Sunday, August 7, 2022

Prep Football: 2022 Preseason Rankings

With less than two weeks remaining before we kick off the 2022 regular season campaign, here are our top 10 teams heading into the upcoming campaign.

#1 Mater Dei Catholic - Dominic Nankil threw for 3427 yards and 38 touchdowns in his first full varsity season, leading a prolific offense that helped the Crusaders to a 13-0 record and the 2AA state title. Nankil and the majority of that championship roster's highly-touted prospects return, ready to face the new challenges that await them as they transition from Division III to Division I with arguably the most difficult schedule in the section. Tre Edwards enters his senior season as one of the country's top linebackers. He'll be aided by an athletic secondary led by four-year starting cornerback Chris Snyder Jr., who is also a big play waiting to happen at receiver.

#2 Cathedral Catholic - The defending 1A State champions, led by seniors Victory Johnson (LB), Jack Janikowski (DE), and Marcus Ratcliffe (SS), should have the firepower on defense to remain the team to beat in the fight for the Open Division title. However, a potential offensive rebuild could jeopardize their chances of a repeat. Lucky Sutton, a dynamic running back who led the county in rushing yards and touchdowns last season, is headed to San Diego State. The Dons are hoping that senior Will Bond can help the run game cover that gap.

#3 Carlsbad - The Lancers experienced their lone loss in the Open Division Finals after ending the season undefeated, including going 6-0 in the difficult Avocado League. The Lancers' junior Five-Star quarterback Julian Sayin will try to lead them there for a third straight year, and he has the tools to do it. In addition to being a vital offensive target for Sayin, senior athlete Justin Johnson will also play an important role in the defense's secondary.

#4 Lincoln - The Hornets are once again equipped with enough talent and speed to earn another trip to the Division I Finals, if not their first Open Division berth in school history. They are led by highly recruited senior running back Roderick Robinson II who exploded for 1273 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground in 2021. Senior teammates David Peevy (LB) and Hunter Wiggins (S) will serve as the defensive backbone of a dynamic unit that can seize the ball quickly and force turnovers. KJ Chatham is expected to succeed South Carolina commit Jalen Daniels as Lincoln's starting quarterback.

#5 Madison - With 19 starters back, the Warhawks should have the veteran leadership to challenge Cathedral and Lincoln for the Western League championship. Both receiver Jake Johnson and quarterback Reggie Johnson are back for their senior campaigns to lead an offense that stacks up among the best in the county. A solid line on both sides of the ball will be led by Jonah Rodriguez and Jonathan Robles.

#6 Helix - The defending Division I section champions will have a new head coach. Damaja Jones inherits quarterback Ryland Jesse, who is entering his third year as the Scotties' QB1. His squad will also have enough talented skill players and linemen to remain the team to beat in East County and possibly return to the Open Division playoffs.

#7 Mission Hills - The Grizzlies remain large, strong, athletic, and well-coached. As they look to reclaim the Open Division title, expect them to put up a great fight in the Avocado League race.

#8 Torrey Pines - With long-time head coach Ron Gladnick leaving for St. Augustine, assistant Robby Collins takes over and will work to keep the program competitive.

#9 Scripps Ranch - The defending 3A State Champions, led by Nevada-bound senior quarterback Jax Leatherwood, hope to maintain their winning ways as they advance to Division I and the Western League.

#10 Poway - The Titans return a solid team that features a top running back in junior Conner Rath and a rising star in senior quarterback Dylan Curry.

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