Thursday, August 27, 2009

Plenty of QB Firepower at Nationally-Ranked Liberty and Wilson

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle


Definitely puts a smile on my face to know that the alma mater is ready to make another run at a Pennsylvania state championship.

Wilson is coming off a 12-1 season and return all-state quarterback Tyler Smith, plus plenty of additional talent that makes the Warriors the favorite to win the Colonial League title. Smith has verbally committed to play his college ball at Maryland.

However, eastern PA's talent doesn't stop with Smith. About 10 miles away, defending 4A state champ Liberty, which is ranked nationally by most of the named polls, returns its all-state quarterback Anthony Gonzalez.

Both QBs are featured in a great story by Stephen Miller of The Morning Call.

Finally, The Call's High School Football Preview, which will be available Sunday, has already hit the internet. Below you can check-out league previews.

Colonial League
Lehigh Valley Conference
Mountain Valley Conference

Monday, August 10, 2009

Former Penn St. QB Morelli Joins Plum HS Coaching Staff

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle


Anthony Morelli began the decade as one of the best WPIAL quarterbacks while he was at Penn Hills. Today on the first day of high school football pratice in the Keystone State, the former Penn State signal caller, who was cut last season by the Arizona Cardinals, began his coaching career to help develop other young WPIAL QBs.

Morelli is now the quarterbacks coach at Plum High School. Click here to read the story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Liberty and Bishop McDevitt in Pre-Season High School Football Rankings

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle


Only two Pennsylvania teams has made it into the first two national high school football pre-season polls. Defending 4A champ Liberty is ranked #20 in the National Prep Football Poll and #47 in ESPN Rise's Fab 50. Bishop McDevitt is ranked #35 in the ESPN poll.

The pre-season polls are in agreement on #1 and #2. Both polls have the "defending" national champs, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) at the top spot to start the season. The Raiders are followed by Byrnes. If all goes according to plan, the Raiders and Rebels will collide on October 2nd in Florida in a nationally-televised game.

There's no surprise when it comes to which states standout in both polls. Texas leads the Prep Nation Poll with four teams in the Top 25, Florida and California landed three teams in the National Prep Football Poll. The State of Washington is smiling with Bellevue and Skyline cracking the Top 10 in the National Prep Football Poll.

In the ESPN Rise Fab 50...California, Florida and Texas each landed seven teams in the Top 50.

Let's start with the National Prep Football Poll, which is America's second oldest weekly poll produced by Jamie DeMoney, who does a great job of keeping fans up-to-date. Below you can learn more about PrepNation.com.

Prep Nation's National Football Poll

1. St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 15-0
2. Byrnes (Duncan, SC) 14-1
3. Northwestern (Miami, FL) 13-2
4. Katy (TX) 13-3
5. Glenville (Cleveland, OH) 11-1
6. Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) 15-0
7. Lakewood (CA) 10-3
8. Bellevue (WA) 14-0
9. Skyline (Sammamish, WA) 14-0
10. Cedar Hill (TX) 12-2
11. Lowndes (Valdosta, GA) 12-1
12. Jenks (OK) 12-2
13. Elder (Cincinnati, OH) 13-2
14. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) 11-1
15. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) 14-0
16. Allen (TX) 15-1
17. Lakeland (FL) 14-1
18. De La Salle (Concord, CA) 12-2
19. Prattville (AL) 13-1
20. Liberty (Bethlehem, PA) 15-1
21. Centennial (Peoria, AZ) 14-0
22. Skyline (Dallas, TX) 12-2
23. Independence (Charlotte, NC) 13-1
24. DeMatha (Hyattsville, MD) 10-2
25. John Curtis (River Ridge, LA) 14-1

About the National Prep Poll: Compiled weekly weekly since 1987 and distributed by World Features Syndicate and the Associated Press, the National Prep Poll is the nation's second oldest weekly high school sports rankings. Doug Huff of ESPN RISE compiled the rankings from 1987 until 1999. Jamie DeMoney has compiled the poll since the start of the 1999 basketball season. The National Prep Poll is the only high school poll distributed to newspapers and Web sites around the United States by the Associated Press national wire service. The National Prep Poll is the first high school football and boys basketball poll to released in the preseason and during each week of the regular season. Criteria considered for the National Prep Poll rankings are strength of schedule, the ability to accomplish the ultimate goal on a team's schedule (i.e. winning a championship), impact players and performers, a team's coaching and recent tradition.

Jamie DeMoney begins his 10th year compiling the World Features Syndicate/Associated Press National Prep Poll. He has covered high school sports and recruiting for more than 15 years and compiled the National Prep Poll since 1999. DeMoney has also compiled high school football and basketball rankings for Sporting News, School Sports, and RISE. DeMoney was managing editor of American Football Monthly and assistant national editor of All-Stater Sports/Highwired Sports. DeMoney is a graduate of the University of Iowa School of Journalism, and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers Association.

ESPN's Fab 50 looks like this...

1. St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
2. Byrnes (SC)
3. Elder (OH)
4. Katy (TX)
5. Northwestern (FL)
6. Oaks Christian (CA)
7. Allen (TX)
8. Oscar Smith (VA)
9. Skyline (WA)
10. Prattville (AL)
11. Lowndes (GA)
12. Cedar Hill (TX)
13. Union (OK)
14. Centennial (AZ)
15. Lakeland (FL)
16. St. Bonaventure (CA)
17. Longview (TX)
18. Don Bosco Prep (NJ)
19. Glenville (OH)
20. Bellevue (WA)
21. DeMatha (MD)
22. North Shore (TX)
23. East St. Louis (IL)
24. De La Salle (CA)
25. Dwyer (FL)
26. Hinsdale Central (IL)
27. West Monroe (LA)
28. Miami Central (FL)
29. Orange Lutheran (CA)
30. Colerain (OH)
31. Notre Dame Prep (CA)
32. John Curtis (LA)
33. Camden County (GA)
34. Highlands (KY)
35. Bishop McDevitt (PA)
36. De La Salle Collegiate (MI)
37. St. Ignatius (OH)
38. Hamilton (AZ)
39. Stony Point (TX)
40. Bolles School (FL)
41. Grant (CA)
42. Long Beach Poly (CA)
43. Trinity (KY)
44. Jenks (OK)
45. Southlake Carroll (TX)
46. Mullen (CO)
47. Liberty (PA)
48. Pahokee (FL)
49. Skyline (TX)
50. Shiloh Christian (AR)

Friday, August 07, 2009

ESPN's E:60 Looks at Big 33 Game

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle


The 52nd Big 33 game in June added to the excitement that surrounds what many, including myself, consider THE BEST high school football all-star game in America. Ohio beat Pennsylvania 38-31, snapping a two-game PA win streak.

ESPN's E:60 recently did a great feature on the game that has featured names such as Montana, Namath and Marino...and, as I always point out has had at least one alum play in every Super Bowl.

Click here to watch the video from E:60.

Below are the highlights from this year's game...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Texas Voted Top High School Football State; PA Finishes Tied with California

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle


The Lone Star State received the first vote cast in The High School Football Huddle's Question of the Week "What is the Best State for High School Football", and Texas never looked back in claiming the top spot in our voters minds.

Texas captured 42% of the vote to easily outdistanced second place Florida, which received 25% of the votes. Finishing in third was Ohio with 13% of the votes cast...followed by Georgia 10%, California finished in a tie for fifth with 7% each.

Thanks to everyone for taking part in the vote. Look for our new Question of the Week on Monday.