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Inbox: A (lengthy) vote for St. Anthony's over Sweet Home

It's not even Scrimmage Saturday, but fans are already fired up about high school football -- from all corners of the state.

Got this e-mail regarding my post on Sweet Home being regarded as the top team in New York:

Just happened to read your article titled "National football poll says Sweet Home is No. 1 in New York" dated 8/12/10. In your article you mentioned some of the other recent Top NYState Teams, which included St. Anthony's from the CHSFL. I would like to provide you with some facts about St. Anthony's since 1999:

Record: 120-12.
- CHSFL AAA Championship Game Appearances: 11.
- CHSFL AAA Championships: 8 ('01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '09).
- USA Today Final Top 25; #24 in '06.
- USA Today Final Regional Rankings: '02: East #9, '06: East #4.

- NYS State Sportswriters Top 5 Finishes in Class AA (8): '09: #3, '06: #3, '05: #5, '04: #3, '03: #4, '02: #2, '01: #5, '00: #4.

- NYS State Sportswriters Top 10 Finishes in Class AA (10): '09: #3, '07: #6, '06: #3, '05: #5, '04: #3, '03: #4, '02: #2, '01: #5, '00: #4, '99: #10.

Non-League Games:
'09: Played Delbarton, NJ.
'08: Played St. Joe's Prep(Philly) & Delbarton, NJ.
'06 & '07: Played and Defeated St. Joe's Collegiate.
'05: Played Don Bosco, NJ.
'04: Played Don Bosco, NJ.
'03: Played Poly Prep, NY.
'02: Played Poly Prep, NY.
'01: Played St. Joe's-Montvale, NJ.
'00: Played St. Joe's-Montvale, NJ.
'99: Played St. Joe's-Montvale, NJ.
*All of these teams except St. Joe's-Buffalo were Regionally or Nationally Ranked Programs by USA Today.

This year, on Friday-Sept 10th, St. Anthony's will travel and play State College HS in PA. State Collge was 12-3 in '09 and lost in the AAAA(Large School) PA State Championship game to LaSalle, a Philly Catholic League school.

Taking nothing away from any of the other school's accomplishments, and knowing you write for the Buffalo News, but with these facts in mind, and playing in the Highest NYState Classification and accomplishing the above over this extended period of time, even though there is not an all inclusive, 1-team per classification NY State Champion(like PA, but unlike NJ which has 20 Regional State Champions), it appears there is a best team in NYState, and it has been in the CHSFL for awhile now...

Hope you appreciate the "Food for Thought"...

Here's my response:

Appreciate the info and the email. High school rankings certainly are fun to discuss but near impossible to back up.

Right now I think Sweet Home's National Prep preseason poll ranking is certainly deserved, based on its performance the last two years and that locally we consider them a step ahead of North Tonawanda, which as I'm sure such an astute fan like yourself is aware, finished ahead of St. Anthony's in last season's state sportswriters' poll. 

The best-in-the-state argument is certainly a tough one but a fun one, and the way Western New York has been playing high school football lately, it should be something to monitor throughout the season. 

Also, if you missed it, check out some fun comments made on the original post on Sweet Home being No. 1 in the state.

* * *

The new commenting format is gaining some momentum as many of you have signed up and have provided some input, including an outstanding divisional outlook by the famed/infamous (depending on which team you like) Milt Latimer on our first day of practice post.

We appreciate your patience with the new look and registration procedure. A couple of regular users emailed me in the last day or so and we were able to clear up some confusion. Our Web team is still working on having the comments appear at the bottom of every page, which will help things progress.

There's more on the new format at a post I wrote in early August.

If you are having any problems with registration or have any feedback you'd like to offer, email me at

---Keith McShea


High school football | North Tonawanda | Sweet Home
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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

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