2018 High School Team Rankings

2018 High School Team Rankings

After a month of wrestling that included Ironman, Beast, KC Stampede, and Reno, the data is in on the top performing teams in the country.

Top-ranked mainstays Blair (NJ), Graham (Ohio), Wyoming Seminary (PA), and St. Edward (Ohio) are familiar top 10 faces. Lake Highland Prep (FL) looks to be a national power that isn’t going away.

And while Montini Catholic (IL) and Bergen Catholic (NJ) are part of the above fraternity, their early-season performances are a bit better than expected.

Montini was the talk of Ironman, where the Broncos finished fourth, just a half a point behind Seminary and 30 points in front of Lake Highland. 

The next week, Bergen was the only team outside of Blair to break the 200-point mark at Beast, ahead of Lake Highland and Malvern.

If you’ve paid attention to high school team rankings over the years, you know there is a huge discrepancy — between tournament strength and dual strength — that often rears its ugly head when tournament results are flipped in subsequent head-to-head duals.

For the time being, it looks like both Montini and Bergen, which weren’t thought of this highly in preseason analysis, have both the deep tournament horses and dual meet balance to compete with the best in both formats.

The second biggest nightmare (next dual the dual/tournament dynamic) in high school team rankings comes in negotiating the personnel available at each event. 

And that’s already a problem with Buchanan (CA), which was missing a couple key starters at Reno TOC and was beaten there by Poway (CA), 238.5 to 277.5. Is it fair to say Buchanan would have won on full strength? Or should a "win be a win"?

The saving grace here is that Buchanan and Poway are in-state rivals and will face each other several times including the most important date of the year — the California state tournament — which, with four other rankable teams (Clovis, Gilroy, Selma, and Oakdale), will be the best state team race in the country.

I put Buchanan tentatively at No. 7 here. On the "bull" side, if the Bears have Ethan Leake, they beat Poway at Reno. On the conservative side, I’ll let their future dates carry more weight; we’ll see the results of WNO Duals, where they’ll see Blair, Bergen, and Lake Highland.

Similarly, the biggest "unknown" among top-10-caliber contenders is Detroit Catholic Central, which hasn’t really been tested yet. But the Shamrocks have Brecksville (Ohio) and others this weekend and then St. Ed’s and Graham at duals on Jan. 13.

The very day (Wednesday, Dec. 27) these rankings are being published, several top-ranked teams are doing battle. 

Sem and Lake Highland tangle at Powerade.

And in action that will certainly influence the back half of the top 10, The Clash features Montini, St. Edward, Park Hill (MO), and Apple Valley (MN).

RankSchoolStateLast Notable EventThis Week
1Blair AcademyNJWon Beastvs. Delbarton
2Bergen CatholicNJBeast Runners-UpOFF
3St. Paris GrahamOHIronman Runners-UpMiami Valley
4Wyoming SeminaryPAIronman 3rdPowerade
5Montini CatholicILIronman 4thThe Clash
6Lake Highland PrepFLBeast 3rdPowerade
7BuchananCAWon ZinkinOFF
8St. EdwardOHIronman 6thThe Clash
9PowayCAReno ChampsTournament of Champions
10Detroit CCMI---Brecksville Holiday
11TuttleOKKC ChampsOFF
12Park HillMOKC Runners-UpTBD
13Malvern PrepPABeast 6thMustang Holiday
14Bethlehem CatholicPABeast 9thChristmas City
15ChoctawOKReno 3rdOFF
16AllenTXReno 4thOFF
17DelbartonNJBeast 4th@ Blair
18SelmaCAZinkin 2ndOFF
19ClovisCAZinkin 3rdCoast Classic
20OakdaleCAReno 5th
21GilroyCAReno 8th@ Paso Robles
22La SalleOHDvorak ChampsOFF
23BrecksvilleOHBeast 5thBrecksville Holiday
24PomonaCOReno 6thOFF
25NazarethPABeast 15thBethlehem Holiday