With the Garrett Reagan Summit and other scrimmages concluded, it is time for the final preseason edition of the top 20. I understand that some of these teams are not playing at full strength in scrimmages, but it is fun to take a look anyways. I can not wait for the season to get going! I am starting a new feature where I am going to put the teams previous ranking in parenthesis, and NR will represent a team that was not previously ranked. Enjoy.
1: BC High (1) – No reason to move the Eagles out of first place this week. They competed against Lewiston High School and Edward Little High School up in Maine in scrimmages. They earned two lopsided victories and head into the season with high hopes as always.
2: Pope Francis (5) – It did not take long for Pope Francis to move back up to number 2 in the rankings. They defeated Xaverian in their first scrimmage of the season 5-0. Xaverian was my previous number 2. I watched their whole game at the Garrett Reagan Summit, where they were defeated 1-0 by a solid Braintree team. The Cardinals definitely controlled the game, but it will be interesting to see if that game has any effect on how the Cardinals play moving forward.
3: Hingham (3) – The Harbormen are staying put at number 3 in the rankings after a good showing at the Garrett Reagan Summit against Xaverian. Hingham looked fast and hungry against a big Xaverian team. They open their season against a good Andover team.
4: Xaverian (2) - Xaverian stumbled out of the gate against Pope Francis in a scrimmage, but they looked good in the Garrett Reagan Summit against Hingham. They are a larger sized team with a lot of skill, which should give other teams trouble.
5: St. Mary’s Lynn (19) – The Spartans are all the way up from 19 after an impressive showing at the Garrett Reagan Summit! They defeated Arlington and looked confident in doing so. Their first game is Lowell Catholic on the 18th.
6: Canton (7) – The Bulldogs are one of the top teams in the rankings going into the season. They do not play one of the hardest schedules in the state, but they deserve to be at 6 because of their dominance last season. It will be interesting to see how this season plays out for them.
7: St. Johns Prep (8) – Prep is up one spot from last week as they just capitalize on a few teams sliding down. I have not had the chance to see them yet, but I am excited for what this season has in store for them.
8: Framingham (12) – Framingham squeaked bye Duxbury at the Garrett Reagan 1-0. The game could have gone both ways and the game left me with mixed emotions about both teams. They open the season against Milton.
9: Duxbury (6) – The Dragons fell to Framingham 1-0 in the Garrett Reagan. They displayed some high skill, but couldn’t notch any goals. They have a lot of potential as they open the season against Quincy.
10: Austin Prep (10) – Austin Prep is steady at 10 to open up the regular season. Their high expectations will be put to the test as they open up against Archbishop Williams.
11: Catholic Memorial (11) – The Knights are also in the same spot as last week. They come in with high hopes and they have ample opportunity to move up with their strength of schedule. They open against Central Catholic.
12: Arlington (4) – The Spyponders are down to 12 this week. They lost to St. Mary Lynn in the Garrett Reagan Summit 2-1 on Sunday. Being at 12 is definitely not a bad thing, as they are well above many teams. They also have a lot of opportunity to move up as they start their regular season off against a good Melrose team.
13: Braintree (NR) – Braintree was the talk of the Garrett Reagan Summit as they knocked off Pope Francis with a 1-0 shutout victory. The scrimmage was just a small sample size, but I really liked what I saw out of Braintree. They move the puck well and play with a strong hockey IQ.
14: Barnstable (9) – Barnstable was not present at the Garrett Reagan Summit, which is disappointing to me because I am really looking forward to watching them. They lost their opening scrimmage against Concord New Hampshire and were defeated soundly. There is plenty of opportunity to climb back up in the rankings as they start the season with Xaverian.
15: Marshfield (15) – The Rams are staying put this week after a good showing at the Garrett Reagan Summit as they defeated Belmont 2-0. They are newly added to the Patriot league, which is good news for them. They open the season against Hanover.
16: Andover (13) – Andover is down 3 spots just because other teams have been in action as they get ready to start the season. They bring in a good team which should be able to climb up the rankings in a hurry. They open the season against North Andover.
17: Winchester (14) – Winchester opens the season against Burlington, which should have big implications in the rankings. Winchester is set for another good season after great success last year.
18: Franklin (16) – Franklin opened with a 4-1 scrimmage loss to good La Salle team. Franklin opens with high hopes against Canton, a team featured at number 6 this week.
19: Needham (17) – Needham enters the year with high hopes. They open the season against a good Natick team as they look to make a steady climb in the rankings.
20: Billerica (18) – Billerica downed Bridgewater-Raynham in the Garrett Reagan 3-1. The game was slow paced, but Billerica was the better team in this one. They open their season against Shawsheen.
Best of the rest: Melrose, Falmouth, Bishop Fenwick, Reading, Malden Catholic