I know, I know. We're geared up already. Blah, blah, blah.What you need to know is that in the midst of all this we put together our first list of the Globe Top 20 and the Boston.com 100. Is it any surprise which team is on top?
Everett opens the year as they closed it last season as the No. 1 team in our poll. The Crimson Tide are more than deserving. Our capsule notes, "Everett returns a boatload of talent all over the field including Division 1 Player of the Year quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso, a sizable line featuring the coveted John Montelus and a linebacking corps showcasing Vondell Langston and Chris McCarthy." All of whom are exceptional talents that will likely be playing regularly on Saturdays.
But it's not all for naught in Eastern Mass. There's reason to believe that perennial power Brockton should be at the mountain top. The Boxers also boast a stable of returnees and expect running back Josh Brewster to be nothing short of amazing, which we readily agree. Coach Peter Colombo said "[Brewster's] a big time running back who can get tough yards inside and break it big." But Brockton's No. 5 on our list. That's right, the Boxers fall behind Everett, No. 2 Duxbury, No. 3 BC High and No. 4 Catholic Memorial. And for good reason. The top teams are stacked. (Four players from Catholic Memorial have committed to Division 1 schools in 2012.)
We haven't even mentioned Gloucester yet -- winners of 26 games in a row -- or the other five winners of EMass Super Bowls. (Mansfield, Beverly, Holliston, Shawsheen, and Northeast Regional.) All of which are fighting for respect out of the gates.
(While we're on Gloucester, they dropped all the way to No. 17 in our poll after finishing at No. 2 last year. It should have been expected. They lost 22 seniors. The type of success they've had in the past two years will be hard to replicate.)
In the coming weeks, we expect this list to get shaken up. It's the nature of things. And it's also good for the game. With some programs on the rise, regular powerhouses on the outside, and the Catholic Conference holding a death grip on some of the top positions, we're bound to see some early upsets. Everett has 99 teams gunning for them. Do all 99 teams have a chance to sit at the mountaintop? No, that's just unrealistic. But any one of them can blow it up. And that's something to be pumped about.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.