RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — We have a new number one! That’s what happens when you blow through three of the area’s top teams and a regional rival to start the season AND beat three out of those four teams by double digits. The Hermitage Panthers have earned the top spot. Below is the latest #8SportsBlitz Top 10, as voted on by the 8Sports department and the folks at http://www.RVAGameBreak.com.
10) Collegiate Cougars (2-0)
Last week: def. Western Albemarle 33-14
This week: vs.Flint Hill (2-0)
Why: The Cougars are the defending state champions in VISAA Division One, and they are playing like they want to repeat. Private and public schools don’t tangle too often in Virginia, but Collegiate not only took on a public, they spanked the Western Warriors. Flint Hill, a playoff team from a year ago, presents a challenge as well.
9) Varina Blue Devils (2-1)
Last week: lost to #2 Hermitage 42-21
This week: vs. Hanover (1-2)
Why: Varina put up a decent fight, but the Hermitage Panthers were just a better team. Now the Blue Devils begin their district schedule, and will need four to five wins to return to the playoffs. The next two games aren’t so challenging, but the final four to end the season are highly challenging.
8) L.C. Bird Skyhawks (3-1)
Last week: def. James River 35-6
This week: vs. Huguenot (3-1)
Why: Mitch Carr wants everyone reading this to know that Mitch Carr voted to move the Skyhawks UP to number six, but Mitch Carr was outvoted. Someone has to move back when a team like Monacan moves up after a big win, and the Skyhawks drew the short end of the stick despite two straight blowout wins following a blowout loss in the Battle of Chester.
7) Manchester Lancers (2-1)
Last week: lost to #10 Monacan 42-35
This week: vs. Midlothian (1-2)
Why: Manchester fell behind Monacan early and recovered a little too late. Similar to 2016, the Lancers tied the game, but this year the Chiefs had one final drive. Even so, the game came down to a Hail Mary. There’s no doubt the Lancers are one of the area’s best teams, and they’ll rebound starting Friday against Midlothian.
6) Lee-Davis Confederates (3-0)
Last week: def. Glen Allen 51-13
This week: vs. #3 Highland Springs (3-1)
Why: Lee-Davis looks like the type of team that will smash teams it should smash, That’s nothing new from the Ryan Turnage era. What would be new is LD putting itself among the top three 5A teams in the area, as in Hermitage, Highland Springs, and L.C. Bird. If the C-Feds can take out the Springers at home, that’s exactly where they will find themselves.
5) Monacan Chiefs (4-0)
Last week: def. #3 Manchester 42-35
This week: idle
Why: The Chiefs had waited a year just to get revenge on Manchester, and they came out playing like it Friday night. Monacan is now 4-0 with an extremely high quality win over a 6A team. The toughest game left on the Chiefs’ schedule is an October 20th home date against L.C. Bird. If the Chiefs keep focus, they could collect enough ratings points to challenge Dinwiddie for the number one seed in 4A.
4) Thomas Dale Knights (2-1)
Last week: idle
This week: @ Matoaca (1-2)
Why: After a loss and a week off, the Knights begin their Central District schedule. Matoaca is searching for an offensive identity and should not present much of a challenge, but Dale faces Dinwiddie in two weeks, and that should be an excellent football game.
3) Highland Springs Spingers (3-1)
Last week: def. Riverbend 19-12
This week: @ #6 Lee-Davis (3-0)
Why: Talk about a rebound. The Springers lost a close one to Hermitage, and they’ve since shrugged it off to defeat two 6A teams and Meadowbrook. The latter 6A squad, the Bears, is a good one that is likely to be the top team in the northern half of the 6A South bracket. The Springers’ offense is still trying to find its way, but that defense is spectacular, and the Springers will need it at its best to stop Josh Rice and Lee-Davis.
2) Dinwiddie Generals (3-0)
Last week: idle
This week: vs. Prince George (2-1)
Why: Similar to Thomas Dale, the Generals are now beginning their Central District schedule and face a weaker opponent. The Royals have a lot of confidence heading into the game, and Dinwiddie would be wise to stay focused before they tangle with Thomas Dale.
1) Hermitage Panthers (4-0)
Last week: def. #6 Varina 42-21
This week: vs. Glen Allen (0-3)
Why: Adelaide Bird was not involved in this decision, so we think we got it right. All Canelo-GGG jokes aside, the elevation of Hermitage to the #1 spot does not mean Dinwiddie isn’t good; it simply means you have to reward a team for playing everyone it can and then beating those teams, most of them by double digits. Of the four teams Hermitage has beat, they stand as each team’s only loss.Sure, it’s early in the season, but that’s still impressive. AND the Panthers play Manchester later in the season. If they’re not the best team in the area, someone else will have to beat them and prove it.