Santa Margarita, Dallas Skyline top preseason H.S. Power Rankings
August 20, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
It depends on how zealous the other owners in your league are, but it's probably okay to set down the fantasy football preview issue for a moment.
Why? The high school football season is starting across the nation, and even your harebrained fantasy league commissioner knows not to schedule the draft on Friday night. Plus, it's an early opportunity to indulge in football after surviving an almost six-and-a-half month stretch without it. No longer must you aimlessly click on volatile message boards and claim to be "satisfied" with the local beat writer's practice reports. Starting with this weekend's first full slate of games, the helmets will actually crack and the whistles will actually ring -- even if the referees look more like Mark Mangino than Ed Hochuli.
So let's get to it. The narrative surrounding the high school football season -- like any high school, college or professional sport -- is dominated by conjecture. Rankings, like my own, are more or less predicated off what teams have the highest volume of Division I talent, and which have the best balance of such celebrated prospects. Luckily, high school football fans will get to see several top national matchups in the beginning of the season, helping to settle some debate -- and forge an early hierarchy -- even before Sept. 1.
Here are the initial Power Rankings, which will come out every Monday during high school football season.
1. Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
2011 record: 13-2, CIF Southern Section champion
First game: Aug. 25 at Brophy College Prep (Ariz.)
Santa Margarita sits in the top spot in several polls, and much of it has to do with its Tebow-esque starting quarterback: Johnny Stanton. A Nebraska commit, Stanton tallied 3,867 yards and 34 touchdowns last season and dominated the state title game. Factor in 14 returning starters, a running back (Ryan Wolpin) that scored 29 touchdowns last season and the protection of UCLA-bound offensive tackle Erik Bunte, and the Eagles become the national frontrunner to start the season. This team features an explosive offense with a questionable but sturdy defense, anchored by Arizona State commitment Nick Begg. It's hard to envision any team in the nation limiting such a multi-faceted attack.
2. Skyline (Dallas)
2011 record: 14-1, Texas Class 5A Division I semifinalist
First game: Sept. 1 vs. The Woodlands (Texas)
A traditional powerhouse in a football-crazed state, Skyline returns its prolific starting quarterback and a receiver that could one day follow the footsteps of Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon. Ole Miss commit Devante Kincade threw for more than 3,200 yards last season and will continue to seek out Oklahoma State commit Ra'Shaad Samples, a rangy receiver that could put up enormous numbers. The defense returns six starters, but lost three Division I players. After being upset in the semifinals last year, Skyline is a veteran -- and unmistakably hungry -- group heading into 2012.