In the top five, Wise and Damascus both completed their third straight undefeated seasons with their third straight state titles over the weekend. South of the Potomac, Westfield beat Woodbridge and will go for its third straight Virginia Class 6 state title on Saturday against Oscar Smith, who the Bulldogs beat in the past two state finals.
After advancing to the Virginia Class 5 final, Tuscarora jumps over Quince Orchard to crack the top 5.
Ballou jumps from No. 20 to No. 10 after claiming the District of Columbia State Athletic Association Class AA title over Friendship Collegiate.
As his Ballou teammates jumped around him, some jawing with the Friendship Collegiate cheerleaders and others hugging anyone who passed by, Romeo Leftwich lay on the field at Georgetown, staring blankly at the sky.
The senior had just spent Saturday evening blocking for an offense that produced 368 yards and rampaging through No. 7 Friendship Collegiate’s backfield to lead a defensive line that had seven sacks in a 39-28 victory.
The beginning of a basketball season is often a time to reflect on what your team has on its roster but also what it has lost. For many girls basketball programs around the area, a ton of talent walked out the door this offseason due to graduation or transfer.
Reigning DCIAA champion Wilson has the ‘firepower’ for another deep run: Coach Angelo Hernandez doesn’t want to single out a player on his No. 3 Wilson team.
By highlighting point guard Ayinde Hikim after averaging 13.2 points per game last year, Hernandez could take away from complimenting Hikim’s backcourt partner in junior Carlos Dunn.
If he focuses on Ricardo Lindo’s ability to transition between the perimeter and the post, then he could detract from the importance of center Josiah Marable as one of the city’s top true big men.
The start of the 2017-18 boys’ basketball season brings a new crop of competitors into the top of the rankings. In the region’s No. 1 spot, Paul VI looks to be the favorite in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, but DeMatha, St. John’s and 2016-17 champion Gonzaga have talent and depth to challenge.
In the Interstate Athletic Conference, Georgetown Prep and its three seniors appear poised for a run at the league championship with Bullis and its returning guards not far behind.
Also starting the season in the top 20 are reigning public school champions in Wilson (DCIAA), Loudoun Valley (Virginia 4A), W.T. Woodson (Virginia 6A) and Fairmont Heights (Maryland 1A).
While most of the area is gearing up for basketball season, there are nine football teams still practicing in preparation for state semifinals or finals this weekend. In Maryland, Wise and Quince Orchard are preparing for their 4A state final rematch, while Damascus and Gwynn Park will clash for the 2A state crown. In Virginia Class 6, Westfield hosts Woodbridge in the state semifinals. In Virginia Class 5, Tuscarora will welcome Stafford in the semifinals. In the District of Columbia State Athletic Association Class AA final, Friendship Collegiate faces Turkey Bowl champion Ballou. As the postseason nears its end, Gwynn Park, Ballou and DCSAA Class A champion Theodore Roosevelt debut in this week’s rankings.