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Sweet Home gets wide support as NY's No. 1

Just checking in on some national Web sites' rankings of New York high school football. It's always interesting to see how they slot New York, which is certainly a step behind much of the country when it comes to the sport.

Sweet Home, as it did in the preseason, is getting the nod for the top team overall in the state by several polls. 

The National Prep Poll has Sweet Home as its only team from New York. The Panthers didn't make the Northeast top 10 (one of seven regional rankings) but it was listed as the only team "just missing out" in from the Northeast.

The Panthers were also No. 100 in last week's Rivals 100 before dropping down to others receiving consideration this week.

The USA Today regional rankings have Sweet Home at No. 4 in the East, impressively (and surprisingly) ahead of Bergen Catholic of New Jersey.

In this week's ESPNRise regional rankings, Sweet Home is the first team from New York tabbed at No. 7 in the East (consisting of 13 states and the District of Columbia).

I'll probably get an email making sure I know that St. Anthony's of Long Island is tucked right behind the Panthers at No. 8 in the East. ESPNRise rates the top 20 teams in five regions in addition to its national top 50. Gauging by East No. 5 Bergen (N.J.) Catholic being just left out of the top 50, one might guesstimate that Sweet Home is hovering perhaps a just a chain-link inside a national 100.

Speaking of St. Anthony's, a pretty good gauge of downstate and how it stacks up with some neighbors is the MSGVarsity Tri-State Top 25 (even if you can't see all 25 because you have to pay to see the site). St. Anthony's was ranked fifth with Sachem East of Long Island at No. 8. Bergen Catholic is No. 2 behind another Jersey school, widely acknowleged national power Don Bosco.

Of course, then there are the state rankings put together by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Sweet Home No. 1 in A in front of Aquinas; Monroe-Woodbury (which is eligible for the MSGVarsity poll) ahead of both St. Anthony's and Sachem.

As I wrote in the preseason, I think it's a deserved spot for Sweet Home based on their past success, and they've kept rolling this year. I think Sweet Home and St. Anthony's are the certainly the top contenders for the spot, with Aquinas needing to be noted along with Monroe-Woodbury and Sachem as the next tier.

I have my doubts about M-W as a No. 1 in the state in AA since longtime keen downstate high school writer Kevin Devaney Jr. (who moved from the Journal-News to MSGVarsity) has had New Rochelle ahead of M-W in his poll.

Fun stuff, and heady days for WNY football with Sweet Home's recognition as well as the streaks the Panthers and Southwestern have going.

---Keith McShea


High school football | Southwestern | 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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