Thursday, July 31, 2014

D6SN Preseason Rankings

D5/6 A

1. Bishop Guilfoyle - @ Richland - Bishop Guilfoyle opens with the two-time defending LHAC champions on the road. Richland will be welcoming in new faces all across the board, but Guilfoyle is ready to roll this season. The Maruaders do not have a lot of weaknesses and will trot out one of the best offenses in the district. This still could be a tricky game, but this should start Guilfoyle's quest for a District Title, something that has been two years in the making.

2. Bellwood-Antis - @ Tyrone - Bellwood's season begins with the traditional Backyard Brawl. Will the Blue Devils be up the task? Tyrone will certainly go into this game as the favorites, but never count on a John Hayes coached squad. Jake Burch is an emerging quarterback, and could keep the Blue Devils around in this one. A loss would not hurt them in the long run, but a win would send a message to the rest of the District Six playoff field.

3. Portage - Blacklick Valley - Portage is a tough team to figure. They found themselves in an odd triangle as they beat the District Champs (Homer Center) but lost big to the runner-up (Bishop Guilfoyle). Could this be Portage's first return trip to Mansion Park since 2008? It seems possible. The offense should click on all cylinders with the dynamic running back duo of Caleb Kephart and Luke Dividock. The Mustangs should be able to roll in week one with a home game against Blacklick Valley.

4. Tussey Mountain - Central - The defending District 5A champs will be tested early as they have to face the defending District 6AA champs, Central. Both teams have lost a lot, but Tussey still has some key components, and the game is at home. The Titans are solid, but still have a lot to replace. It will not be shocking if they repeat, but they will have to work for it.

5. Blairsville - Marion Center - Blairsville enters the year with strong expectations from all around, as they were picked to win the Heritage by us and the coaches. The Bobcats have a loaded offensive arsenal and they should be able to handle Marion Center in week one.

AA  5/6

1. Tyrone - Bellwood-Antis - Tyrone opens up with a familiar for, Bellwood-Antis. The Blue Devils are a tough team, but will be welcoming in a lot of new faces. Tyrone has some turnover among their ranks, but not much. This team has size, speed, and depth. Tyrone can play a physical game, but they have the speed to out run teams, too. This could be a return to Mansion Park after a few years of dipping out in the playoffs prematurely.

2.  Forest Hills - @ Bishop McCort - It is always exciting when the two favorites appear to be Tyrone and Forest Hills. The Rangers are not that far behind the Golden Eagles, and it could be a 12 week collision course to the District Final. The Rangers have a very good quarterback in Joe Donoughe, and he will be at his best in his third year as the starter. The Forest Hills-Bishop McCort game has lost some luster, but it is still a big game and could jump start a promising Rangers' season.

3. Bedford - Penn Cambria - Bedord is coming off a surprise 8-4 season, but they won;t be surprising anyone this season. The Bison have a strong offensive attack, and they have the experience to beat anyone in the LHAC this season. Penn Cambria will be a good game to get the ball rolling.

4. Mt. Union - @ Juniata Valley - Mt. Union really turned themselves into a legitimate team as the season went on, and that should carry over to 2014. Trevon Walker is a legitimate player, and will carry this offense this season. Juniata Valley is down a bit this year, but could provide some resistance in week one, especailly with the game being on the road.

5. Central Cambria - @ Johnstown - The Red Devils are a good team, and could be a darkhorse to win D6AA. The Johnstown game in week one will be a tough opener. The Trojans should be improved, and they will have a tough offense to contain.

5-6-9 AAA

1. Somerset - Bishop Carroll - Somerset has everything in place to win the LHAC this season. Opening up with Bishop Carroll at home is an easy way to ease into the season. Bob Landis has a really good team, but they will be put to the test right after week one.

2. Clearfield -  @Keyser (WV) - The Bison open up with a team from West Virginia that went 7-4 last season. It is hard to gauge how difficult of a game it will be, but traveling down to West Virginia for Clearfield is quite the road trip.  Clearfield lost some important players, and will be ushering in a new QB in week one.

3. Johnstown - Central Cambria - The Trojans have been very down in recent seasons, but I see some reason for optimism this season. Opening with a solid Central Cambria will be a very good barometer of where this team is, and if they are ready to compete at a higher level this season.

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