NBC12/ RVA Sports Network Big12- Preseason

NBC12/ RVA Sports Network Big12- Preseason

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The 2016 high school football season kicks off this week, and as action returns on the gridiron, so does the NBC12/ RVA Sports Network Big 12, a weekly poll voted on by members of each respective organization's staffs. Below are the preseason rankings heading into the first night of football.

1) Highland Springs- The 2015 state champions start 2016 where they left off last year-- at the top. Elusive skill players Greg Dortch and K'Von Wallace have graduated, but the Springers return senior quarterback Juwan Carter, along with a strong line, just to name a few strong areas. @ Hermitage, 8/26

2) L.C. Bird- Rayshard Ashby and Isaiah Moore anchor a defensive unit that pitched seven shutouts last season, and the Skyhawks are primed to be just as good on that side of the ball again. David Bedwell will replace Jalen Elliott at quarterback, but whoever gets the nod under center will have a deep running back group to hand the ball of to. @ Meadowbrook, 8/26

3) Dinwiddie- Fast and physical are what fans can expect from Dinwiddie this year. The Generals are disappointed after an 8-4 season and second round playoff exit last year, and have many key pieces back from that team. @ James Monroe, 8/26

4) Hermitage- The Panthers replace 18 starters from last year's squad, which didn't lose until the 5A South semifinals. Quarterback Woody Winborn looks to take over and lead Hermitage to its traditional winning ways. Patrick Kane is used to reloading, but this season seems to have him replacing more than usual. vs. Highland Springs, 8-26

5) Thomas Dale- The Knights expect to rely on their offense early on in the season while their defense catches up. Quarterback Matt Lawton returns for Dale, and among the names to remember on Kevin Tucker's squad is Chris Tyree, a freshman who already has pulled in two big college offers, including Virginia Tech. @ Cosby, 8/26

6) Henrico- 17 players from Henrico went on to play college football, but Gerald Glasco still has talent. He'll have Jalon Jones at quarterback, a sophomore who already has an offer from UVA. Akeem Smith leads a defensive unit that will be looked upon to stop many dynamic offenses in an always-tough Capital District. vs. Mills Godwin, 9/2

7) Manchester- The Lancers feel they are healthy, after a 2015 campaign that saw them plagued by the injury bug. Brendon Clark returns at quarterback as a sophomore, after his freshman campaign was cut short due to injury. He has an experienced runner behind him in Frank Boyd, and Manchester boasts a talented defense as well. vs. Matoaca, 9/2

8) Hanover- A visit to the Hawks' training camp taught us that they'll be a little bit more two dimensional this year on offense, with nearly all of their receivers back and senior UVA commit Clayton Cheatham to throw it to them. Derek Stoudt faces the task of replacing his entire offensive and defensive lines. vs. Dinwiddie, 9/2

9) Hopewell- There are high expectations for the Blue Devils' offense this season. Senior Cameren Hill returns at quarterback, and has three big-time running backs behind him in Ronnie Walker, Nas Cooper, and Notorious Smith. Last year, Hopewell advanced to the state semifinals and the Devils feel there's no reason they can't make it at least that far again in 2016. vs. Tabb, 9/1

10) Cosby- An experienced group of Titans takes the field after a season that started down but ended up last year. Cosby lost its first three games, then bounced back to make the third round of the playoffs. Joe Hunt at running back and Grant Squires at quarterback lead this group, which feels it has the pieces to be playing in December. vs. Thomas Dale, 8-26

11) Douglas Freeman- Last year, the only blemish on the Rebels' 9-1 regular season record was a loss to Hermitage. Mike Henderson returns six starters on both sides of the ball, so expectations are once again high entering 2016. @ Midlothian, 8/26

12) Lee-Davis- Nathan Evans returns to anchor an offense that excelled last year. The Confederates look to build on 2015's turnaround season, when they finished 8-2, after going 2-8 the year prior. vs. J.R. Tucker, 9/1

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