Welcome to the 2016 Varsity Sports Network preseason Top 20 football poll. VSN ranks the top teams in the Baltimore region which covers public and private schools in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County and Howard County.
As we progress towards the regular season, we will countdown our 2016 VSN Football Preseason Rankings from No. 20 all the way to No. 1.
10. St. Frances Academy (2015 record: 2-10; Final 2015 VSN Top 20 ranking: not ranked)
Player to watch: Myles Wright, tight end/linebacker, senior
Outlook: Longtime Gilman School assistant Henry Russell has the reigns. The east Baltimore school will have a talented roster with holdovers like Wright, one of the area’s top recruits, and a host of transfers, but how it meshes with a challenging schedule is the question.
Did you know: The Panthers, who joined the MIAA A Conference in 2013, has beaten every league team except Gilman.
Aug. 26 vs. Avalon School at Martin Luther King Recreation Park, 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 vs. Paramus Catholic (N.J.) at University of Michigan, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs. South Point (S.C.) at Towson University, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 vs. Silver Oak Academy at Patterson Park, 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 vs. Bishop Sullivan (Va.) at Morgan State University, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 vs. Calvert Hall College at Morgan State, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Gilman School, 4 p.m.
Oct. 14 at McDonogh School, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 vs. Loyola Blakefield at Patterson Park, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 vs. Archbishop Spalding at Patterson Park, 7 p.m.
Nov. 5 at Mount St. Joseph, 2 p.m.
Nov. 12 at IMG Academy (Fla.), 7 p.m.
9. Gilman School (10-1; No. 1)
Player to watch: Thomas Booker, defensive end/tight end, junior
Outlook: After an offseason of change, highlighted by coach Biff Poggi’s resignation after 19 seasons, new coach Tim Holley is ready to keep the Greyhounds in the MIAA A championship hunt. The Roland Park school lost significant talent, but the cupboard is far from bare.
Did you know: Gilman has had four coaches (Holley, Poggi, Sherm Bristow and Alex Sotir) over the last 50 years.
Sept. 2 at Dunbar, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 at Bishop Sullivan (Va.), 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 vs. Good Counsel, 1 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Malvern Prep (Pa.), 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Mount St. Joseph, 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. St. Frances Academy, 4 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Calvert Hall College, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 at Friendship Collegiate Academy (D.C.), 6 p.m.
Oct. 29 vs. Loyola Blakefield, 1 p.m.
Nov. 4 at Archbishop Spalding, 7 p.m.
Nov. 12 vs. McDonogh School, 1 p.m.
8. Franklin (10-2; No. 10)
Player to watch: Michael Gibson, wide receiver/defensive back
Outlook: The Indians should be again Baltimore County’s best. The Reisterstown school will lean on its defense (7 returning starters) as the offense, minus the graduated Stephen Smothers (West Virginia), progresses.
Did you know: Franklin has won 34 of 35 decisions against Baltimore County competition since 2012.
Sept. 2 vs. McDonogh School, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs. Franklin, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Woodlawn, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 vs. Catonsville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Kenwood, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. Milford Mill Academy, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 at Towson, 1 p.m.
Oct. 22 at Patapsco, 1 p.m.
Oct. 29 at Dulaney, 1 p.m.
Nov. 4 vs. Dundalk, 7 p.m.
7. Calvert Hall College (5-6; not ranked)
Player to watch: Tyshon Fogg, senior, linebacker
Outlook: The Cardinals have the pieces to contend in what could be the tightest MIAA A Conference race in several years. Fogg, a Rutgers commit, and Harvard-bound BJ Watson (athlete) highlight 12 returning starters.
Did you know: The Cardinals will play 6 teams ranked in the state media preseason Top 25 poll.
Aug. 27 vs. St. Mary’s Ryken, 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 at John Carroll School, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs. Mansfield (Mass.), 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Riverdale Baptist, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 vs. New Era Academy, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 vs. St. Frances Academy at Morgan State, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Archbishop Spalding 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 vs. Gilman School, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 at Mount St. Joseph, 2 p.m.
Nov. 4 vs. McDonogh School, 7 p.m.
Nov. 24 vs. Loyola Blakefield, Turkey Bowl at M&T Bank Stadium, 10 a.m.
6. Old Mill (11-1; No. 6)
Player to watch: Ahmad Harvey, nose guard/running back, senior
Outlook: The Patriots will again be in the Anne Arundel County and Class 4A championship hunt. Old Mill coach Chad McCormick has a talented and versatile roster that will take time to develop.
Did you know: The Patriots have reached the state playoffs 17 consecutive seasons.
Sept. 2 at Severna Park, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs. Glen Burnie, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 vs. South River, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Arundel, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 vs. Chesapeake-Anne Arundel, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 at North County, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Southern, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 at Broadneck, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 vs. Meade, 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 4 vs. Annapolis, 6:30 p.m.