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Written by: Pa Football News on Tuesday, August 23rd, 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 many. Therefore , 48 teams will be named each week. We will start with the preseason rankings for Class 4A and Class 3A
There was much debate at PFN headquarters on who the No. 1 team in Class 4A should be in the preseason. Four teams are legit contenders to raise the trophy in Hershey. Cathedral Prep got the early nod as the slight favorite, based on the fact they have some great players on the defensive side of the ball and return starting quarterback Joe Mischler really was good down the stretch for the Ramblers. Wake Forest recruit Tayvon Bowers might be the best player in Class 4A and he will make Bishop McDevitt a scary offensive team. RB Michael Jones and WR Jaron Macon will help Bowers plus the defense could be one of the best in school history. Thomas Jefferson returns a who’s who in college recruits. LB Zane Zandier and RB Quinton Hill lead the way for the Jaguars. Finally, defending state champion Imhotep Charter was hit hard but graduation, but they will still have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball under new head coach Mark Schmidt.
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The Beaver Valley Conference of the WPIAL may be called SEC of PA High School Football. Three of the five top-ranked teams play in the division while a fourth, Beaver, is an honorable mention. Aliquippa, still an Class 1A school by enrollment, played up to stay with their Beaver County rivals, including Beaver Falls who ranks second in 3A. These two will meet in Week 2 and could meet again in the playoffs. The bad part is that only of these teams will make it to state playoff play. Central Valley is also part of this group which they were not in the past. Somehow, they stayed in 3A as many of those teams moved up to 4A and 5A. The biggest threats not in the WPIAL are Wyomissing, a former Class AA state champion, and Central Martinsburg.
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