Football is back. Here are our preseason rankings for Southeastern Pennsylvania:
1. St. Joseph Prep (13-0 last season): The reigning 6A state champions have won 40 of their last 41 games. This is a loaded squad with a seasoned, accomplished senior class led by linebacker Liam Johnson, offensive lineman Casey Stephenson and running back Kolbe Burrell. It also features a dynamic junior class led by quarterback Kyle McCord, an Ohio State recruit, as well as linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. and wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.
2. Coatesville (13-1): The Red Raiders are restocking their front lines a bit, but they have dynamic fourth-year starters in quarterback Ricky Ortega and wide receiver Dapree Bryant, a pair of Villanova recruits.
3. Imhotep Charter (10-3): This squad is bursting with young talent led by junior defensive backs Saint McLeod, Javon McIntyre, Cameron Jackson and Shafeek Smith.
4. North Penn (13-1): The Knights reached the District 1 Class 6A finals last season and should be in the mix again with a versatile group of athletes led by veterans such as R.J. McNamara, Evan Spann and Nate Brown.
5. Downingtown West (11-2): The Whippets will be led by senior quarterback Will Howard, a Kansas State recruit. Other players to watch include senior defensive end Sean Pelkisson, a Georgia Southern recruit; senior wide receiver Jackson Lundberg; and senior running back Tyriq Lewis.
6. Archbishop Wood (10-4): The Vikings will miss backfield star Tommy Santiago, who transferred to William Tennent. But key returners include seniors such as two-way back Ryan DiVergilis and two-way lineman Charley Minger as well as junior wide receiver Cardel Pigford, among others.
7. Malvern Prep (11-0): Junior quarterback Lonnie White is a Clemson recruit for baseball but is a player to watch on the football field, too. Senior wide receiver Ryan Maguire and senior defensive lineman JT Roberts are key veterans as well.
8. West Catholic (12-3): The Burrs have a seasoned and skilled quarterback in Zaire Hart-Hawkins, a top lineman in Rickquan Rivera, and a heavy hitter in the secondary in Shakur Smalls.
9. Neumann-Goretti (2-5): The Saints are a football team with more quality than quantity. Leading the way are senior running back Malik Griffin and senior defensive back Ronald Holmes. The team’s most dynamic player is junior all-purpose star Tysheem Johnson, a big-time recruit.
10. Downingtown East (9-3): Senior wide receiver/linebacker Connor Noble leads the way for the Cougars.
Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Bishop McDevitt (8-4), Conwell-Egan (13-1), Garnet Valley (12-1), La Salle (5-6), Neshaminy (8-4), Penn Wood (10-2).