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An early peek at the preseason Top 15

October 19, 2017

 

With less than a month before the first official day at practice, teams are already starting to show their hands at fall scrimmages and "games."

 

Of course, we know that there are a lot of moving parts in the fall. Football players are absent. Coaches are playing deep into their rotations. Some teams aren't participating until the first day of practice. 

 

But we've seen enough to have somewhat of a grasp on which teams should be among the best in San Diego. Here's our early attempt at the Top 15, which trust us is far from settled. We'll have a more detailed top 25 in coming weeks.

 

1. St. Augustine - Taeshon Cherry is the given, but the group's sophomore core, led by Chibuzo Agbo, Kimo Ferrari and Luke Haupt, is potent. Alex Dennis could be X-factor. 

 

2. Vista - Owners of the best backcourt trio in the county with Samuels, Morris and Hilstock. 

 

3. Mission Bay - The "Young Bucs" come of age with Boogie Ellis and a collection of talented juniors leading the way.

 

4. San Marcos - Sharpshooter Kody Clouet is flanked by two talented underclassmen, Chris Howell and Elijah Randall, and a surprisingly deep roster. 

 

5. Torrey Pines - Death, taxes and John Olive. Finn Sullivan is an underrated senior and Bryce Pope is coming into his own. 

 

6. Mater Dei Catholic - 6-6 Trey Anderson and 6-5 Beon Riley are back to lead a big group from down south. 

 

7. Foothills Christian - Not the deepest team, but Jaren Nafaratte, Yassine Gharram and Dorian Blue give them a strong back court, and Derrick Carter-Hollinger is a problem.

 

8. La Jolla Country Day - Defections drop them a notch, but Ryan Langborg, Alex Cho and Raymond Lu are a load in the back court. Jayson Taylor must take next step.

 

9. Canyon Crest Academy - Ravens return 4 starters off a team that was the top seed in the Division 2 playoffs. Acosta, Elsom, Crespy and the underrated MJ Metz can defend with the best of them.

 

10. Santa Fe Christian - Once their football players round into shape, they'll move up quickly. A starting lineup of 6-2, 6-2, 6-5, 6-4, 6-6 is a real possibility.

 

11. Montgomery - Speed kills, and the Aztecs have it in spades. Six returners all under 6-2, including standouts Timmy Crawford and Kyle Paranada. Think "2014 Sweetwater."

 

12. La Costa Canyon - Graham Cook is the leader, but lots of underrated pieces, including the improving Chandler Daugherty and Cole Patterson, and speedsters Jaquan Carroll and Taro Boyd. 

 

13. Francis Parker - Won't be the same team after Jan. 1 sit-out-period ends, when Country Day transfers Matt Bender and Max Guinn suit up. Guard play still a question. 

 

14. Poway - A top 10 team before the transfer of Jordan Cooke-Harper to Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey. Still, if healthy, Zach Reiter and Co. can't fall much further than this. 

 

T15. Helix - Losing Miles Norris and Jaylen Arnold hurts, but Highlanders return 2 starters (Green, Baker), a 6th man (Hinson) and a rising star (Holmes) from a Division 4 state runner-up. 

 

T15. Christian - A new coach and some talented transfers combine with holdovers Nashom Carter and Jackson Larsen to become one of the dark horses in SD. 

 

 

On the doorstep: La Jolla Westview, Cathedral Catholic, Carlsbad, Lincoln, Rancho Bernardo, Mission Hills 

 

 

 

 

 

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