NBC12/ RVA Sports Network Big 12- Preseason Poll

NBC12/ RVA Sports Network Big 12- Preseason Poll

Each Monday during the high school football season, NBC12 and our partner, RVA Sports Network, will release our Big 12 poll, the top 12 teams in the area, as voted on by members of both organizations' sports staffs. Below you'll find the 2015 preseason Big 12.

1) L.C. Bird- The three-time defending state champion Skyhawks return a good mix of experience and young talent. Among the returners, QB/DB Jalen Elliott, a Notre Dame commit, who guided Bird to its 13-2 state championship season in 2014, his first year in the program. 2014 record: 13-2; @ Meadowbroook (8/28)

2) Highland Springs- The Springers return junior QB Juwan Carter, who has a star number one target in Wake Forest commit Greg Dortch at wide receiver. Several other players boast Division I talent, but success could depend on how fast a young defense can mature. 2014 record: 11-1; vs. Hermitage (8/28)

3) Hermitage- As always, the Panthers have reloaded and are senior-heavy. Head coach Patrick Kane says he thinks there are only three positions that won't have senior starters. Eli Odom did a nice job filling in for an injured Rashad Robinson at QB last year, and moves into the starting role, while Sulaiman Kamara gives Herm one of the best defensive lineman in the area. 2014 record: 12-1; @ Highland Springs (8/28)

4) Benedictine- The Cadets roll into 2015 as the defending VISAA Division I champions, a first for the program in 13 years. They return a lot of key pieces from that squad, headlined by QB Scott Bracey. Benedictine is showered with Division I college prospects, and as long as a fresh offensive line holds up, the Cadets could certainly put themselves in position for a repeat. 2014 record: 10-2; vs. St. John Paul the Great (9/4, @ Randolph-Macon)

5) Henrico- Gerald Glasco and company burst onto the scene last year, pulling off several upsets and grabbing the team's first winning season since 2005. The Warriors also grabbed their first playoff berth since 2004, and will be one of the most experienced teams in the area, returning starters at 20 of the 22 starting positions on offense and defense. 2014 record: 8-3; @ Mills Godwin (9/4)

6) Monacan- The Chiefs were another one of last year's surprises, posting one of the best seasons in school history at 11-3, and advancing to the state semifinals. They did it all with a freshman quarterback and this year Syour Fludd returns as a sophomore with an awful lot of good experience under his belt. Monacan is another team that will look to a mix of experienced players and young talent to fill holes left by graduating starters. 2014 record: 11-3; vs. Caroline (8/28)

7) Hanover- Coming off their eighth straight playoff appearance, the Hawks certainly look like a team that will be in championship conversations. 16 starters are back from last year's squad, including junior QB Clayton Cheatham, one of the area's biggest dual threat quarterbacks. Derek Stoudt's third year at the head of the program could prove to be his best to date. 2014 record: 8-4; @ Dinwiddie (9/4)

8) Cosby- The Titans returns a good portion of a group that reached the 6A playoffs in 2014. Head coach Pete Mutascio calls this the best group he's had in four or five years and the balance has him feeling good about this edition of his team. Vanderbilt commit lineman Drew Birchmeier leads the defense. 2014 record: 7-5; @ Thomas Dale (8/28)

9) Dinwiddie- Expectations were high last year, coming off a 15-0 state championship season, and despite a labeled rebuilding season and a sputtering offense at times, the Generals posted a 9-3 record with a playoff appearance. 2015 sees a good portion of those players back, including QB Bryce Witt, RB James Lyons and several solid receivers. 2014 record: 9-3; vs. James Monroe (8/28)

10) Thomas Dale- Nine defensive starters are back for the Knights, as that unit will be their forte. Offensively, Trent Williams will be the headline running back in a system that will likely feature multiple ball carriers. Thomas Dale is looking for its third straight playoff appearance. 2014 record: 9-3; vs. Cosby (8/28)

11) Atlee- Roscoe Johnson's high-powered offense returns six starters from last year, a group that put up 40 or more points on seven occasions in 2014. JJ Givens anchors the defense, a South Carolina commit at cornerback. Atlee is new to 5A North this season, meaning a trip to the playoffs will see them face some fresh competition. 2014 record: 8-3; vs. Deep Run (9/3)

12) Hopewell- It certainly appears that 2015 could be a special year for the Blue Devils, who return 17 starters from last year's team that advanced to the second round of the 3A playoffs, despite a 4-6 regular season record. That mark certainly is set up to be much stronger this season with the experience, and Ricky Irby could see his guys make a much deeper run in the 3A ranks come November and December. 2014 record: 5-7; @ Tabb (9/3)

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