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By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

Oh boy.

Where to even start with this one.

The 2016 Hudson Valley Sports Report High School Football Preseason Power Rankings were a beast to put together, in many respects because several schools in the last several years have upgraded their respective programs and been sectional and state title contenders year in and year out.

This year is no different, so let’s get right to it.

Every week we will bring you an HVSR Power Ranking with the top five teams in the area, leading right up to the Section One and Section Nine tournaments in October.

The Power Rankings are done internally and are purely subjective. That is, there is no voting or lobbying by coaches. This is strictly an in-house project.

The biggest component is whoever is playing the best or had significant victories that particular week, with factors such as injuries, game site, records, classifications and other dynamics given due consideration.

Obviously, with a preseason edition, much of the initial rankings are based on last year’s results with a bit of speculation mixed in based on graduation losses or injuries.

We draw from the HVSR coverage area – 31 high schools in Dutchess, Putnam, Ulster and Orange counties. They are: Arlington, Beacon, Brewster, Carmel, Coleman, Dover, Ellenville, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Haldane, Highland, John Jay-EF, Kingston, Mahopac, Marlboro, Millbrook, Newburgh, New Paltz, Onteora, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pawling, Pine Plains, Poughkeepsie, Putnam Valley, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Rondout Valley, Roy C. Ketcham, Saugerties, Spackenkill, Wallkill and Webutuck.


5) TIE, MILLBROOK and SPACKENKILL – From an overall standpoint, Spackenkill might have the best set of skill position players in the 845. Camron Abalos is back for his fourth year at quarterback, phenom Dhyquem Lewinson is at running back, and state track champion Kabongo Barry, Joe Arcuri and Marlon Brooks are the receivers. The defense will be tough with Kyiev Bennermon anchoring the line at defensive tackle. But the eternal question remains – can the Spartans beat Marlboro? As for Millbrook, while the Spartans might have the best overall group of skill players, the Blazers might have the best in running back Delvin Wood. Millbrook is looking to get back to a third consecutive Section 9, Class C title game and the wrinkle this year is that the Blazers might sling the football around a little bit more with a returning quarterback in Jacob Wright.

4) NEWBURGH – No question NFA has the best 1-2 running back tandem in the area in returners Chris Monroe and Jadon Munroe. Now add to that quarterback Ryan Skivington and one of the best kept secret weapons in placekicker Pete Matthews, and coach Bill Bianco has himself another potent offense. The defense is again solid, and there’s no reason why the Goldbacks shouldn’t defend their Section 9, Class AA title.

3) OUR LADY OF LOURDES – Normally, last year’s best team would start out the preseason at No. 1, especially after losing by just a touchdown in the state championship game. Kind of like an Alabama. But this year’s Warrior team doesn’t have all-state players Dean Rotger at quarterback or Luke Timm – HVSR’s Dream Team Offensive Player of the Year – at wide receiver. Nor does it have the all-around play of Billy Wagner. Or lineman/tight end Chris Mulvey. That’s a lot. Cupboard’s not empty though. Joe Scaglione is going to be one of the area’s top running backs and Corey Mullaly will be a key producer on offense. Big test right off the bat on the road at sectional playoff team Brewster.

2) JOHN JAY – The Patriots seemingly have had an annual date in the Section 1, Class AA title game. The lost it in 2015 and 2012, won it in 2014. John Jay has to replace quarterback Ryan Schumacher, but people seem to forget that at its core, the Patriots are really a grind-it-out offense. Danny Deidrich will get the bulk of the carries, Jai’von Reynolds is a game-breaker, and John Ryan and Max Maybaum make up part of the most imposing line in the section.

1) MARLBORO – No disputing this. Five-time Section 9 champion, including last year. Three quarterbacks return – Phil Desantis, Sam Mongelli and Paul Evans – who will all see playing time, whether it’s behind center or elsewhere. Three of the five offensive linemen are back, and six starters on defense return, including Jack Galage at safety and Zach Atkins at linebacker. The Iron Dukes are still a juggernaut, still the favorite in Class B, still a state Final Four contender.

Rich Thomaselli


  1. Fitz

    September 1, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Lourdes Football since 2010

    6 straight playoff appearances
    5 straight Sectional Championship games
    3 Sectional Titles
    1 Regional Title
    1 State Championship final after being bumped up a class

    7 kids on Div 1 rosters this weekend

    • Rich Thomaselli

      September 1, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Not sure what your point is. Sure, all of that is impressive for Lourdes. I admire the work coach Walsh has done in making the program a sectional power. But the rankings are for this coming season, not on a body of work

      But if you’re comparing apples to apples and suggesting they should be higher, John Jay has a pretty good resume itself and plays at a higher level. And if you’re really comparing OLL to Marlboro, well, Marlboro has 5 straight playoff appearances, 5 straight sectional title games, 5 straight sectional championships, 3 regional titles, and three state Final Four appearances. Oh yeah, and a state playoff win over OLL during that time (and please, save me the “it was luck, he slipped, we should have won” talk.)

      Oh, and Marlboro draws their players from an area about the size of a city block in comparison to where OLL can draw from over four counties.

      Every program on that list has their own successes. Relish in it. If OLL is that good again this year it certainly will be reflected in the rankings.

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