0805_dnr_FTB-BWY SPOT TA Football Practice_

Spotswood QB Ryan High watches during the first day of Trailblazers' practice  in Penn Laird.

Time for some preseason prep football power rankings from up and down the Shenandoah Valley.

Preseason Prep Football Power Rankings

Rank Team 2018 Record What's Up?
1. Spotswood 9-2 With 20 seniors coming back from a team that won its first Valley District title since 2013 a year ago, Spotswood is set up to win back-to-back league titles and make a deep run in the Virginia High School League Class 3 playoffs.
2. Riverheads 13-1 There are a lot of key players gone from a Gladiators team that won its third straight VHSL Class 1 state championship a year ago. But Riverheads has shown the ability to replace pieces over time and with running back Zac Smiley returning in the backfield, it's not hard to consider this team the favorite to make another deep postseason run.
3. Rockbridge County 6-5 Quarterback Ty Ruley is back along with wide receiver Jailik Lynch, giving the Wildcats one of the best quarterback-receiver duos in the area in an offense that is tailored to fit their style of play.
4. East Rockingham 13-1 Despite the loss of 20 seniors from a year ago, East Rockingham has reloaded with a fresh batch of talent that should set the Eagles up nicely for a run at the Bull Run District championship this season.
5. Harrisonburg 6-5 The Blue Streaks are young this season, but HHS coach Chris Thurman has been pleased with the way his team has went to work this preseason and said he thinks his team is capable of surprising opponents on the field this season.
6. Strasburg 7-4 Six-foot-3 quarterback Chase Hart, a William & Mary commit, has enough talent alone to keep Strasburg in contention for the Bull Run title. If other pieces step up around him, the Rams may turn into the favorite to win it.
7. Luray 8-4 The Bulldogs have established themselves as one of the area's premier programs under coach Nolan Jeffries and there's no reason to believe this team won't contend for a league title once again in its first season in the Bull Run.
8. Clarke County 7-4 As another team that has had no shortage of success for the past decade, Clarke County will look to make a further playoff run this season with its stingy defense and tricky Wing-T offense that can cause headaches for opposing defenses.
9. Wilson Memorial 5-6 The Green Hornets took a step forward last season by getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014, but will face an even tougher challenge this year as they move up to Class 3 for postseason play.
10. Stuarts Draft 3-7 With quarterback Henry Cooke, receiver Freddy Watkins and running back Aaron Nice all returning, Stuarts Draft has the skill and the experience to make a run at the Shenandoah District championship this season.
11. Central 11-2 The Falcons have proven to be one of the more stable, consistent programs in the area. But with wide receiver Kyle Clanton, quarterback Zeb Dyer and defensive tackle Declan Franklin all graduated, Central will have plenty of key pieces missing on both sides of the ball this season.
12. Broadway 4-6 In its first year under new head coach Danny Grogg, Broadway has shown a sense of excitement throughout the preseason. Now it's time to see if it can translate to any more wins on the field for the Gobblers.
13. Turner Ashby 2-8 Back-to-back two-win seasons wasn't what Chris Fraser had in mind to start his tenure off at Turner Ashby, but with a trio of seniors leading the way this season, the Knights may finally be set for a turnaround.
14. Fort Defiance 5-5 The Indians finally got things turned around in 2018 and finished just shy of reaching the Region 3C playoffs. This season, Fort Defiance will look to continue building off that success in its first year in the Shenandoah District.
15. Staunton 6-5 Will Dod is back as quarterback after a strong debut season a year ago, but the Storm still have plenty of question marks on both sides of the ball entering 2019.
16. Buffalo Gap 7-5 With one of the area's best running backs now on the roster at Virginia Tech in Carter Rivenburg and Brad Wygant taking over as head coach, Buffalo Gap is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
17. Page County 4-6 Page County made significant progress a year ago and with several key pieces back, the Panthers could find themselves contending for a spot in the Region 2B playoffs this season.
18. Madison County 3-7 Coming off a three-win campaign in 2018, things won't get any easier for the Mountaineers this season with East Rockingham, Page County and Luray all coming over to the Bull Run.
19. Waynesboro 0-10 With no JV team this season, the Little Giants will feature plenty of youth on the field each week and that likely means another rough season for second-year coach Shawn Moran.
20. Stonewall Jackson 0-11 The Generals simply haven't been able to get things turned around in recent years, but may have a chance to finally get a win in 2019 when they take on Bull Run District foe Rappahannock County.
21. Rappahannock County 2-8 2019 will mark the first time Rappahannock County has played a full seven-game slate in the Bull Run District and will determine whether or not this program has improved in the past three years under head coach Kemp Pullin.

Contact Cody Elliott at 574-6284 or celliott@dnronline.com | Follow Cody on Twitter: @Cody_DNRSports

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