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Written by: Pa Football News on Monday, August 22nd, 2016
With the PIAA moving from four classifications to six, the Pennsylvania Football News has adjusted its rankings to reflect the recent changes. PFN will rank the Top 8 in all six classifications with five teams named honorable mention in each class. In the past, 40 teams would be named in the rankings and with a move to six classifications, we thought 60 was too mamy. Therefore , 48 teams will be named each week. We will start with the preseason rankings for Class 2A and Class 1A
There is no clear-cut favorite in Class 2A. West Catholic assumes the top spot based on its playoff run last year and returning personnel. The Burrs face a tough regular season schedule against bigger Philly league schools but should be battle-tested once the playoffs commence. Steel Valley got a boost from the transfer of blue-chipper Paris Ford. The Ironmen already had all-state linebacker and running back DeWayne Murray returning and should be the favorite in the WPIAL. Southern Columbia is coming off an unbeaten 2015 and is the defending state champion, but was hit hard by graduation. However, never count the Tigers out as RB Hunter Thomas and DB Cameron Young return. Dunmore has been strong in recent years and will use the same formula that veteran head coach Jack Henzes has used for decades – pound the football behind a big offensive line.
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No doubt two-time defending state champion Bishop Guilfoyle is the favorite again to get back to Hershey. Even with the loss of Evan Chadbourn, the Marauders are stacked on both sides of the ball. It helps that the Class 1A field is not deep this season and there are only an handful of teams capable of winning the title. One of those teams is Clairton which missed the state championship game for the second time in the last three years after winning four straight titles. Farrell made the championship game last year and has enough returning to be in the mix. Jeannette also has several key players returning but needs to find a way to dethrone Clairton in the WPIAL.
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