Last weekend’s National Football League draft turned out to be special not only for one graduate of St. Joseph High School in Hammonton, but for two graduates. And former teammates, at that.
Gordon Hill, Class of 2011, and Max Valles, Class of 2012, both played under coach Paul Sacco on the high school football field. Now, they will be rivals in the AFC West Conference.
Valles, at 20 years old the youngest of the NFL draftees, was picked by the Oakland Raiders in the sixth round, 179th overall, last Saturday, to become the first St. Joseph Wildcat drafted.
Shortly after, Hill, 22, agreed on a free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers.
Valles, an outside linebacker, will go to Oakland from the University of Virginia, where last year he finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with nine sacks, and earned third-team all-conference honors.
Hill, a safety, previously played at Sacred Heart in Connecticut. A three-year starter, he picked up six sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries last year.