All of these rankings will be used as part of our broadcasts with Bob Akamian and Comcast each weekend. Just like every year there will be plenty of surprises and adjustments to make which is why rankings in the end don’t mean jack. That said very few people know Washington football better then Ryland Spencer and Scott Eklund who are both very influential individuals in the HS football world. I feel very confident in my rankings for both states and look forward to making picks each week as the season unfolds.
NEI- OFFICIAL 4A/3A WASHINGTON RANKINGS
4A Top 10
2. Bellarmine Prep
6. Federal Way
3A Top 10
4. Mt Si
5. Seattle Prep
9. Oak Harbor
10. Eastside Catholic
NEI- OFFICIAL 6A/5A OREGON RANKINGS
6A Top 10
1. Jesuit- The nationally ranked Crusaders come in with a line that will average 6-5 280 across the board and three D1 kids up front (Kirkland 6-5 295, Rich 6-7 295, Brenner 6-3 275) among others, and AJ Glass is a viable Player of the Year candidate after rushing for 2000+ and 25 Tds.. Junior QB Christian Martinek is one of the top athletes in the state and Joey Alfieri may be the top Jr. LB in Oregon
2. Sheldon- The Irish come back loaded after last years state title appearance with SWC Offensive Player of the Year Connor Strahm, after he scored 28 Tds on 1900+ All purpose yards. They also added 3 big time transfers in LB James Banks-Marist, TE/DE Mike Ralston-Jesuit, and junior sensation Yadie Dunmore; Oshay Dunmore’s little brother from Newport. One of the best run programs in the country
3. Central Catholic- CC is loaded, but they will have to overcome the Mt Hood jiinx that has haunted them for decades. The state’s top safety Dallin Leavitt S/RB will also be playing tailback with D1 linebacker Xavier Griggs LB/RB. Expect two of the top juniors in the state to play a big role as well with Aidan Wilder at QB, and Connor Humphreys DE/OL coming off the end. Lawrence Wilson and Beau Duronslet are as good as any WR tandem in Oregon
4. Aloha- The Warriors could legitimately be the best team in the state, as there line is just as good as Jesuit’s. The NW’s top OL Brayden Kearsley leads that crew with (Kluge, Sullivan, McCollum, D.Johnson, Richie) and other monsters up front. The question remains with one of the nations top players in Thomas Tyner and whether or not he can stay healthy. If he’s not at 100% Aloha won’t be either
5. Lake Oswego- LO is always good and that trend will continue but last year was unique with (Long, Matthews, Walen, Coury) and kids like that. The Laker line will be a force to be reckoned with (N.Peterson, Faunce, K.Peterson) all returning as starters from last years state title team. Jack Anderson Slot/S will be one of the top two way players in the state, after leading Oregon in Int’s (9) last season. Mitch Lomax should have a monster year, and Nick Underwood LB/RB and Jordan Horak ATH are both considered two of the top juniors in the region.
6. Tigard- The three headed monster is back, and then some but the Tigers lose three big time lineman and will be inexperienced up front so it will be interesting. Zach Floyd could be the most exciting RB in Oregon with Benny Wick and Kaz Green right there as well. The X factor could be Manu Rasmussen ATH/DB who is one of the better juniors in the state. They need to get him the ball. The they aren’t huge by any means, but the team speed is ridiculous.
7. Southridge- The Skyhawks perimeter is nothing short of filthy with ( McClean, Calo, J.Morgan, and Alec Powell) all being big time targets. Talented Jr QB AJ Woodin will take over for 1st team all league Quarterback Reza Aleaziz, as he opted to sit out this season as a health precaution after receiving a full ride scholarship to Oregon to play baseball. The running game is in tact with Jr. 1st team all league returner Devin Martinez getting most of the carries, but the line has its work cut out for them against Jesuit/Aloha. Junior standout Tyler Cox will have to be a leader.
8. South Medford- The kids from down south will be good, but it will be tough to makeup for the losses of Jack Singler and Matt Retzlaff. Sr WR Adrian Garcia will be one of the top WR’s in the state, and junior RB Christian Bowley will return after a 2nd Team all league season. The top junior LB in tackles at the 6a level last season, Pat Alexander will also be back to patrol the middle.
9. Century- Maybe the surprise of the year to people that don’t know HS football, but these kids are loaded with 9 All league kids back from last season. Sam Riddle will take over QB duties, allowing 1st team all league QB Brad Bennett to be exploited at WR, with unanimous 1st team all league wideout Xavier Mitchell. The line is where the Jaguars will be able to separate themselves with a very talented crew ( Thimjon, Devedjian, Sirois, Olds). All four represent some of the best lineman in Oregon.
10. Canby- Never sleep on Canby, they are always good. Big 6-5 QB Sam Stelk made the transfer from Tigard and has looked great. Junior Sam Bodine LB/RB is going to be one of the best underclassmen in Oregon, and fellow juniors Noah Kyllo ATH/DB and Zack Kraus T will be two other talented youngsters. Look for a big year out of Sr. Cody Churchwell who was an all league kid last year up front.
OVERALL 6A STATE POWER RANKINGS
13. West Salem
5A Top 10
1. Crescent Valley- The line is clearly dominant at the 5a level (Powell, Bodon, Heck) and the skill kids are very talented as well with the state’s top Jr. recruit Tanner Sanders playing QB..They also have top backers Tanner Fiez and junior Jacob Bucher, with quality WR Jared Baumgartner. Everything starts up front and this is why I feel the Raiders could dominate opponents.
2. Wilsonville- Hands down the best skill position kids in the state (Shipley, Ragin ,Walsh, Highberger) but lose a lot up front and that remains a big question mark. Junior’s Cooper Whitaker and Parker Nielsen will be two of the better young backers/ends in the state. Top Coach Adam Guenther to lead the way.. Highberger is hurt and will be missed for the first part of the season which could change things
3. Marist- Kamerun Smith to Austin Baird- get used to hearing it if you didn’t already last year.. Josh Harper returns as the 5a sack leader and will play a prominent role on offense, and junior backer Cody King will return to patrol the middle and have to make up for the loss of James Banks
4. Mountain View- The Cougars lose a lot from their state title team, but first year Coach Brian Crum is a big hire for the school. Chad Bach will lead a talented line with Sr. Joe Hester and Jr. Austin Phillips being the other key components. WR/S John Carroll will be a leading candidate for conf player of the year honors, and Coach Crum says that first QB Toby Webb will do well
5. Sherwood – The Bowmen always reload, but this year could be a little different. Cristian Morris is the real deal, but we will see if last years missed season hurts. Junior RB/LB Scott Skurdahl will be a prime time player on both sides of the ball, and Sr QB/S Joseph Balfour will be one of the better athletes in the conference.
6. West Albany- Junior Jake Lacoste went for over 2000 yards and 22 Tds and broke the all time Oregon single game rushing record. Gabe Stone earned 2nd team all league honors as soph and is one of the top 5a junior backers. Randy Nyquist runs a quality program and they always usually reload.
7. Churchill- RB/DB Tyler Reid (12 Tds) and QB Mitch Reese are both 2nd team all league kids from a season ago, and will team with WR Andrew Bennion (10 Tds) to form a solid cast on the perimeter. Lineman Skylar Phillips burst on to the scene over the spring/summer after not doing much last year.
8. Bend- QB Jonah Koski is a leading conference player of the year candidate and will also have the services of 1st team all league RB Duke DeGaetano (10 Tds) coming back. The Lava Bears should compete for a conference title, and be one of the better 5a Teams.
9. Putnam- As of right now Deshawn Stephens looks to be eligible and could dominate the entire 5a classification system. His 40+ Tds only begin to speak to his talents and Head Coach Brad Lewman is as good as they come and has already done wonders for Kingsmen Football
10. Sandy- The Pioneers return the state’s top ranked QB in 6-7 Justin Adams, and this could very well be the best season they have ever had. New Head Coach Greg Barton only knows how to win and they will compete with everybody
OVERALL 5A STATE POWER RANKINGS
14. Eagle Point
22. Hood River
28. St Helens
32 The Dalles
39. North Eugene
Jordan Johnson’s Picks
3A Top 10
3. Mt Si
5. Seattle Prep
10. Eastside Catholic
4A Top 10
4. Bellarmine Prep
6. Federal Way
Ryland Spencer’s Picks
3A Top 10
3. Seattle Prep
4. Mount Si
7. Oak Harbor
9. Auburn Mountainview
4A Top 10
2. Bellarmine Prep
4. Federal Way
Scott Eklund’s Picks
4A Top 10
1) Skyline (11-3) – Head coach Mat Taylor leads one of the deepest teams in the state into battle this fall while defending their 2011 state championship. Helping the cause of the Spartans is the presence of the nation’s top-ranked quarterback, Max Browne, along with LB Peyton Pelluer, WR/S Nic Sblendorio, TE/DE Isaiah Richmond and LB/DE Devin Benford who all were heavy contributors as juniors last season.
2) Skyview (11-3) – The loss of standout QB Kieran McDonagh to graduation was softened by the outstanding offseason thFt Jordan Berni has had. He will have plenty of weapons at his disposal with Forrest Russell being his prime target. The Storm have a huge offensive line and some very intriguing defensive prospects including LB Jabari Marshall and top junior nose tackle William Eteaki who transferred from Southridge High School down in Oregon.
3) Mead (9-2) – Mead is loaded with talent this year, but they will rely on the likes of a strong offensive and defensive line to win the GSL (Great Spokane League). Notre Dame-commit Danny Mattingly is a force on both sides of the ball and when the Panthers need big plays they will look toward Davian and Darian Barlow who are playmakers on both sides of the ball.
4) Bellarmine Prep (11-1) – BP has one of the top quarterbacks in the Northwest at the helm of their attack in QB Sefo Liufau who has committed to Colorado. However, one big concern has to be who will take over for RB Isaiah Flynn who has decided to focus on basketball instead. Calvin Chandler is a two-way star for the Lions and is being heavily recruited by several FBS and FCS schools and OL McCartney McQueary leads things up front on both sides of the ball.
5) Bothell (6-4) – After a year of rebuilding, Bothell head coach Tom Bainter is ready to make a run at a state title behind the leadership of sophomore QB Ross Bowers who is one of the top signal-callers in the state already. Along the offensive line, the Cougars are loaded with talent and experience and they will pave the way for a running game led by Reshon Watson. TE/DE Jeremy Ruef is a star on both sides of the ball and it’s only a matter of time for him to start garnering a lot of attention from college coaches.
6) Federal Way (10-1) – The Eagles are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, but they need to find a quarterback who can get the ball into the hands of all the playmakers they have. Michael Tate is an outstanding receiver and at tailback, sophomore Chico McClatcher is a big play waiting to happen. On defense, the Eagles sport several big-time players including linebackers Rod Jones Jr. and Winston and Albert Havili along with CB D’Londo Tucker in the secondary and rising junior Jaytee Tiuli, a 6’3”, 300-pounder, along the defensive line.
7) Camas (11-2) – The Papermakers move to 4A, but people shouldn’t expect them to fall off much if at all since they have fared well in non-league contests against that level of competition. Returning after All-League seasons in 2011 are LB John Norcross, last season’s GSHL 3A Defensive Player of the Year, WR Zach Eagle, CB Nate Beasley and K Roldan Alcobendas. Watch for games against rivals Skyview and Union which should be hard-hitting, classic affairs in a three week stretch.
8) Issaquah (7-3) – If the Eagles can figure out their quarterback position, they should be pretty good this fall behind the hard-running of junior Jack Gelatly and a big, physical offensive line that should be able to open some holes. Defensively, they will rely on quickness and scheme in order to make plays since they lost some size up front after the 2012 class graduated.
9) Wenatchee (5-5) – The Panthers are poised for a breakout season this fall. It all starts up front for Wenatchee who has a huge offensive line led by Washington State commit Cody O’Connell. At running back, they have two big-time playmakers in Isaiah Brandt-Sims and Blake Aguilar. Junior Jakob Stoll is also a two-way stud, but he has made a name for himself on the defensive side of the ball at one of the tackle spots. The 4A Big Nine conference is ready for a team to stand up and taking it with Chiawana in a rebuilding year and Wenatchee is in prime position to make it their own.
10) Edmonds-Woodway (6-5) – The Warriors, coaches by John Gradwohl, a veteran head coach who teaches a physical brand of football, are poised to make a nice jump this year and their offense will rest on the shoulders of senior RB Desmond Young who totaled nearly 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns last fall. Matt Cuzzetto returns to the secondary for his senior season after totaling nearly 70 tackles last season and he leads a young, but aggressive group on that side of the ball.
3A Top 10
1) Bellevue (14-0) – What else is there to say about the juggernaut from the east side of Lake Washington. They are four-time champs and have won eight of the past 10 and a poised to do it again with playmakers like LB Sean Constantine, LB Myles Jack, junior RB/S Budda Baker as well as some underclassmen who have yet to be heard from. Butch Goncharoff is one of the top prep coaches in the country and he’s got the Wolverine program humming along like a well-oiled machine.
2) O’Dea (13-1) – Monty Koller and his charges made it all the way to the state championship game last season before running into the Bellevue buzzsaw, losing 35-16. Two key players return to the Irish offensive attack, junior QB Pierre Le Dorze and senior RB Tatum Taylor who is one of the fastest players in the country. If the Irish can find replacements for all of the linemen they lost last season, they could be poised to make another run to the championship game.
3) Lakes (11-1) – Dave Miller’s team annually is one of the most talented groups in the state if not the entire region. They did lose quite a bit of talent due to graduation and they need to figure out who their quarterback will be, but whoever it is will have two very talented receivers to throw to in Sammie Long, a commit to Washington, and Marquin Russell. Some other players to watch this fall are sophomores DE Bennie Potoae, DT Kiyrie Simons and RB Jusstis Warren, all of whom are hearing from several schools already.
4) Kamiakin (12-1) – The Braves lose a lot of experience and talent from last year’s squad that gave eventual state champion Bellevue their toughest test of the season in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. However, head coach Scott Biglin and his staff are very good at developing their players and they love to chuck it around the field and that’s what fans can expect out of them this year as well.
5) Seattle Prep (9-2) – The Panthers aren’t big along the line, but they have plenty of speed and are led by standout tailback and cornerback Tere Calloway who has offers from several top college programs. If they can beat O’Dea in week four, which would be their first win in 32 years, then they have a good shot at going undefeated and then once they get into the playoffs, they could make some serious noise.
6) Kennedy (8-2) – Kennedy is always loaded with talent and this year they have a real gunslinger at the helm of their offensive attack in Conner Richardson. When he drops back to pass, the senior signal-caller will have big targets in Washington State commit Cole Madison, a tight end, and wide receiver Drew Thompson. Colin Cassett will get a lot of looks at the tailback spot and the Lancers will also rely quite a bit on some big and talented players up front who only lack experience at this point.
7) Meadowdale (11-1) – Mark Stewart loves the potential of the team he has coming back after last year’s impressive 11-1 record. He has a clutch quarterback and some very talented playmakers in WR/RB/DB Giavani Shepherd and LB/RB Michael Cummings as well. Couple those with an experienced offensive line and the Mavericks have what it takes to make a deep run in the state playoffs.
8) Mount Si (7-4) – The Wildcats are loaded with talent up and down their roster this year and if sophomore QB Nick Mitchell lives up to the hype, they could be in for a very special season. Helping Mitchell out will be players like TE Griffin Mclain and WR/S Hunter Mahlberg. Whenever they get inside the 50, Mount Si is a threat to score with the big leg on K Cameron Van Winkle who has committed to Washington already.
9) Eastside Catholic (7-4) – Second-year head coach Jeremy Thielbahr has some very good players on his roster and with the leadership of Christian Shigley up front and the playmaking abilities of Markell Sanders on both sides of the ball, they should be a team to contend with this fall. One issue is that they play in the same division as O’Dea and Seattle Prep. If they can split those games and win the games they should, they could be poised for a deep run in the playoffs this fall.
10) Marysville-Pilchuck (5-5) – MP plays a physical brand of football and with junior Jake Luton leading what could be an explosive attack, they could cause some serious problems for a opponents this fall.