A new No. 1, a few victorious teams sliding, a couple with two losses rising? Yeah, this should be fun.
Let’s have at it…
1. Stepinac (4-1, Last week: 2) — Stepinac had a strong road win at Monsignor Farrell last week but should face its second-toughest challenge of the season this week in defending league champ Chaminade.
2. John Jay-East Fishkill (5-0, Last week: 1) — The Patriots had been scuffling offensively in recent weeks, but never more son than in Saturday’s 13-10 nailbiter over Clarkstown South. They’ve slipped a bit, but that’s to no fault of kicker Andrew Moesch, who has to be one of Class AA’s MVP. He has been $.
3. North Rockland (4-1, Last week: 3) — As unsightly as the Red Raider offense was at times, the defense was fierce. North Rockland is big up front, fast to the ball and hits. It would not be a fun team to play. Six-foot-5, 230-pound lineman Mike Earlington has developed into a force alongside Eric Favors and Danny Noel.
4. Ketcham (4-1, Last week: 6) — I know most coaches in Class AA think Ketcham has the most talented team. In a wide open year, can this year their year?
5. New Rochelle (3-2, Last week: 9) — For 16 or so minutes last week, New Rochelle played its best football of the season and very much looked like a team capable of contending for another title. Don’t count the Huguenots out.
6. White Plains (4-1, Last week: 5) — For two and a half quarters, White Plains was the best team at New Rochelle High School. Normally, I’d put plenty of stock in that, but the Tigers also could’ve lost their previous two games. My take: I know it’s already Week 6, but this is one of the toughest teams to peg. Are they closer to the team that could be 5-0 or the one that could be 2-3?
7. Rye (5-0, Last week: 4) — The question right now with the Garnets is whether or not they could hang with — and perhaps beat — Class AA’s best. It’s a fair one. I’m close, but let’s see how they handle another quality opponent on Friday. Rye could jump up a few spots next week.
8. Mahopac (3-2, Last week: 10) — Mahopac’s speed on defense should match up well against Ketcham, which is expected to be without top target Jacob Morganstern. But with its postseason future on the line, ‘Pac will have to keeps its stamina for four quarters. They definitely wore down vs. a similarly explosive team in White Plains.
9. Somers (4-1, Last week: 7) — Ever since its loss to Rye, Somers has been sitting outside the playoff picture. The Tuskers have breezed through the remainder of their schedule and are poised to grab a berth with a win this week against Port Chester.
10. Arlington (3-2, Last week: NR) — The Admirals look like they’ll earn a Class AA playoff berth pretty comfortably. Are they good enough to play the role of spoiler for a higher seed?
On the bubble: Sleepy Hollow (5-0), Nyack (4-1), Harrison (4-1), John Jay (4-1), Yorktown (3-2).
Here are my class-by-class rankings and debut of my small-school rankings:
SMALL SCHOOL — Yup, with all the uncertainty in Class B, could the Class C teams just be better? Someone said that over the weekend. He/she might’ve been right.
1. Rye Neck
3. Dobbs Ferry
6. Rye Country Day
8. Our Lady of Lourdes
CLASS AA —
1. John Jay-EF
2. North Rockland
4. New Rochelle
5. White Plains
9. Clarkstown South
CLASS A — The results with Harrison, Yorktown, John Jay, Tappan Zee, Panas, Lakeland, Eastchester, Brewster — all very inconsistent. But that competitiveness is what makes Class A great.
3. Sleepy Hollow
6. John Jay
9. Tappan Zee
CLASS B — Remember what I wrote in this space last week? Yup, Ardsley threw a wrench in things. Class B will go right down to the end.
2. Our Lady of Lourdes
6. Putnam Valley
CLASS C/D — Woodlands to host Rye Neck Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Class C final.
1. Rye Neck
3. Dobbs Ferry
6. Albertus Magnus
10. Blind Brook
CHSFL/Private — Hackley has a tough test this week with upset Class B stalwart Peru.
2. Iona Prep
4. Rye Country Day