High-SchoolPennsylvania: POWERADE FAB 50

FAB 50 Offseason Primer: Central Dauphin

February, 29, 2012
Central Dauphin FootballRalph Wilson/APCentral Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.) players celebrate with fans after winning the school's first state football title in December.
During the offseason, we’ll check out one team per week that looks like a sure bet to be among the best in the nation for next fall.

FAB 50 Offseason Primer Archive

This week’s team: Central Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.).

2011 Season: 15-1, PIAA AAAA state champion, No. 38 in the final POWERADE FAB 50.

Projected 2012 Preseason Ranking: Top 15. The Rams celebrated their first state title last season with a team that featured several underclass standouts. Coach Glen McNamee's squad won its final 14 games after losing to rival Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.). The team defeated defending state champ North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.) in the semifinals and then upended perennial contender North Penn (Lansdale, Pa.) in the championship. The Rams will likely enter the reason ranked No. 1 in the Keystone State, a spot that’s always going to translate to a high ranking in the FAB 50.

Team Strengths: The three most productive offensive players for the Rams will return for their senior seasons in the fall and that spells problems for upset-minded foes. Quarterback Brandon LaVia ran a balanced attack, throwing for 1,490 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushing for four scores. Running back/linebacker Zayd Issah was league MVP on offense, but he’s just as touted on the defensive side. He finished the year rushing for 1,345 yards and 21 touchdowns and catching 10 touchdown passes on offense and racking up 123 tackles and 14 sacks on defense. Junior running back/defensive back Drew Scales had nine touchdowns on offense and was also a dynamic kickoff returner.

Another Pennsylvania team to watch: North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.) had its unbeaten season and bid for a second straight PIAA AAAA state crown halted in the state semifinals by Central Dauphin, which won 23-20 on a last-second field goal. The Tigers, who finished No. 49 in the FAB 50, could be in the running for another state crown in the fall with the return of eight all-conference players, three of which earned all-state honors. ESPNHS Underclass All-American and two-way lineman Patrick Kugler, a Michigan commit, will anchor both lines. Quarterback Mack Leftwich will run the offense after accounting for 36 touchdowns as a junior.

Three teams rep Pennsylvania in the POWERADE FAB 50

December, 8, 2011
The season is in its infancy, but three teams are still among the nation's best hoops programs after the first week of the POWERADE FAB 50.

Chester, which opened the season at No. 17, hadn't budged after the first week of rankings. The Clippers open their season tomorrow against Coatesville. Neumann-Goretti, which was No. 21 during the preseason, is now at No. 20 after other teams moved around. The Saints have also yet to play a game. Friends' Central, which started the year at No. 23, is now No. 21 after winning its first game of the season.

In the POWERADE East Regional Rankings, Chester is No. 5, Neumann-Goretti is No. 7 and Friends' Central is No. 8. Constitution, which has yet to play a game this season, is No. 18 in the region.

Because most teams have yet to open their seasons or have played few games, we'll start our POWERADE Pennsylvania Weekly Rankings on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

For the POWERADE FAB 50, click here. For the POWERADE East Regional Rankings, click here.

Hempfield holding strong in POWERADE FAB 50 soccer ranks

September, 13, 2011
Just a few weeks into the soccer season, Hempfield is showing it belongs as a national soccer power. In this week's POWERADE FAB 50 soccer rankings, the Black Knights are currently the No. 8 team in the nation. Severe flooding in the area has prevented the team from playing its full slate of games, and as a result the team is just 1-0-0.

Other Pennsylvania teams in the FAB 50 include La Salle (No. 33), Lower Merion (No. 37), Conestoga (No. 45) and Mechanicsburg (No. 47).

For the full POWERADE FAB 50 soccer rankings, click here.

Pennsylvania rankings span west to east

August, 22, 2011
Pittsburgh Central Catholic begins its quest for a PIAA title by holding down the top spot in our Pennsylvania preseason football rankings.

Central Catholic is also one of two Keystone State representatives in the POWERADE FAB 50 ESPNHS Team Rankings. The Vikings are No. 27 in the nation. The other state representative in the rankings, Archbishop Wood, just happens to be Central Catholic's first opponent. The early matchup is a great test for both teams.

Here's the rundown...
  1. Pittsburgh Central Catholic
  2. Archbishop Wood (Warminster)
  3. Allentown Central Catholic
  4. North Penn (Lansdale)
  5. Cathedral Prep (Erie)
  6. Central Valley (Monaca)
  7. Clairton
  8. Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg)
  9. McDowell (Erie)
  10. North Allegheny (Wexford)
On the Bubble: Abington Heights, Central Dauphin (Harrisburgh), Cumberland Valley (Mechanicsburg), Downingtown East, Hopewell (West Aliquippa), Jeannette, La Salle (Wyndmoor), Montour (Robinson Township), Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh), Pennsbury (Fairless Hills), South Fayette (McDonald), St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia), Sto-Rox (McKees Rocks), West Catholic (Philadelphia), Woodland Hills (Pittsburgh)