Quarterback Devin Leary threw for a record 47 touchdowns leading the Chargers to a 12-0 record.
In 2017, Leary’s senior campaign, the Chargers went 12-1, losing to Delsea in the Group 3 final. Leary is now throwing touchdown passes for North Carolina State and adding to his NFL prospect resume.
In 2018, still under head coach Roy Hinson, Timber Creek had a letdown finishing 4-7.
In 2019, the Chargers bounced back with Devin’s brother Donovan under center to finish 7-4.
Then the pandemic hit, and everything went sideways.
Hinson left to work for the Rutgers program and Timber Creek hired former Cherry Hill West head coach Brian Wright.
Wright coached the Lions for eight seasons highlighted with a 2016 record of 8-2, producing defensive back Harrison Hand, who went on to have a standout career at Temple and is currently playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
The 2020 season will be a season no one will forget but would like to.
The pandemic affected every walk of life. High School sports and life were affected.
His first season as head coach, the Chargers went 3-4 in a shortened, restricted season. That was Wynn’s freshman season.
TIMBER CREEK LOOKS FOR A FRESH START IN 2022
Wynn said there is a feeling of turning the page at Timber Creek summer practices.
“We changed our mindset,” Wynn said. “We’ve got kids staying after practice. We’ve got practice from 8-11 in the morning. We’ve got people staying until one o’clock to get extra work in. It’s all about the mindset.”
Wright talked about Wynn and some of the players he expects to lean on this fall.
“Brahim is a young man who is really just scratching the surface of what he’s able to do,” Wright said in a recent phone interview. “Last year he made a lot of plays that certainly opened the eyes of a lot of college coaches and opened the doors for him.
“But he’s still such a young guy,” Wright said. “He left a lot of plays out on the field. He was really just trying to figure things out himself. Things were moving very fast for him. And he was still able to make plays. That makes us excited going forward.”
Wright said he can see the changes in his young, standout player.
“He has the size, he has the range,” Wright said. “He has the athletic ability. I think this spring, him being on a lot of campuses…he was only a sophomore, but he was invited to a lot of junior days as well.
“Being on a college campus and seeing what that’s really about, sparked that flame even more. So far this summer, he’s been a completely different player. We expected growth from where he was last year, but where he’s at right now is kind of eye-popping. We’re really excited about moving forward with Brahim.”
Some of the players Wright singled out include receiver/defensive back Zyheem Coleman-Frazier, a 6-0, 160-pound senior. Wright talked about Coleman-Frazier.
“He probably has about 12 or 14 offers,” Wright said. “He has two FBS offers, and the rest are FCS. He’s committed to (FCS) Monmouth.”
“We are a team of youth,” he said. “Zyheem was a starter for the first-time last year. He had a great track season for Timber Creek this year. The kid…he’s a freak show on the outside. His catch range is ridiculous. We’re going to be leaning on him heavily.”
Other players mentioned include wide receiver/defensive back Isaiah Clay, linebacker Nasir Reason, defensive lineman Mhaki Cunningham (6-1, 265), defensive lineman Chad Smallwood (6-3, 330) and Darien Cade (6-3, 210).
Wynn plays tight end, “and a little receiver” on offense. He said he knows how important it is to learn blocking schemes.
“We have a tight end coach on our team,” Wynn said, referring to coach Green. “We work on techniques and stuff like that with the tight end blocking.”
Most people see a defensive end as being counted on to put pressure on the quarterback. That guy also has to be efficient at stopping the run. Wynn talked about both roles.
“I think of myself as a pass rusher,” said Wynn, who lists Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick and Arizona Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons as NFL players he admires. “But I think I can do a lot of everything. Last year I made 60-plus tackles. I’m pretty sure I can get the job done with the run game.”
Wynn said he sacked the opposing quarterback five times in 2021 with 12
quarterback hurries. “I think I can do a little bit of everything.”
As mentioned earlier, Wynn visited several college campuses this offseason. He has an offer on the table from Temple. Wynn still has two seasons of high school football left at Timber Creek, so there is no rush.
What is impressive about the interest from Temple, the offer came from head coach
Rod Carey, who was fired a short time later. He was replaced by Stan Drayton.
“I got offered in November before [Drayton] came in” Wynn said. “Then I went on a visit, and I got re-offered. I talked to [Drayton]...I had a little meeting with him. He told me he wants me to be part of what he’s doing, what he’s bringing to Temple.”
With the support of his family, including his mother Tamara, Wynn will bring success to the Chargers program and wherever his talents take him at the college level. *
Email Al Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org