With two-a-days just weeks away and the 2012 high school gridiron action in Northern Kentucky less than two months away, we take a first look at our TriStateFootball.com Northern Kentucky Team Rankings.
The Highlands Bluebirds have stood atop these rankings for most of the past decade, so it’s no surprise that despite losing a strong senior class, including Mr. Kentucky Patrick Towles, that the Bluebirds once again begin the season at No. 1.
Their Class 4A district foes, CovCath, start the year in the second spot with Boone County, Ryle and NewCath rounding out the top five spots.
Here a look at our preseason rankings…
1. Highlands (15-0)
How They Finished: Set state records most points (849), TD’s (119) and total yards (7,517) on way to 5th straight title.
Looking Ahead: Matching last year’s numbers will be tough, but another state championship is within reach.
2. CovCath (10-3)
How They Finished: After a close regular-season matchup, the Colonels were beat handedly by Highlands in playoffs.
Looking Ahead: With a strong senior class leading the way, CovCath has its best team top to bottom in years.
3. Boone County (9-5)
How They Finished: The Rebels were inconsistent during the regular season, but really gelled on way to state semis.
Looking Ahead: They graduated a strong senior class and have many questions to answer early on.
4. Ryle (7-5)
How They Finished: An injury-riddled 2011 campaign came to an end with a tough home loss to rival Boone County.
Looking Ahead: The Raiders’ schedule is one of the toughest in N.Ky., but last year’s lumps could pay dividends.
5. NewCath (11-2)
How They Finished: Their repeat hopes were dashed in a loss to the eventual state champs, Holy Cross.
Looking Ahead: The post-Brady Hightchew Era leaves questions, but the Breds always reload quickly.
6. Conner (7-6)
How They Finished: They suffered a last-second loss to Anderson County in the Class 5A Regional Finals.
Looking Ahead: Led by junior Drew Barker, the Cougars offense is going to make them a statewide force in 5A.
7. Beechwood (12-2)
How They Finished: For the third straight year Beechwood Tigers had their season end with a loss to Mayfield.
Looking Ahead: Many new faces will be asked to produce early and often, but the talent remains for a deep run.
8. Holy Cross (12-3)
How They Finished: The team gave the school its first-ever state championship after a magical post-season run.
Looking Ahead: There are some key cogs back, but many more holes that will need to be filled.
9. Cooper (6-5)
How They Finished: After claiming the school’s first-ever district title, the Jags were bounced in Round 1.
Looking Ahead: Continued improvement should be expected in 2012, but district is better all around.
10. Scott (4-6)
How They Finished: The team showed improvement, but finished with its 21st straight losing season.
Looking Ahead: Scott will call upon a large contingent of underclassmen to take it to the next level.
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