A new football season is upon us, but with it comes a household name at No. 1 in the Eastern top 25.
Cardinal Gibbons, the defending 4A champions, are still No. 1 after finishing there a year ago. After the Crusaders come Rolesville, Wake Forest, Cleveland and Richmond.
Seventy-First is the highest-ranked 3A team, while 3A East champion JH Rose starts the year at No. 14. Havelock, Southern Durham and Westover are also ranked.
In 2A, defending East champion Wallace-Rose Hill is 18th while East Duplin is top-ranked in 13th. St. Pauls is also listed.
Defending 1A champion Tarboro is 16th and the only 1A team to place in the top 25 in the preseason.
Each team below is listed with the overall record and last year’s final ranking in the HighSchoolOT East top 25. The counties included in the East are the same as the NC High School Athletic Association – Caswell, Alamance, Chatham, Moore, and Richmond are the westernmost. eastern counties.
The HighSchoolOT leaderboard will be updated weekly during the regular season, then take a break during the playoffs. The top-ranked team at the end of the playoffs will be honored at next year’s HSOT Honors show.
Eight of the top 25 teams in the East – Knightdale, Hillside, Heritage, New Bern, Millbrook, Cardinal Gibbons, Wake Forest and Panther Creek – will compete in the 12th Annual HighSchoolOT Jamboree, which will be hosted by Wake Forest High on Saturday.
Gibbons’ Week 1 opponent, a 4A title rematch with runner-up Chambers, will be a No. 1 vs. No. 1 game as the Cougars start the year in first place in the West. To see the full West pre-season standings, click here.
Pre-Season East Top 25 Football Rankings
- Cardinal Gibbons (16-0*, #1)
- Rolesville (9-6, No. 3)
- Wake Forest (8-4, No. 17)
- Cleveland (11-1, No. 2)
- Richmond (10-2, No. 8)
- Seventy-first (12-1, #12)
- New Bern (10-2, No. 6)
- Legacy (10-2, #18)
- Millbrook (11-2, No. 4)
- Leesville Road (10-3, #5)
- Hillside (8-3, No. 11)
- Panther Creek (10-4, #16)
- East Duplin (11-2, No. 14)
- JH Rose (11-5, No. 10)
- Pinecrest (8-3, No. 15)
- Tarboro (14-1, #9)
- Knightdale (6-6, NR)
- Wallace-Rose Hill (13-3, No. 7)
- Middle Creek (8-3, NR)
- Havelock (7-4, NR)
- Holly Springs (7-4, NR)
- South Durham (6-5, NR)
- Northeast (12-1, #22)
- St. Pauls (11-1, No. 19)
- Westover (10-2, NR)
*Gibbons went 14-2 from the field but two losses were turned into wins in the offseason after both opponents were forced to forfeit.