St. Frances, Franklin headline MaxPreps’ top football programs


St. Frances co-coach Biff Poggi (right) celebrates with his offensive line of Angelo Carson and Torrance Williams (kneeling left), Tyler Thomas, Mike Statham, assistant coach David Payne, Xavier Castillo, Micah Mazzccua and Ja’Khi Green after beating national power IMG Academy from Florida last season. Thanks to a dominant run over the last four seasons, the Panthers are third among the best programs in Maryland, according to MaxPreps, over the last decade.


by Derek Toney

MaxPreps, the nation’s top high school sports website, recently listed the best football programs in Maryland and the District over the last decade.

Perennial Prince George’s County private powerhouse DeMatha Catholic was first, followed by Montgomery County’s Good Counsel. The two annually challenge for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title.

St. Frances Academy, the area’s consensus No. 1 team the last four seasons, placed third. The Panthers have finished in the Top 5 nationally the last three seasons.

Franklin is the area’s highest ranked public program on the list. The Baltimore County school has won three Class 3A state championships since 2013.

Here’s the entire list. Baltimore area teams in bold.

1. DeMatha Catholic
Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles (since 2010): 4 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings (since 2010): 10
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 1 (2013, 2016)

2. Our Lady of Good Counsel
Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles: 4 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2019)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 10
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 1 (2011, 2012)

3. St. Frances Academy
MIAA A Conference titles: 3 (2016, 2017, 2018)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 4
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 1 (2017, 2018, 2019)

4. Henry A. Wise
State titles (Class 4A): 5 (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 9
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 2 (2016, 2017)

5. Damascus
State titles (Class 3A): 4 (2015, 2016, *2017, 2019)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 8
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 3 (2015, 2016, 2017)
* – won 2A

6. Middletown
State titles (Class 2A): 4 (2011, 2012, 2013, 2019)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 5
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 3 (2013)

Gilman junior athlete Rayuan Lane

7. Gilman School
MIAA A Conference titles: 5 (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 6
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 1 (2015)

8. Quince Orchard
State championships (Class 4A): 1 (2018)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 10
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 5 (2011)

9. McDonogh School
MIAA A Conference titles: 2 (2013, 2014)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 6
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 2 (2013)

10. Franklin
State titles (Class 3A): 3 (2013, 2014, 2018)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 8
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 5 (2014)

11. Fort Hill
State titles (Class 1A): 5 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 6
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 8 (2016)

Dunbar football coach Lawrence Smith

12. Dunbar
State titles (Class 1A): 4 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2017)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 4
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 12 (2012)

13. St. John’s College (D.C.)
Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles: 1 (2016)

14. Calvert Hall College
MIAA A Conference titles: 1 (2010)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 7
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 1 (2010)

15. Linganore
State titles (Class 3A): 1 (2017)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 6
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 9 (2014)

16. Archbishop Spalding
MIAA A Conference titles: none
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 8
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 6 (2018)

17. River HillĀ 
State titles (Class 3A): 2 (2011, 2012)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 4
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 4 (2012)

Mount St. Joseph junior wide receiver Dont’e Thornton

18. Mount St. Joseph
MIAA A Conference titles: 1 (2019)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 6
Highest Final State Media Top 25 rank: No. 5 (2019)

19. Northwest
State titles (Class 4A): 2 (2013, 2014)
Final State Media Top 25 rankings: 5
Highest State Media Top 25 rank: No. 2 (2014)

20. Gonzaga College (D.C.)
Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles: 3 (2015, 2017, 2019)