Old Forge, Scranton Prep and Valley View will open the high school football season regarded among the top 10 teams in the state in their classifications, according to rankings released Tuesday by pennlive.com.
Sports writer Eric Epler compiles the weekly rankings for Penn Live, which is based out of Harrisburg and affiliated with the Patriot-News newspaper.
In addition to the three Lackawanna Football Conference teams in the top 10s, three more – Delaware Valley, Western Wayne and Dunmore are listed among the Teams To Watch, placing them in the top 16 in their classes.
Old Forge is the highest-ranked team from District 2, opening the season ranked third in Class A. Scranton Prep is fifth in Class 3A and Valley View seventh in Class 4A.
Delaware Valley, in 6A, and Western Wayne, in 3A, are among six Teams to Watch in their classifications. Dunmore is one of five Teams to Watch in Class 2A.
Four unbeaten state champions remain first in their classes in the preseason rankings. St. Joseph’s Prep (6A), Thomas Jefferson (4A), Southern Columbia (2A) and Steelton-Highspire (A) are ranked first as they begin title defenses.
Southern Columbia matched Central Valley, the Class 3A state champion that begins this season in second, for the state’s best records at 12-0 in 2020. The Tigers prep for their title defense Saturday in a scrimmage with Valley View and their schedule includes two of the Wyoming Valley Conference’s top teams, Berwick and Wyoming Area. Like Valley View, Berwick and Wyoming Area are programs that have produced state titles.
District 11’s North Schuylkill, which went 8-0 but did not get to participate in the postseason during the pandemic, is ranked first in Class 3A.
Philadelphia power Imhotep Charter, which went 4-0 in the spring after sitting out the fall because of the pandemic, is the top-ranked team in Class 5A.
Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt, another unbeaten team that did not get to participate in the playoffs, is ranked second to Thomas Jefferson in Class 4A.
Old Forge went 5-1 and reached the state quarterfinals in 2020, losing on the game’s final play to eventual state champion Steelton-Highspire.
Scranton Prep (4-1) and Valley View (3-3) shared the Lackawanna Football Conference Division 2 title with Western Wayne (4-1), but none got to participate in the playoffs, which were cut down as one of the many reactions to the public health issues that dominated last season.
Delaware Valley went 5-2 and reached the state quarterfinals. Dunmore finished 3-3.