To me the HS Football season in NYC is broken down into four sections. With limited time in the preseason; only one scrimmage; and no spring with pads, we are finally getting a real glimpse of what these teams are all about.
The preseason ends with the first scrimmage, obviously, but has a profound affect on the first in season window. The pre-Columbus Day season is actually like the preseason in the NFL. Yes, the games matter a whole lot more, but teams are really still trying to figure out their own strengths and weaknesses.
The time we are entering now is the REAL season…the post-Columbus Day season. Opponents have enough film to figure you out; it’s time to self-scout your own tendencies, and the wins and losses, at this point will pretty much, reflect what we will get in the postseason. So now the games really start to count….
Having seen all five of the below teams in-person and recognizing the differences in strength of schedule and based on who would win if they played in a Metro Bowl in my view here is my Top 5.
Mark DeCristoforo’s NYC Top 5 Opinion Poll
No. 1 Monsignor Farrell (Last Week: No. 1)
- Based on Strength of Schedule, quality wins and their one loss being to the best team in the state in the High School Football America New York Top 10, I refuse to drop one of our NYC teams and punish them for taking on the big teams from outside of the five boroughs. However, with Stepinac’s loss to Chaminade, a loss this week could drop the Lions from No. 1 for good.
No. 2 Cardinal Hayes (Last Week: No. 2)
- Hayes has only played three games. Their first loss was to Iona Prep on the road by three points. Do I need to reiterate that losing to Iona does nothing to knock a team down in my NYC poll? (See above). Hayes second loss was a heartbreaker to my No. 1 team on the road by two points. Hayes got their first win this week over another NYC Top 5 team, Christ the King. Another key reason for this No. 2 ranking is I actually go and watch the teams. Hayes would beat the teams I have ranked behind them. I understand this is my opinion, but if you go watch the teams, this becomes an indisputable fact. Hayes will take on another monster challenge this week when the Friars of St. Anthony’s host them Friday night out in Huntington!
No. 3 South Shore (Last Week: No. 4)
- Jeff Fisher’s algorithm had the Vikings slightly higher than the Tottenville Pirates last week. It was an absolutely thrilling game. Late in the 4th quarter, a third and long sack that would have ended the game, was negated by a face mask call that gave the Vikings a fresh set of downs. A few plays later, QB Darius Thompson’s highlight reel run for the game-winning TD sunk the Pirates on the road and dropped them behind the Vikings in my poll. Next up is defending champ Curtis.
No. 4 Tottenville (Last Week: No. 3)
- the Pirates lost the thriller on Friday to South Shore on the road in a game that easily could have gone the other way. Tottenville had several miscues in this game that will be very easy to clean up for a rematch in the playoffs. The Pirates didn’t play their best and simply lost out to some bad luck at the end of the game.
No. 5 Christ the King (Last Week: No. 5)
- CTK lost a heartbreaker on the road to Cardinal Hayes, but the game was a dead heat. Very little separates the three premiere Catholic teams in NYC. Their losses to Hayes and Farrell are a combined seven points. If I have Hayes and Farrell at 1 and 2 despite their records, I have to have CTK in the Top 5. Their victory over Chaminade drastically increased the quality of that win when Chaminade took down Stepinac on the road last week week, but the good news stops there. They are at Iona Prep for the Gaels homecoming this week. Let me just say it’s never easy in the CHSFL AAA division but….. yikes.
by Mark DeCristoforo
High School Football America Contributor
Former St. Peter’s (Staten Island) Head Football Coach
Follow on Twitter @DeCristoforoFo1