Initial Brooklyn high school power rankings
Here are the initial Brooklyn high school power rankings for the 2014 season. These rankings are based off of last year’s records, what I’ve seen in practice, scrimmages and information that I’ve collected from coaches. Still, they’re hard to compile without any actual games played so please take the first week’s rankings with a grain of salt.
The toughest thing to do is to determine who takes the top spot. Lincoln was at the top of my rankings all season long last year with Poly Prep a consistent No. 2. A lot of Lincoln’s best players have graduated, and coach O’Connor has done a nice job replacing them. Meanwhile, Poly lost maybe two of its best players in Jay Hayes and Denzel Monroe, but a lot of talent still remains while new talent has been brought in. To me, this is the toughest decision on the list and there really is no right answer.
1. Lincoln (last season: 13-0): The city champs maintain the top spot, for now. First of all, the Railsplitters return three strong linemen to protect new quarterback Paul Litvak, receiver Luis Rodriguez and running back Prince Klutsey. The defense will also be good with Dionte Fleming, Alejandro Oregon, Jordan Nicholson and defensive back Elias Davis all returning. Week 1 opponent: Tottenville.
2. Poly Prep (last season: 7-1): Behind huge linemen, Nicholas Edel, Justin Morgan, and Isaiah Wilson, quarterback Chris Parker, and running backs Brenden Femiano and Tegha Egbiri (don’t sleep on freshman Fara’ad McCombs), the Blue Devils will be running wild this season. If they can stay healthy, this team has a ton of two-way players, a perfect season is obtainable. Week 1 opponent: Cardinal Hayes.
3. Erasmus Hall (last season: 10-2): Danny Landberg likes to pretend he’s a constant underdog, but until another team proves otherwise the Dutchmen are at least the third best team in Brooklyn. Wayne Morgan and Curtis Samuel might be gone, but led by Deonte Roberts, this team has a tremendous defense and by the end of the season Jahsen Wint and Kefa Court could be stars. Week 1 opponent: Boys and Girls.
4. Grand Street Campus (last season: 6-4): Grand Street nearly made some big noise last season behind then junior quarterback Justin White. Now a senior, White should be able to lead the Wolves to even better things this year plus they have added quite a lot of talent from around the city. Rahmel Ashby could be one of the best running backs in the city before the year is over. Week 1 opponent: Midwood.
5. Fort Hamilton (last season: 5-5): Fort Hamilton has a ton of talent at the skill positions starting with quarterback Sharif Legree and wide receiver/cornerback Michael Brooks. Juan Tejada, Devon Watts and Seba Nekhet also make the Tigers dangerous. The offensive line is raw, though, so getting them up to speed could be the most important thing for them this year. Week 1 opponent: Curtis.
6. South Shore (last season: 12-0 in the Bowl conference): South Shore is moving up to the City Conference this season after a few years dominating the Bowl and the Vikings are more than ready. This team has Yankee Stadium aspirations and it will be interesting to see how realistic they are. Running back Timothy Bowers, Omar Jarrett, Rafael Cordero and DeAndre Campbell will have to do some heavy lifting. Tyler Busby can be impressive on defense too and eyes will be on sophomore quarterback Jason Martin. Week 1 opponent: Beach Channel.
7. Boys and Girls (last season: 7-3): Boys High finished last season ranked No. 4 in these power rankings, but that was a senior heavy team so it seems likely the Kangaroos could take a step back this year. Brandon Harding will be back as will cornerback Nicholas Smith. The first week will be a great test to see how real this team can be. Week 1 opponent: Erasmus Hall.
8. New Utrecht (last season: 7-4): The Utes were strong last season and should be good again this year. They lost three of their best players, but Kadeen Dryden is back on defense and Angelo Carrera will be QB again so they have the foundation. Now it’s up to newcomers to step up. Week 1 opponent: Canarsie.
9. Midwood (last season: 5-5): Midwood fell off my rankings last season and they didn’t look so hot in a preseason scrimmage against Lincoln, but I like quarterback Nick Falzone as the kid has a great arm. They also have some solid talent in Carl Colas, wide receiver Aziz King and running back Brandon White. They’ll need to improve to stay on this list, but for now they have a spot. Week 1 opponent: Grand Street Campus.
10. Canarsie (last season: 4-5): The way I see it there are five teams that could arguably grab this spot, Canarsie, Brooklyn Tech, Jefferson, Sheepshead Bay and Xaverian. If picking between Lincoln and Poly was tough, this is even tougher. I went with Canarsie here because it had the best record of the group a year ago, but this spot will no doubt change and change often as the season gets underway. Week 1 opponent: New Utrecht.