Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PrepNation 101 Teams to Watch in 2009

Before we begin counting down the PrepNation 101 Preseason High School Football rankings and the preseason National Prep Poll Top 25, let’s start by recognizing 101 other top teams that just missed the cut. Here are the PrepNation 101 Teams to Watch:

Apopka (Fla.), 10-3 last season: The Blue Darters, who began last season nationally ranked, were eliminated in the 6A playoffs by eventual champion Seminole. Some key performers from that team return including Notre Dame-bound DB Lorenzo Wood (5-11, 175) and versatile RB Tom Smith (6-1, 190).

Armwood (Seffner, Fla.), 12-1 last season: The Hawks graduated several talented players but are always a major factor in the Florida 4A race. Transfer QB Josh Grady will lead a re-tooled offense.

Arundel (Gambrills, Md.), 11-2 last season: The Wildcats are a strong contender for the 4A state championship behind the arm of senior QB Billy Cosh (6-2, 195), who threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 56 touchdowns last season.

Barbe (Lake Charles, La.), 12-1 last season: The Buccaneers reached the 5A state semifinals last season. Senior RB Michael Guillory will be the focal point of a strong rushing attack.

Bear Creek (Lakewood, Colo.), 8-3 last season: The Bears have a strong senior class that includes three-year starting QB Zach Thenell (5-10, 170), who threw for over 3,000 yards and 33 touchdowns last season.

Ben Davis (Indianapolis), 10-4 last season: The Giants stand a good chance in what appears to be a wide-open race for Indiana’s 5A championship this year. At least five senior skill players are likely to earn Division I scholarships.

Bentonville (Ark.), 12-1 last season: With all 11 starters returning on offense, the Tigers enter the season favored to repeat as 7A champions. Only one veteran is back on defense, however.

Bingham (South Jordan, Utah), 11-3 last season: Coach Dave Peck counts at least eight future Division I players in this year’s senior and junior classes. Powerful RB Harvey Langi (6-1, 215) earned first team all-state accolades as a sophomore.

Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 12-2 last season: First-year coach Tony Sanchez inherits a talented squad with 10 returning starters. USC-bound TE Xavier Grimble is one of four Gaels committed to Pac-10 programs.

Bolingbrook (Ill.), 10-1 last season: The Raiders were perfect during the regular season but eliminated in round one of the playoffs by eventual 8A runner-up Hinsdale Central. Look for senior RB Jamel Martin to have a big year.

Booker T. Washington (Miami), 10-4 last season: The Tornadoes will not lack offensive firepower as they move down to Class 3A after reaching at least the state semifinals five times in eight seasons as a 4A team. Among the returning starters is explosive senior RB Eduardo Clements (5-10, 185).

Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, Okla.), 13-1 last season: The Hornets must replace all but seven starters from last year’s 5A championship, but senior QB-DB Eric Bennett (5-10, 185) and blue chip DT-OL Calvin Barnett (6-3, 330) are back.

Broad Run (Ashburn, Va.), 14-0 last season: The defending Division 4 titlist has plenty of talent returning, including Pittsburgh-bound RB T.J. Peeler (6-1, 200) and all-state WR Adrian Flemming (6-4, 200).

Brophy Prep (Phoenix), 11-4 last season: The Broncos have six returning offensive starters, led by senior RB Max Leonesio who ran for over 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.

Canton (Mich.), 10-2 last season: The Chiefs will be a darkhorse contender for the Division 1 state championship. Watch out for the speed and change of direction of rising sophomore RB Kevin Buford.

Cardinal Mooney (Youngstown, Ohio), 9-3 last season: The Cardinals should have enough talent and experience to compete for a state title despite jumping up a class to Division III this season. West Virginia recruit RB Braylon Heard (5-11, 170) is one of eight returning offensive starters.

Carver (Columbus, Ga.), 11-3 last season: The Tigers have what it takes to challenge for their second 3A crown in three seasons. Several Division I prospects dot Carver’s roster, led by lightning-quick QB Devin Burns.

Cathedral (Indianapolis), 12-2 last season: Both losses the Fighting Irish sustained last season were to teams that spent at least one week in the National Prep Poll Top 25. The defending 4A champ has eight returning starters including senior QB Kofi Hughes, who had more than 1,000 rushing yards.

Centennial (Corona, Calif.), 15-0 last season: With only four starters back on each side of the ball, the Huskies face a rebuilding job one year after winning the Division I state championship and finishing the season ranked No. 2 in the National Prep Poll. Centennial’s top building blocks are senior LB Brandon Brown (6-2, 245) and an offensive line with four experienced players.

Charter Oak (Covina, Calif.), 13-0-1 last season: With another unbeaten season, the Chargers will repeat as CIF-SS Southeast VII champion and might be picked to be the South’s representative in the Division II state championship game. The Chargers have two Division I prospects at RB with seniors Adam Muema (5-10, 180) and Brandon Golden (6-0, 195).

Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colo.), 11-3 last season: Last year’s 5A runner-up returns arguably the top overall player in the state in senior QB-CB Kain Colter, a Stanford recruit.

Cocoa (Fla.), 14-1 last season: Last year’s Class 3A state champion moves down to 2A this season. Thirteen starters return including eight on offense led by senior QB Matt Younger and junior RB Chevelle Buie.

Coffman (Dublin, Ohio), 7-3 last season: With 13 returning starters, the Shamrocks expect to contend for a Region 3 championship. Junior QB Cole Staudt (6-4, 185), the son of former NFL QB Cliff Staudt, passed for nearly 1,200 yards last year.

Columbine (Littleton, Colo.), 11-2 last season: Behind Colorado recruit Danny Spond (6-3, 225) at QB and S, the Rebels should contend for their fifth state championship since 1999. Senior Sean Neu (6-3, 190) is another Division I prospect and will be counted on at OLB and WR.

Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.), 11-1 last season: The Junior Jays hope to give 300-win coach Tom Jaworski his 10th state championship and first since 2004. There are 10 starters returning, led by all-state RB-SS Nick Mizaur (5-11, 200).

Crenshaw (Los Angeles), 8-4 last season: The Cougars will likely battle Woodland Hills Taft for the LA City Section title this season. Highly touted RB-LB Hayes Pullard (6-2, 220) is the top returning player.

Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.), 11-1 last season: The Raiders have five returning starters on offense including blue chip OT Seantrel Henderson (6-7, 307) and senior QB Mark Alt (6-4, 190).

Davidson (Mobile, Ala.), 11-3 last season: After reaching the 6A semifinals last season, the Warriors return 13 starters including nine on defense.

DeSales (Columbus, Ohio), 13-1 last season: Moving down in classification from Division II to Division III, the Stallions are a strong state title contender. Senior RB Adam Griffin is the son of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin.

Downers Grove South (Downers Grove, Ill.), 7-3 last season: Look for the Mustangs to make a run at their first state championship since 2001. The offense is led by Illinois recruit QB Chandler Whitmer (6-0, 190).

Eagle (Idaho), 11-1 last season: Led by Nevada recruit QB Taylor Kelly (6-3, 190), last year’s 5A runner-up should be a strong championship contender again in 2009.

East Grand Rapids (Grand Rapids, Mich.), 13-1 last season: The three-time defending Division 3 champion has nine starters returning led by talented TE-DE Colin Voss (6-7, 225).

East Mecklenburg (Charlotte, N.C.), 11-3 last season: The Eagles hope to overtake nationally ranked powers Butler and Independence for area supremacy. QB Olen Little (6-2, 195) passed for over 2,000 yards as a junior.

Fayetteville (Ark.), 5-6 last season: The Bulldogs slipped below .500 just one season after winning the 7A state championship. QB Brandon Allen (6-2, 185) had more than 3,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Gaffney (S.C.), 7-6 last season: Led by talented Clemson recruit Joe Craig (WR-RB), the Indians are capable of making a deep playoff run this season.

Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.), 12-1 last season: The Gators, who have three WPIAL 4A runner-up finishes the last five seasons, should be a contender again this fall. The offense will feature highly touted senior RB Brendon Felder, a transfer from St. John’s Prep (Mass.), and fourth-year starting QB Robbie Kalkstein (5-9, 170).

George Washington (Philadelphia), 10-2 last season: The Eagles defeated LaSalle last season for the 4A city championship before bowing to eventual state champion Liberty in their first-ever PIAA state playoff appearance. Top returning players include QB Aaron Wilmer and blue chip OT-DT Sharrif Floyd (6-3, 310).

Glades Central (Belle Glade, Fla.), 11-1 last season: The Raiders have their eyes on capturing a 2A state title after winning three Class 3A crowns the last 10 seasons. All-state QB L.J. Thomas and blue chip DB Greg Dent are the top retuning players.

Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), 12-1 last season: Talented LB Connor Loftus (6-2, 220) is one of 10 returning starters from last year’s 7A semifinalist team. Senior QB Tyler Warden (6-6, 210) leads the offense.

Granite Bay (Calif.), 9-2 last season: The Grizzlies pushed eventual Open Division state champion and nationally ranked Sacramento Grant to the brink before falling short in the Sac-Joaquin playoffs last season. A player to watch is senior RB-LB DeVaunte Bolton (5-11, 215).

Hebron (Carrollton, Texas), 8-4 last season: The Hawks have five starters back on each side of the ball from a team that won eight consecutive games before losing to eventual 5A/I runner-up Wylie in the playoffs.

Highland Springs (Va.), 6-4 last season (includes two losses by forfeit): Led by the return of senior QB Jaquan Burchette (5-10, 195), the Springers should compete hard with Richmond Varina for the Central Region championship this season. Virginia Tech recruit Derrick Hopkins (6-0, 275) is the lynchpin of what figures to be a very stout defense.

Hightower (Missouri City, Texas), 13-1 last season: The Hurricanes took Texas football by storm last season, reaching the 5A/I state championship game for the first time in their nine seasons playing football. A number of key players have graduated but 10 starters – including eight all-district honorees – are back. Blue chip LB Shaun Lewis (6-1, 205) leads the defense.

Hilliard Davidson (Hilliard, Ohio), 11-2 last season: Led by hard-nosed senior QB Jake Trubiano, the Wildcats can’t be counted out as a contender for a second state title since 2006. The defense is led by all-league LB Kenny Klatt (6-0, 190).

Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, Ill.), 11-3 last season: Last season’s 8A runner-up is led by one of the top returning QBs in the state of Illinois. Senior John Whitelaw (6-2, 185) passed for 2,249 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.

Homestead (Mequon, Wis.), 14-0 last season: Ten starters return from last season’s Division I state champion, including seven on offense. The Highlanders defense features LB Lucas Speaker, a first team all-state pick as a junior.

Inkster (Mich.), 12-2 last season: Last year's Division 3 state runner-up has future Michigan Wolverine Devin Gardner returning at QB along with his top primary receiver and four starting linemen.

Iowa City (Iowa), 10-1 last season: The Little Hawks are the early favorite to win their first state title since 1996. Heavily recruited QB/S A.J. Derby (6-5, 215) passed and rushed for over 1,000 yards last season.

Jesuit (Portland, Ore.), 11-2 last season: Mutli-talented Washington recruit Keanon Lowe is among nine returning starters for the Crusaders, who seek their fourth state crown this decade. Lowe scored 15 total touchdowns last season, including three on kick returns.

LaSalle (Wyndmoor, Pa.), 9-3 last season: The defending Philadelphia Catholic League champion returns an experienced squad featuring all-state QB Drew Loughery (6-1, 200).

Lake Orion (Mich.), 12-2 last season: The Dragons should again contend for a state championship one year after reaching the Division 1 final under the leadership of then-freshman QB Sean Charette (5-9, 160). Joining him in the offensive backfield is senior RB Kim Bruce, who ran for more than 1,000 yards in ’08.

Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va.), 12-1 last season: The Titans’ only loss last season was to nationally ranked Phoebus. The top returning player is highly touted LB Travis Williams (6-3, 195).

Lake Travis (Texas), 16-0 last season: The two-time defending 4A/I state titlist begins life without all-everything QB Garrett Gilbert, now a Texas Longhorn. Assuming Gilbert’s role behind center will be junior Michael Brewer (6-1, 165), who showed good ability to both pass and run in mop-up duty last season.

Lee (Tyler, Texas), 7-5 last season: Last season all five of the Raiders’ losses came at the hands of playoff teams. Ten starters return, including starting QB Luke Wagner (6-2, 200) and all-district RB Da Da Brown (5-8, 175).

Lincoln (Tallahassee, Fla.), 11-4 last season: Last year’s 4A state runner-up has 14 returning starters but almost an entirely new coaching staff led by former Lincoln assistant Yusuf Shakir. The Trojans defense is anchored by returning all-state LB Marc Wilson (6-2, 230), an Illinois recruit.

Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort, Ill.), 9-2 last season: The Griffins will go to battle with a talented and experienced senior class led by QB Ryne VanGennep (6-2, 185), WR Alex Evans (6-2, 190), and LB Ryan Hickey (5-11, 190).

Linganore (Frederick, Md.), 13-1 last season: Fourteen starters are back from last season’s 4A state runner-up squad. The group includes a pair of all-state players in RB-LB Zack Dwinak (6-2, 235) and massive OT Robby Havenstein (6-7, 330).

Loyola (Los Angeles), 6-5 last season: The Cubs are a hardened squad after playing one of Southern California’s most difficult schedules. Blue chip RB Anthony Barr (6-4, 230) ran for 1,890 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior.

Lufkin (Texas), 7-5 last season: The Panthers could be on the prowl for their first state championship since 2001. There are six starters back on both sides of the ball, led by Texas-bound DB Carrington Byndom (6-0, 180).

Lutheran (Orange, Calif.), 10-3 last season: The Lancers, who return only six starters, will rebuild around senior QB Bobby Wheatley (6-3, 210) and Division I prospect LB/RB Garret Gilliand (6-0, 210). Lutheran also returns one of the top kickers on the West Coast in senior Parker Flynn.

Madison (San Antonio), 9-3 last season: The Mavericks have 13 returning starters including junior RB Aaron Green (5-11, 180), who scored nine touchdowns and ran for over 400 yards in a game last season. The defense is led by Oklahoma St.-bound LB Kris Catlin (6-3, 215).

Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.), 7-3 last season: Manatee, which won four state titles in the 1980s and ‘90s, return a talented senior class led by South Florida-bound QB Brion Carnes (6-2, 186) and four-year starting WR Ace Sanders (5-9, 170).

Maryville (Tenn.), 14-1 last season: The Rebels move into the newly formed 6A classification after winning seven state championships in nine seasons competing as a 4A squad. Coach George Quarles, who has lost only 10 games in 14 seasons at Maryville, welcomes back only six starters but the group includes senior QB Philip Juhlin (6-1, 190).

Mentor (Ohio), 9-3 last season: One of Northeast Ohio’s most consistent programs of the 2000s, Mentor returns six offensive and three defensive starters. QB Sam Mayse (6-5, 210) and OT Bryan Vayo (6-3, 290), both seniors, are Division I prospects.

Millard South (Omaha, Neb.), 9-4 last season: After a bumpy start, the Patriots rebounded to reach the Class A state championship game. All-state QB Bronson Marsh (6-0, 200) returns as a third-year starter.

Monroe-Woodbury (Central Valley, N.Y.), 11-1 last season: The Class AA runner-up returns 13 starters, including eight on offense. QB Dan Scalo (6-3, 210) had 1,452 rushing yards and 942 passing yards with 26 total touchdowns as a junior.

Muskegon (Mich.), 14-0 last season: Matt Koziak, who helped lead the Big Reds to two state championships the last three seasons as offensive coordinator, takes over as head coach. The team’s top rusher could end up being sophomore speedster Juwan Lewis (6-0, 180).

Muskogee (Okla.), 7-4 last season: Ten starters are back for the Roughers, who continue to lead the pack of Oklahoma 6A contenders that aren’t named Jenks or Tulsa Union. QB Archie Bradley (6-4, 220) performed well as a sophomore starter last season.

Naperville North (Naperville, Ill.), 10-1 last season: Despite having only seven returning starters, the Huskies have a strong team and could contend for their second state title in three years. QB Matt LaCosse (6-5, 215) and LB Matt Lifka (6-3, 235), both juniors, are great up-and-coming talents.

Naples (Fla.), 11-2 last season: The Golden Eagles, who have their eyes set on a third state championship run since 2001, have seven starters returning on defense. Rangy junior DB Lukas Foreman (6-2, 185) is a future blue chip recruit.

North Canton Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 12-2 last season: The Vikings return some key pieces from last year’s Region 2 championship team, including all-state RB Erick Howard (5-10, 210) and senior QB Brett Tulodzieski (6-1, 175).

North Gwinnett (Suwannee, Ga.), 10-3 last season: The Bulldogs have nine returning starters including a pair of Alabama recruits – Jawuan James and Austin Shepherd – on the offensive line. The top returning skill player is speedy WR Cordero Dixon (6-0, 170).

North Penn (Lansdale, Pa.), 14-1 last season: The Knights are a near perennial favorite to capture the competitive District One championship. DE Andre Poe (6-1, 205) and LB Mike Culbreath (6-1, 205), both seniors, are leaders of what should be a great defense.

Oak Grove (Hattiesburg, Miss.), 12-2 last season: The Warriors are fully armed with offensive talent and should challenge for the 5A state championship. Three returning skill players – RB Jay Hughes, WR Robert Johnson, and WR Steve McNair Jr. – are highly rated recruits. Senior QB James McMahon also returns.

Osceola (Kissimmee, Fla.), 8-4 last season: The Kowboys again are likely to battle nationally ranked Lakeland tooth-and-nail in the regular season and the 5A playoffs, with the possible reward of facing top-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas in the state finals. There’s plenty of talent on hand, with Georgia recruits DE B.J. Butler (6-3, 235) and DB Marc Deas (6-1, 185) leading the way.

Palo Verde (Las Vegas), 14-1 last season: Four starters return on both sides of the ball for the Panthers, one-point losers to Reno McQueen in last year’s 4A state championship game. The leader on defense is all-state DE Daniel Godkin (6-5, 235).

Penn Hills (Pittsburgh), 8-4 last season: With a senior class featuring four highly rated Division I recruits, the Indians have their sights set on challenging for their first state championship in 15 seasons. Senior WR-DB Brandon Ifill (6-1, 190) is a three-year starter with outstanding speed and athleticism.

Permian (Odessa, Texas), 12-1 last season: Coach Gary Gaines, who led the Panthers to a state championship one season after the team was chronicled in the book Friday Night Lights, returns to the Permian sidelines after 20 years as a college coach and high school administrator. He inherits only five returning starters including all-district offensive linemen Austin O’Connell (6-3, 250) and Margarito Vasquez (6-4, 305).

Phoebus (Hampton, Va.), 15-0 last season: After winning their fourth state championship in eight seasons, the Phantoms waved good-bye to seven Division I recruits and also lost longtime coach Bill Dee to the college ranks. Taking over the program is former Phoebus assistant Stan Sexton, who will rely heavily on a talented junior class that features talented LB Caleb Taylor (6-3, 215) and WR/DB DaQuan Romero (6-1, 180).

Raymore-Peculiar (Peculiar, Mo.), 11-2 last season: The Panthers have plenty of talented players back, including junior QB Cameron Coffman (6-3, 180), who threw for over 2,000 yards and completed 60 percent of his passes last season.

Redlands East Valley (Redlands, Calif.), 10-2 last season: The Wildcats have seven starters returning on both sides of the ball. QB Tyler Shreve (6-4, 210) passed for over 1,500 yards as a junior. DE Andrew Hudson (6-3, 225), a Pac-10 caliber recruit, will lead the defense.

Richmond (Rockingham, N.C.), 12-3-1 last season: Graduation was hard on the Raiders, who last year captured their first state championship since 1998. However, standout QB Tedarrius Wiley (6-2, 188) and leading rusher Labarrian James (5-5, 170), both seniors, do return.

Rock Hill (S.C.), 11-3 last season: Fourteen starters return for the Bearcats, including eight on offense. Few opponents will be able to match Rock Hill’s measure of team speed. Coach Joe Montgomery says three offensive skill players can run 40 yards in 4.3 seconds.

Rockford (Mich.), 13-1 last season: The Rams, who own three Division I state titles in five seasons, must be considered a strong contender for the championship again in 2009. Back to lead the defense is LB Joe Stefanski, last year’s state champion wrestler in the 215-pound division.

Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.), 10-2 last season: The Hawklets, who have three state titles this decade, are a championship contender even in a rebuilding year. Only four starters are back on each side of the ball, but that includes four-year starter RB/S Sal Belfonte (5-10, 201), who had 124 tackles and more than 1,300 all-purpose yards last season.

Salmen (Slidell, La.), 10-3 last season: The Spartans return plenty of experienced players from last season’s 4A state semifinalist squad. QB Daniel Sams emerged as a future star as a sophomore starter last season.

Sheldon (Eugene, Ore.), 7-5 last season: The Irish followed up their 2007 Class 6A state championship with a quarterfinals appearance despite going only 5-4 during the regular season. Jordan Johnson (6-1, 185), the starting QB on both of those teams, returns. He has 4,650 passing yards and 38 touchdowns for his career. In addition, three starting offensive linemen are back along with Oregon-bound WR/DE Curtis White (6-5, 250).

Solon (Ohio), 6-4 last season: The Comets, who missed the playoffs last season for the first time in nine years, have 14 total starters returning. The group includes Ohio St.-bound DE Darryl Baldwin (6-6, 250) plus three offensive linemen and all-league QB/FS Jake Voigt (6-0, 190).

Southwest DeKalb (Decatur, Ga.), 9-4 last season: In search of their first state championship since 1995, the Panthers have a talent-laden roster with four players already committed to SEC colleges. The top returner on defense is end T.J. Stripling, a Georgia recruit with dominating pass-rushing ability.

St. Louis (Honolulu), 8-2 last season: St. Louis gets the slight nod over league rival and defending state champ Punahou for this spot. All-ILH QB Jeremy Higgins (6-1, 200) is back to lead the Crusaders offense.

St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.), 8-3 last season: With their QB and most starting linemen returning, the Marauders should compete toe-to-toe with the top teams in New Jersey again this season.

St. Rita (Chicago), 10-2 last season: The Mustangs again will challenge nationally ranked Mount Carmel for Catholic Blue supremacy and, likely, a deep run in the state playoffs. The defense should be strong with the likes of senior DT Bruce Gaston (6-3, 290) returning.

Steubenville (Ohio), 14-1 last season: The Big Red return enough talent and experience to make a serious run at their third Division III state title since 2004. Leading the way again will be senior QB Dwight Macon (5-11, 185), who had more than 3,000 combined passing and rushing yards last season.

Timpview (Provo, Utah), 13-0 last season: The Thunderbirds have won three consecutive 4A state titles and 36 straight games. Division I recruits DE Bronson Kaufusi (BYU) and DB Chris Badger (Notre Dame) were key members of a defense that allowed only 12 points per game last year.

Trinity (Louisville, Ky.), 14-1 last season: Despite having only three total returning starters, the four-time defending state champion Shamrocks are more likely to reload than rebuild. Trinity’s non-district schedule includes difficult trips to Cincinnati to face nationally ranked Elder and St. Xavier in back-to-back weeks.

Valdosta (Ga.), 5-5 last season: You can never count out the nation’s all-time winningest prep football program. The Wildcats enter year four under coach Rick Tomberlin with eight returning starters and a group of juniors and sophomores that each went undefeated at the freshmen level.

Venice (Fla.), 11-1 last season: The Indians will begin the season with an ESPN-televised game at nationally ranked Oscar Smith (Va.). Florida-bound QB Trey Burton (6-3, 219) is a primetime player.

Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio), 8-4 last season: Standout junior QB Braxton Miller was injured and did not play in any of Wayne’s losses last season. If he remains healthy, he and nine other returning starters should make the Warriors competitive with the Cincinnati powers for the Region 4 crown.

Wayzata (Plymouth, Minn.), 13-0 last season: The Trojans return some key pieces from a 5A championship team that dominated opponents by an average score of 42-9. The defense could be equally salty this year with Stanford recruit A.J. Tarpley (6-1, 215) and sack specialist DE Tobi Okuyemi (6-3, 220) returning.

Wylie (Texas), 13-3 last season: After back-to-back losing seasons, the Pirates shocked the state by making it all the way to the 5A/II championship game in 2008. There are 11 starters returning, led by Wake Forest-bound RB Nick Knott (5-10, 175).

Xaverian Brothers (Westwood, Mass.), 7-4 last season: The Hawks are likely to begin the season favored to win the Eastern Mass Super Bowl. The top returning players are senior QB Alex Phelan (6-0, 185) and two-way tackle Cam Colwell (6-5, 255).

Jamie DeMoney has covered high school sports and recruiting for more than 15 years. He has compiled the National Prep Poll for World Features Syndicate and the Associated Press since 1999 and has also compiled high school football and basketball rankings for Sporting News and RISE. DeMoney was managing editor of American Football Monthly and assistant national editor of All-Stater Sports/Highwired Sports. DeMoney is a graduate of the University of Iowa School of Journalism, and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers Association.


concha said...

Jamie, looking forward to the detailed countdown.

I notice that for Ohio, the 101-26 tally does not include the likes of Elder (understand they will be Top 25), but also lacks Colerain, St. Ignatius, Glenville... Locally in Cincinnati, Moeller is viewed as very much in the mix with Elder and Colerain as the the clear top 3. My St. Xavier Bombers are considered fourth, but if they reload the defense, who knows? I think they would have been in the 101 at least.

Is there the possibility of an unusually large Ohio contingent in the top 25 this year?

Chris Himonidis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Himonidis said...

I believe St. Xavier and Moeller are going to be left out of any rankings this early on and fully expect St. Ignatius and Colerain to be in the top 25 nationally when the poll is released on Monday, along with Elder.

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