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.
20. Archbishop Curley (2015 record: 6-4; Final 2015 VSN Top 20 ranking: not ranked)
Player to watch: Vinnie Shaffer, nose guard/defensive tackle, senior
Outlook: The Friars should be again in the MIAA B Conference championship hunt. The Baltimore City private school return 22 letterwinners, featuring one of the area’s best two-way linemen in Shaffer.
Did you know: Curley has won six straight regular season openers.
Aug. 27 vs. Bishop O’Connell (Va.), 12:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 at Edmondson, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 17 at Boys’ Latin School, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Loyola Blakefield, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Tuscarora, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. Severn School, 4 p.m.
Oct. 15 vs. St. Mary’s, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 at St. Paul’s School, 3:45 p.m.
Oct. 28 vs. St. Vincent Pallotti at Fairland Regional Park, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 vs. John Carroll School, 7 p.m.
19. Milford Mill Academy (4-6; not ranked)
Player to watch: Marcel Allen, linebacker, senior
Outlook: With 14 starters back, the Millers have designs on a return to the Class 3A state postseason. Milford Mill coach Reggie White thinks his team is ready to contend in the Baltimore County 4A/3A league after losing three games by a total of four points last fall.
Did you know: The Millers have field turf and will unveil it in the season opener against Frederick County stronghold Urbana.
Sept. 3 vs. Urbana, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 at Dundalk, 6 p.m.
Sept. 17 vs. Parkville, 1 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Woodlawn, 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 vs. Patapsco, 1 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Franklin, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 vs. Catonsville, 1 p.m.
Oct. 22 vs. Perry Hall, 1 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Lansdowne, 6 p.m.
Nov. 5 vs. Kenwood, 1 p.m.
18. Bel Air (9-2; No. 20)
Player to watch: Keegan McHugh, running back/linebacker, senior
Outlook: The Bobcats are the favorite in the UCBAC, thanks to one of the area’s best backfields with McHugh and Daniel Webber. The Harford County school return 12 starters but not the size upfront that’s helped Bel Air to 18 victories the past two seasons.
Did you know? Bel Air seeks a third straight state playoff berth after making only four appearances between 1982 and 2004.
Sept. 3 at Dulaney, 1 p.m.
Sept. 10 at Central, 2 p.m.
Sept. 16 vs. Overlea, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Fallston, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 vs. Friendly, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 vs. C. Milton Wright, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Aberdeen, 7 p.m.
Oct. 20 vs. vs. North Harford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Edgewood, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 vs. Havre de Grace, 7 p.m.
17. Arundel (7-3; No. 11)
Player to watch: Ephraim Moore, cornerback/wide receiver, junior
Outlook: The Wildcats will be motivated after a rare postseason miss in 2015. Arundel coach Chuck Markiewicz is looking for improvement defensively after allowing 108 points in three losses.
Did you know: Before last fall’s 7-win output, the Wildcats averaged 10 wins between 2005 and 2014.
Sept. 2 at Glen Burnie, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs. North County, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Chesapeake-Anne Arundel, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 vs. Old Mill, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Annapolis, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. Broadneck, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Meade, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 vs. Northeast, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 at South River, 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 4 vs. Severna Park, 6:30 p.m.
16. Loyola Blakefield (5-6; not ranked)
Player to watch: Trevor Henigan, fullback/linebacker, senior
Outlook: The Dons are primed to contend in the ultra-tough MIAA A Conference. Twenty-two seniors and 15 returning starters give the Towson school reason for optimism.
Did you know: Loyola’s last winning season was in 2010 (6-5).
Sept. 2 at Boys’ Latin School, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs. John Carroll School, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 vs. Landon School, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 vs. Archbishop Curley, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 vs. Archbishop Spalding, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 vs. McDonogh School, 1 p.m.
Oct. 14 vs. Mount St. Joseph, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 vs. St. Frances Academy at Patterson Park, 7 p.m.
Oct. 29 at Gilman School, 1 p.m.
Nov. 5 vs. Edmondson, 12 p.m.
Nov. 24 vs. Calvert Hall College, Turkey Bowl at M&T Bank Stadium, 10 a.m.