A closer look at our statewide top 25.
Who's on top?
Still Catholic Memorial, and for good reason. The Knights blitzed Lynn Classical in Week 1 in an exclusion game for the Rams. The looks a lot better than it did previously following Classical's 48-40 win over previously-ranked Brockton. The win over St. John's of Shrewsbury this past weekend was particularly impressive, especially the defense's effort to allow just 20 points against an offense that will put up a lot of them this season.
There is not much change to the top 10, other than Central Catholic leaping to the No. 2 spot and Xaverian dropping from No. 10 to No. 14. Tewksbury moves in behind Barnstable, which crushed Braintree. We only dropped Springfield Central to third overall. Despite the defense playing poorly against the Central Catholic, the Golden Eagles have scored 82 points in two road games against the top two teams in our poll. We are also holding off on dropping St. John's of Shrewsbury, because the Pioneers battled back admirably to stay in the game with CM. Mansfield also does not lose ground for losing to La Salle (Ohio), one of the best teams in the Buckeye State.
Duxbury and Brockton are gone, including from the First 15 out, where North Andover falls after its close loss to Marblehead. With Duxbury, the Green Dragons can play themselves back in, and are certainly capable of doing that. There are trips to No. 21 Scituate and Hingham the next two weeks. Especially if the Dragons beat the former this week, you're looking at a team that's back somewhere. Ditto with the Boxers, who host Natick this week. A win over the Redhawks and Brockton is probably back in the top 25, not just the 15 out. Attleboro, Billerica, and Dennis-Yarmouth are also not just gone from the list entirely, but capable of playing their ways back in.
Marblehead, Nashoba, and Leominster all looked impressive over the weekend, so we are throwing them into the top 25. The Magicians had one of the weekend's biggest wins in topping North Andover. Nashoba had little trouble with Grafton. We considered a number of different teams for that No. 25 spot. Ultimately, Leominster's punishing ground game and physicality against Westfield won out.
Acton-Boxboro, Lincoln-Sudbury, Lowell, Lynn Classical, and Stoughton are all finding new spots in the 15 out section. A-B has looked like it has not dropped off from last season's breakout effort. We thought L-S would also fall off a little with the loss of so may returning starters from last year. But the Warriors came away with a huge win against Reading in their opener. Lowell scored one of the most impressive wins of the weekend over Billerica and still does not have two-way standout Brendan Tighe back yet from injury. Stoughton looks like one of the best teams in the Hockomock League right now