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BluegrassPreps' Northern Kentucky Power Rankings 7-22-15

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In 2015, BluegrassPreps is excited to roll out weekly football Power Rankings for each of the regions around the state. With each week's Power Rankings, we will be looking to rank the top ten teams in each region - regardless of class - against the other teams in their region. Throughout the season, we will be accounting for the results of all the games throughout the region, including the strength of each opponent played, points scored, points allowed, along with several other statistics on each side of the ball.

 

We will also be featuring a highlighted "Game Of The Week", and moving forward, will be re-capping the previous games of the week, as well as highlighting regional "Big Risers" and "Big Droppers" as various teams improve their performance and other teams fall back. The BGP Power Rankings will also feature a "Player Of The Week".

 

 

 

Pre-Season Top Ten:

10) Scott (4A) – The Eagles will be returning numerous starters, including a standout running back in Roberto London. Biggest games this season include New Cath (defending 2A runners-up), Dixie Heights, and Holmes. Coach Dan Wooley is developing a solid program in Taylor Mill, finishing with a 6-4-1 record last year. The Eagles are bringing some long awaited noise to the football competition amongst the schools in Northern Kentucky.

 

9) Beechwood (1A) – Returning numerous starters including quarterback Fieger, running back Stringer, wideout Slusher, and standout o-lineman Overstreet, the Beechwood Tigers and Coach Rash will be eyeing an awaited return to the 1A title game with 1A rival Mayfield having moved up to the 2A division. Their biggest regular season games include New Cath (defending 2A runners-up), Cov Cath, and road games against Somerset and Ironton (OH).

 

8) Newport Central Catholic (2A) – The development of junior QB Patrick Henschen will be a major determining factor for the Breds. Coach Wagner brought in Henschen last season as a sophomore, and he managed to lead New Cath the 2A title game, finishing with the runner up trophy. They have strong returning players on both sides of the ball, including standout running back/cornerback Jacob Smith. Major games this season include Cooper, Belfry (defending 3A champions), Scott, Campbell County, and Beechwood, while defending 2A state champion DeSales and 2A newcomer/defending 1A state champion Mayfield will lurk in the playoffs.

 

7) Campbell County (6A) – Coach Lickert and the Camels will be looking to push further into the playoffs this season after a first round loss last season to Lafayette. The Camels relied heavily last season on QB Carson Plessinger, who returns as a senior as well as receivers Froelicher and Crowder, and running back Garland. A lot of questions remain to be answered on the defensive side of the ball. Campbell County has a very nice regular season schedule this season, with contests against Highlands (5A newcomers, and defending 4A champs), New Cath (defending 2A runners-up), Cooper, Ryle, and Simon Kenton.

 

6) Covington Catholic (5A) – New head Coach Eddie Eviston and his new coaching staff are up against what may be the most difficult schedule in NKY. The Colonel linebacking core will be returning this year, along with a solid offensive line anchored by senior Chris Reisiger. With an opening at the QB position & an entirely new offensive scheme, offensive performance will be a big question for the Colonels. Their 2015 schedule includes Ryle, perennial Ohio power Cincinnati St. Xavier, Sycamore (OH), Lex Cath, Beechwood, perennial Ohio power Columbus DeSales, Dixie Heights (defending 6A runners-up), and Scott County. The biggest question will be whether Cov Cath can overtake rival Ft. Thomas Highlands; fellow 5A newcomers, and defending 4A champs.

 

5) Cooper (6A) – After finishing 9-5 and making it to the 5A semifinals in 2014, Coach Borchers and the Jaguars have proven that Cooper football is no flash in the pan. Returning nearly all of their starters is undoubtedly the largest contributing factor to success for Cooper this upcoming season. The quarterback position is their biggest question after graduating QB Billy Prickett last year. Cooper’s move up to 6A under the new alignment puts them in a three team district with Ryle and Conner, and leaves them with a tough row to hoe in the playoffs. It’s a big regular season schedule this year for the Jaguars including games against Highlands (5A newcomers, and defending 4A champs), Bryan Station, Campbell County, Simon Kenton, Lex Cath, Dixie Heights, and Ryle.

 

4) Dixie Heights (5A) – The Colonels went 13-2 last season, losing in the 6A state finals to Trinity. This year Dixie moves to the 5A division, and Coach Brossart will have to replace the majority of his starters this season, including most key positions on both sides of the ball. Defense will be the strength of their returning starters, with D-linemen Lohre and Sammons coming back, along with linebacker Caple and defensive back Schulte. The Colonels will be looking to develop players for most of their offense, including the virtually their entire line and backfield. Dixie’s biggest games this upcoming season will be against Simon Kenton, Cooper, fellow 5A newcomers and defending 4A champs Highlands, Cov Cath, and Ryle. Dixie will be facing a challenge to make it out of the region in the playoffs, with Cov Cath and Highlands both competing for the same regional title.

 

3) Ryle (6A) – There are going to be a lot of folks keeping an eye on Ryle this year as they come out in their second season under Coach Engler. They began rebuilding last year after a very tumultuous 2013 season, and finished the 2014 season with a 5-7 record. The Raiders will be returning a very talented runningback in senior Collin England, who was ranked 13th in Kentucky 6A football last season for average yards per game, with 95. Quarterback Tanner Morgan will also be returning this year as a junior, after being brought in last year to start as a sophomore. Morgan’s arm and the potential for a strong passing game isn’t something that is very familiar out of the Raiders, but will likely be a new aspect of the Ryle offensive scheme. The Raiders also have numerous other skills players returning this season, but their success will rely heavily on how they are able to develop their offensive and defensive lines, which have been greatly impacted by graduating players. Their regular season schedule this season is a solid one, with major games against Cov Cath, Lex Cath, Highlands (5A newcomers, and defending 4A champs), Cooper, Simon Kenton, and defending 6A runners up, Dixie Heights.

 

2) Simon Kenton (6A) – This will be Coach Marksberry’s 16th season as the Pioneers’ head coach, and after averaging over 9 wins per season for the last seven seasons (including one visit to the 6A state finals), the folks in Independence will be looking to see if this year could bring another visit to the 6A finals. The Pioneers will be looking for a big year out of junior QB Cameron Racke and senior running back Dillon Powell running plays behind a bulky and senior-heavy offensive line. The defense will have several returning seniors, including linebacker Dalton Finnell, Blake Powell at nose and Taylor Galbraith in the backfield. Simon Kenton will be looking for a lot of support from their juniors this season as well, with many of them having seen significant playing time last season. Their regular season schedule this season includes big games against defending Bryan Station, 6A runners-up Dixie Heights (who has moved down to 5A under the new alignment), Cooper, Ryle, and a long-awaited matchup against Highlands (5A newcomers, and defending 4A champs).

 

1) Highlands (5A) – There are few programs around Northern Kentucky or the state that get as much respect as the Highlands Bluebirds. Only two Kentucky teams – Collins & Ryle – have managed to hang a loss on the Bluebirds in the last 8 seasons. In his second season at the helm, Coach Weinrich looks to bring a 24th state championship back to Ft. Thomas in their first year as a 5A program. Their first job will be to replace their graduated D1 quarterback, Beau Hoge, and they will be looking to senior Austin Hergott for the job. The Bluebirds will bring back a much of their dominant offensive line as well as a skilled group of receivers and running backs, with seniors Miller, New, Cain, and Kendall to frequently have their hands on the ball. The defense will only be returning two starters in D-lineman Tyler Robinson and safety Austin Beal, but Highlands has consistently showed over the last two decades that their ability to reload with new talent is unprecedented. There is little doubting Highlands’ place as the #1 ranked team in Northern Kentucky. Their schedule this year includes big games against Scott County, Ryle, Louisville St. X, defending 6A runners-up and fellow 5A newcomers Dixie Heights, rival Cov Cath, and a much touted game against Simon Kenton.

 

 

Game Of The Week:

 

Ryle (6A) @ Covington Catholic (5A)

Friday, August 21 5:30pm

 

The Ryle Raiders will have a lot of eyes on them to see how Coach Engler is able to expand his offense around junior quarterback Tanner Morgan. Will the men in black be taking to the air more this season? How will their offensive line and defense look after replacing so many seniors?

 

Cov Cath will have just as many eyes on them in the first game of the season, bringing on a new coaching staff, new offensive and defensive schemes, and having a new quarterback to break in. The Colonel defense should be solid, but after losing most of their offense to graduation, how will the Blueboys perform when it comes to moving the ball with their first big test coming at them right out of the gate?

Edited by Colonels_Wear_Blue

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Little shocking to see Ryle so high and CovCath so low..but hard to disagree with the rankings at the same time.

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Also, helping Reisinger on the CCH offensive line is Michael Schulte. Kid looks more intimidating every time I see him.

 

The defensive line should be very good for the Blue Colonels this year.

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The way that reads, Tanner Morgan was at Ryle last year. I am pretty certain that isi not the case.

 

Think Dixie is too high, given how many they lost to graduation.

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The way that reads, Tanner Morgan was at Ryle last year. I am pretty certain that isi not the case.

 

Think Dixie is too high, given how many they lost to graduation.

 

You're correct. He was at Hazard last season. Wording should have said "coming in" rather than "returning".

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What grouping we putting Walton in?

 

WV is part of the Northern Kentucky region for football. And for what it's worth, they would have been at #11 .

 

Northern Kentucky Football Programs:

Beechwood

Bellevue

Bishop Brossart

Boone County

Bracken County

Campbell County

Carroll County

Conner

Cooper

Covington Catholic

Covington Holy Cross

Dayton

Dixie Heights

Gallatin County

Grant County

Highlands

Holmes

Lloyd Memorial

Ludlow

Newport

Newport Central Catholic

Owen County

Pendleton County

Ryle

Scott High

Simon Kenton

Walton-Verona

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WV is part of the Northern Kentucky region for football. And for what it's worth, they would have been at #11 .

 

Northern Kentucky Football Programs:

Beechwood

Bellevue

Bishop Brossart

Boone County

Bracken County

Campbell County

Carroll County

Conner

Cooper

Covington Catholic

Covington Holy Cross

Dayton

Dixie Heights

Gallatin County

Grant County

Highlands

Holmes

Lloyd Memorial

Ludlow

Newport

Newport Central Catholic

Owen County

Pendleton County

Ryle

Scott High

Simon Kenton

Walton-Verona

 

Might be a good Idea to post the team list for each grouping for reference.

 

I would have Walton in the top ten myself.

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....

 

To echo my thoughts in another thread:

 

*) I think #1 and #2 are much the best.

 

*) I guess you could put #3 , #5 , and #6 in a bucket and pick them out, although I'm not so sure, but that will be settled in many ways very early in the season.

 

*) Dixie should be behind those three, which are behind the two ahead of them.

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Might be a good Idea to post the team list for each grouping for reference.

 

I would have Walton in the top ten myself.

 

Didn't W-V lose all their offensive playmakers and their top defenders?

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Great write-up Colonel!

 

Always like to look at a list like this to see who I think might take some lumps early but be much better come district and playoff time.

 

I think a team like Scott being in 4A with the Beasts gone could be ready for that. I know Johnson Central is a very good team and maybe 4A favorite, but I would much rather travel to Paintsville than Fort Thomas later in the playoffs anyday.

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With so many starters including KEY starters having to be replaced at Dixie I would struggle to put them at #4 today. They may end up there by season's end but a lot of questions.

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