Editor's note: Mike Carraggi gives Division 1 a shakedown in this week's rankings.
1. Xaverian – A win against Everett this week and Xaverian's dominance will be unquestioned until the day before Halloween when the Hawks take on St. John's (Shrewsbury). If they take both games, the Hawks could roll into the playoffs undefeated for the second straight season. And no, that isn't in disrespect to the rest of the Catholic Conference. But it is Xaverian's time.
2. Brockton – Some say Brockton has lost a step since the loss against the X-Men, but have they really? Take out the 43-6 victory over poor Taunton, and the Boxers haven't run away with any game. They are the same hard-hitting defense that is waiting for a little more consistency from the passing game that isn't as top-notch as when we proclaimed Paul Mroz was the second coming of Donovan McNabb. Trevon Offley sure has turned on the juice though.
3. Everett – Anyone else find it odd that Everett's career passing touchdowns mark was a mere 31 before Jonathan DiBiaso snapped it? I understand Everett football has been about running the ball since before Everett icon Arnie Boardman ever saw a Crimson Tide game, but that much success and talent never birthed more than 31 touchdown passes?
4. Chelmsford – After the top three, it's a bit of a crap shoot. Chelmsford wasn't able to stop Methuen's relentless rushing attack, but not many have been able to. No team could survive that Merrimack Valley gauntlet undefeated, but the Lions are still at the head of the class. They need to reestablish dominance against fellow 4-1 Andover this weekend.
5. Catholic Memorial – The Longmeadow loss was a bit disappointing, but not cataclysmic. The Knights will have to figure out how to win those tight ones to contend in the Catholic Conference.
6. St. John's Prep – I'm not one for giving the benefit of the doubt, and the lack of a consistent passing attack scares me, but Prep has one big upset in it (Thanksgiving at Xaverian?) and a pesky nature. Tyler Coppola's outburst against Mt. Maryland will be one of the season's memorable performances.
7. Billerica – The presence of Nick LaSpada and the defensive performance against Tewskbury keeps the Indians from falling behind Andover in this week's rankings (as if that matters), but Billerica needs to take care of business the next month or so. Here's a look at Billerica's recent troubles.
8. Andover – Maybe I was a bit influenced by seeing Andover get crushed in a hurricane against Gloucester, but the Golden Warriors have rebounded nicely. Meanwhile, Andrew Coke is doing a very nice Ryan Izzo impersonation.
9. BC High – The Eagles will be in Jersey to finish up a season-opening five-game road trip that included Springfield Central. How far some of these Catholic Conference teams have to go just to find dancing partners is astounding.
10. Central Catholic – After back-to-back shutouts over Tewksbury and Haverhill, the latter of which saw five interceptions, the vaunted Central defense seems to be regaining form. This is a team that was a point shy of St. John's Prep, a win that would have given the Raiders a lot more hype.
11. Malden Catholic – The Lancers are allowing 11 points per game and haven't allowed more than two touchdowns since an opening loss to Xaverian.
12. Lowell – Lowell has already taken a step in the right direction thus far, and they will be playing with house money for the rest of the season. A .500 season is within grasp.
13. Malden – The Golden Tornadoes can throw a wrench in the Northeastern (Large) this weekend with a game against Lynn Classical.
14. New Bedford – A 1-4 record is tough to defend, until you look at who the losses came to. The Whalers have fallen to Duxbury, Bridgewater-Raynham, and Barnstable. With games against Durfee, Taunton, and Dartmouth left, New Bedford will have a chance to even out some of those losses.
15. Somerville – Another team with a deceiving record, the Highlanders have fallen to Malden Catholic, Falmouth, and Xaverian. They are still right around where they should be.
16. Durfee – Beating a Massachusetts team? Check. Compiling a winning streak? Check. Winning one at home? Well that's why Brockton is coming to town in two weeks, isn't it?
17. Cambridge – No one, and I mean no one, was more thrilled with the Falcons' victory over Arlington Catholic than coach Joe Papagni. Can they ride ride that emotion through last week's bye and into Malden Catholic?
18. Medford – Not much to say here, but the Mustangs must be looking towards next year at this point.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.