With last season's record, and the 2011 final ranking in parentheses. NR-not ranked.
1. La Salle (3) 12-2
The Explorers, big and talented, are primed for another deep postseason run. Playmakers on offense include receiver/handyman Sean Coleman, halfbacks Jared Herrmann and Jordan Meachum, and quarterback Chris Kane. A stout defense features linemen Tom Spiteri and Jon Naji, linebacker Trent Simmons, and backs Dad Poquie and Chris Rocco.
2. Downingtown East (7) 9-3
On paper, the Cougars are as imposing as any team. Back on offense are strong-armed quarterback Kyle Lauletta, fleet wideout Jay Harris, and up-and-coming tailback Ryley Angeline. The defense is formidable, with end Elijah Griffin, linebackers Nelson Lee Lucas-Murphy and Wade Mastrog, and cornerback Eddie Kozlowski as the anchors.
3. Archbishop Wood (1) 14-1
The Vikings lost six Division I-A recruits to graduation, but, with a solid nucleus and several high-caliber transfers, are still scary good. A vaunted rushing attack is buoyed by Rutgers-bound tight end Nick Arcidiacono and tough-as-nails linemen George Griffin, Fran Walsh, and Chris O'Connor. Tyler Smith, a fullback and defensive tackle, is one of the top newcomers.
4. North Penn (2) 13-3
Win or lose, Dick Beck's squad will be greatly strengthened by playing La Salle, Wood, and St. Joseph's Prep in the first three weeks. Kyle Mayfield, a 1,400-yard rusher last season, and fellow speedster Kris Akins return on offense. A bruising defense is headed by end George Shipp, tackles Joe Potkovac and Derek Brandt, and safety Steve Gozur.
5. Garnet Valley (9) 11-2
The Jaguars' triple-option attack should flourish behind QB Ryan Corkery, slotback Jordyn Bennett, and stalwart linemen Matt Donoghue, Dan Herbster, and Donte Burgese. The defense is keyed by ends Andrew Grzybowski and Dalton Mayberry, linebackers Steve Elf and Ryan Van Horn, and safety David McGrath. Brandon Dowd hit 62 PATs last season.
6. Roman Catholic (NR) 8-3
The Cahillites could have what it takes, especially on offense, to end La Salle's reign. QB Mike Keir, a third-year starter, spreads the ball among a trio of savvy performers: wideouts Will Fuller and Chris Johnson-Cruz and tailback Dimetri Kelly. Center Mike Joyce, tackle J.J. Logan, tight end/fullback Pat McCourt, and end Hez Trahan provide much of the muscle.
7. Neshaminy (5) 8-4
Redskins coach Mark Schmidt is ready to reap the benefits of last year's youth movement. Fullback/linebacker Denny Lord, wideout/safety Cole Creighton, and two-way end Luke Carrezola are among the current juniors who saw significant playing time in 2011. The senior catalysts include receiver Justin Andrews, lineman Ian Waterbury, and running back Nate Hall.
8. Pennridge (NR) 7-5
Optimism abounds, for good reason, in Perkasie. Running back Mike Class, quarterback Alex Krivda, fullback Kenny Crawford, and tight end John Dubyk are back on offense. Of Class, coach Randy Cuthbert said, "He's fast, but he can also run you over." A 4-4 defense returns seven starters, including lineman Shane Kraynik, cornerback John Kim, and safety Jeremy Xander.
9. Pennsbury (6) 9-4
The Falcons' ground-and-pound offense is centered on Daquan Mack, a bulldozing fullback. Support comes from halfbacks Shawn Pepper and Chuck Snorweah. For a 4-4 defense, a stellar linebacking corps, arguably the area's most rugged, features Pepper, Tommy Hose, and Charlie Fisher. Up front, Luke Johnson, Sykeem Steward, and Jack Meehan are forces.
10. Ridley (NR) 9-3
For the Green Raiders, who return seven starters on offense and six on defense, the headliners are Shane Dougherty, a bruising tight end and linebacker, and two-way linemen Matt Sinex, Steve Poulosis, Tyler Scheiber, and Frank Cullen. "We're going to be more of a power team than we've been in the past," coach Dennis Decker said. Mike Crowley is a pass-catching threat.
(Listed alphabetically.) Coatesville (9-3), Council Rock South (12-2), Haverford School (6-4), Imhotep Charter (8-4), Malvern Prep (9-2), St. Joseph's Prep (7-4).