Weighing in on statewide football rankings

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

High school football is very similar to college football when it comes to early-season rankings. A lot of teams are rewarded on what they did the year before, not on which teams really are better before the new season starts. Here are my rankings.

Class 1A

In Class 1A, the sleepers are down south. Unranked Catholic-Pointe Coupee, Central Catholic and St. Martin’s are all teams that have second round written all over them. I’ve seen these teams play and you don’t want to play them if they are a fifth or eighth or 10th seed at season’s end.

Unranked St. Martin’s in New Orleans has one of the best running games in the state with a sophomore running back who runs a 4.39 40 and senior running back Grant Gendusa, 6-3, 250 with 4.7 speed. I know it’s outside Shreveport but close by, Logansport is a team I love as the current No. 5 ranked team in all of Class 1A.

Class 2A

Local teams North Caddo (great run game) and Calvary Baptist (young talented team) both have a chance to go deep and win a title.

The sleeper team here for north Louisiana teams to play soon in south Louisiana is eighth-ranked Dunham, which is known for former stars LSU cornerback Derek Stingley, Louisiana Tech wide receiver Sean Cangelosi, and LSU wide receiver Todd Kinchen. The program’s not known for lineman, but this year’s team has a starting defensive line that is 6-foot-4, 6-5 and 6-6 and all go over 230 pounds with great athletic ability.

Unranked East Feliciana, another team to watch, has a sophomore wide receiver who is 6-8, 245 pounds with 4.3 speed — yes, that’s not a typo. 

Many still has the best team overall here. I know Haughton will agree.

Class 3A

There’s really no local team here that can compete for a title, but for what it’s worth, I think the best two teams I’ve seen this year are E.D. White and Sterlington.

Class 4A

Locally unranked Evangel Christian’s 1-2 record is deceiving. The Eagles lost to Westgate, a state title team from last year, and powerhouse Neville in a rainstorm, both competitive games. It will get easier for them once district play starts.

Tenth-ranked Huntington can say the same thing: 1-2 on the year, and one of those losses was to Neville. I think they will go on a run.

Sixth-ranked Northwood is 2-1, and if they stay healthy, they are as talented as anyone in the state.

From what I have seen already down south, top-ranked Lafayette Christian is the real deal, and they have already beaten Class 5A powerhouses Acadiana and Woodlawn of Baton Rouge, and Class 5A Jesuit, which is a pretty good team too.

I think Class 4A is wide open for the local schools if they avoid playing Lafayette Christian early in the playoffs.

Class 5A

This is the big boy level Class 5A. Ranked No. 7, Captain Shreve beat a talented Union Parish team and could have a special season. Ninth-ranked Byrd had a huge win over Calvary Baptist, and that’s a big deal. Calvary, in Class 2A, has Class 5A talent right now.

The most talented team I’ve seen so far down south is Edna Karr, new to Class 5A, and Zachary, the real deal — but they’re human: Zachary lost to St. Augustine, a team that has only 17 seniors or more out of their 22 starters who might sign scholarships in 2022.

Parkway, not ranked, has the talent to be one of the better ranked teams in the next few weeks. I love the coaching and talent they have. The Panthers are already 3-0 on the season and should be ranked soon.

Contact Lee at lbrecheen@aol.com