Thursday, September 25, 2008

Across the PrepNation: Weekend Warmup 9-25-08

Quick. Guess which two high schools have the most current players in the NFL?

If you guessed Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Tustin (Calif.) you guessed correctly -- and very impressively.

Dillard and Tustin each have six players on NFL rosters to start the season, according to a feature piece published by the website, an affiliate partner of the NFL.

Among the former Dillard Panthers who play on Sundays is multiple-time Pro Bowl receiver Isaac Bruce, now with the 49ers.

The most notable former Tustin Tiller is probably running back DeShaun Foster, also with the 49ers. Foster was named USA Today's player of the year in high school but his pro career never flourished quite as expected due to repeated ankle injuries at both UCLA and with the Carolina Panthers.

Four prep programs are have produced five current NFL players. They are: Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.), six-time Prep Poll champion De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), 1999 Prep Poll champion Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.), and current No. 15 Glenville (Cleveland).

The article also lists the top NFL-producing states (California is tops, followed by Florida and Texas) and top cities (Miami is tops, followed by Houston and Detroit).

Speaking of De La Salle ... Folks sure do come out of the woodwork to sling arrows at the Spartans when they lose -- and even when they almost lose.

Yes, the Spartans have needed fourth-quarter touchdowns to win each of their first two games. Because of those closer-than-expected margins of victory, De La Salle has dropped to No. 8 in the National Prep Poll after starting the season ranked No. 6.

But both wins -- 29-28 over San Mateo Serra and 27-21 over Loyola -- are pretty darn good wins over pretty darn good teams.

Not to mention the fact that when opposing teams see De La Salle on their schedule, it's often their Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup and World Cup rolled up into one.

Even though it's been more than four years since De La Salle's national-record 151-game winning streak ended, the Spartans still carry an unbelievable aura about them.

No, the Spartans are not the most physical imposing team to ever step off a bus, but the green and silver still represents a lot of dominance and a lot of excellence.

No. 8 De La Salle hosting regionally ranked Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) is probably the highlight of the TV slate for prep football fans scanning their program guides this weekend.

De La Salle is 2-0 (as described above) while Don Bosco is 1-1 after losing in week 1 to defending Prep Poll champion Cincinnati St. Xavier, 17-10, then wiping out Valley Forge (Pa.), 51-0, last Friday.

ESPNU has the game Saturday night at 10:30 PM EDT.

ESPNU also will be in Alabama to televise an interstate battle between two-time defending 6A champ Prattville and Tennessee private power Brentwood Academy.

Prattville's only loss this season also was to those feisty St. Xavier Bombers, 15-10, to start the season at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Lions have won their next three games by a combined score of 89-0.

Brentwood Academy, which started the year ranked in some national polls (not ours), is 4-1 including a 22-21 loss in week 2 to Ravenwood (2-2).

Kickoff is 8:00 PM EDT.

As its game of the week, CBS College Sports' program schedule lists a re-run of last week's thrilling Miami Northwestern 31-29 defeat of Miami Booker T. Washington.

Those of us with expanded sports service on our cable and/or satellite packages have a chance to see a few more interesting games, including regionally ranked Plano (Texas) against rival Plano East (Thursday 7:00 PM CDT, FSN-SW) and an Orange County showdown with Edison at Servite (tape-delayed Friday at 11:00 PM PDT, FSN-PT).

Unfortunately, No. 11 Houston North Shore must wait yet another week before attempting to break a Texas record with its 73rd consecutive regular season win.

The Mustangs had hoped to return to the field Saturday at regionally ranked Southlake Carroll, with whom they currently share the record. But, according to the Houston Chronicle, numerous North Shore players still don't have electricity in their homes and the team has not been able to practice since Hurricane Ike ravaged the area.

North Shore is scheduled to finally return to action a week from Friday at preseason state-ranked Lufkin.

This weekend's UPSET ALERT:

No. 3 Byrnes: No doubt, the Rebels are happy to see their name on this list for the second week in a row after absolutely hammering a very talented Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln squad, 38-0, last Friday. But Byrnes needs to be careful to not be swallowed up in a Florida sandwich here, one week before hosting Pahokee on ESPNU. This week, Byrnes plays at rival Gaffney, a place where they have lost three consecutive times.

No. 8 De La Salle: After escaping with two close wins to start the year, the Spartans probably need to take it up a notch against regionally ranked Don Bosco Prep on Saturday. DLS started the season knowing it would probably experience some growing pains in the trenches. Meanwhile, DBP prides itself with strong interior play and returns great experience at most line positions. Anyone expecting another nationally televised DLS blowout of a fellow nationally ranked team will be in for a shock.

No. 9 Centennial: Possible letdown here for the Huskies who invested so much emotion and energy in last week's 47-35 win over regionally ranked Mater Dei. It's never an easy proposition to get a win at Central Section power Clovis West.

No. 12 Poly: I would be stunned if Poly were to lose to City Section stalwart Carson (mostly because the Jackrabbits can match or exceed Carson's speed and athleticism at about every position). But that's what most people thought before Mater Dei played the Colts -- a game Mater Dei needed three overtimes to win, 46-43.

No. 13 Bastrop: Their 46-game winning streak is on the line when the Rams travel south across the entire state of Louisiana on Friday to face quality 5A foe East St. John and Tulsa-bound RB Alex Singleton

No. 20 St. Ignatius: Well over 20,000 fans will be on hand at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium Friday night when the Wildcats face perennial state power Massillon. The teams have won a combined 31 state championships in football, although only St. Ignatius' titles were won since the start of the state playoff era. Massillon has won only 1 of 10 matchups in this series, but you can bet veteran St. Ignatius Chuck Kyle knows he had better have his kids ready to to play.


Anonymous said...

i really like how de la salle schedules quality opponents every year, despite the possiblity of losing games to those teams. kudos to them, but dont say both of those wins were against pretty darn good teams. loyola is NOT a pretty darn good team, they havent done much in years. there are plenty of good teams in california who dont get the credit de la salle gets just because they didnt win 151 games in a row.

PrepNationSports said...

Actually, Anonymous, you are a little misguided in your assessment of Loyola. While the Cubs are indeed coming off back-to-back losing seasons, they were Southern Section Division I champions in 2005.

It doesn't get much tougher than the CIF-SS Division I playoffs. And 2005 was not very long ago.

Anonymous said...

when will you see that Byrnes is for real? The Rebels made this upset list last week also. Half time score 31-0 and the 1st string came out and scored again on the 1st series of the 3rd qtr. Then the #2's and 3's finished the game. My prediction 45-13 Byrnes at the new gaffney stadiun!! USA TODAY #1 ranked team.

Anonymous said...

When will he see? He as them ranked third!

I know a lot of the fun about these rankings is the debating of them, but there is a difference of debating vs. whining about where your team is at, but if you like where USA Today has your team those must be the best rankings.

Anonymous said...

actually anonymous, i wasnt that misguided about loyola. while i agree with you about how the cifss d-1 championship was usually as tough as it got, without a doubt that was a down year for the division. loyola won with a 10-4 record, 6-4 regular season and went 2-3 in league(tied with two other teams) and just squeaked by into the playoffs. loyola even lost 3 games in a row that year. i give them all the credit for winning the championship, getting hot at the right time and winning when it mattered but they were not an elite team. i may have overstated my comment "havent done much in years" but that program is not a top socal program anymore.

Anonymous said...

im sorry, the last comment is in response to username "prepnationsports"