1. Charlotte Catholic
I know I’ll get phone calls telling me I’m a dummy because Charlotte Catholic is in Charlotte. I also know the undefeated state champs play in a county league and are far and away the best team in what is likely the state’s top Class 3A league. The Cougars are a dominant team once again.
2. Sun Valley
I like a few teams in the Southern Carolina conference a lot, but I’m not going to be the person who bets against all-world quarterback Sam Howell giving the Spartans an edge. They can be beat, but their offense may be too much to not make them the second-best team.
People think Weddington may struggle as they move on from Tim Carson to Andy Capone. I’m not one of them. The Warriors have too much talent and experience to be anything but one of the county’s top teams, especially on offense.
4. Marvin Ridge
It’s four SCC teams in a row to open the pre-season Super 7, but the Mavs deserve to be here and could end up much higher than fourth. I don’t know if they’re the fourth-best or second-best team in the league because the margins are so small, but they can play and won’t skip a beat this year.
5. Metrolina Christian
The Warriors have become a highly successful program under coach Thomas Langley. And when he has a player like do-everything transfer Jadus Davis and two great options at quarterback, he knows what to do with them to make his team successful.
6. Porter Ridge
I think the Pirates could win the Southwestern 4A. I really do. I know they’d have to pass Myers Park, Butler and Hickory Ridge, but it could happen. They just have to have a more consistent presence on the defensive end, but they are a sleeper to watch for.
7. Union Academy
Coach Justin Frashier guided the Cardinals to their best season last year. They have a lot of guys back from that team and should be even better. They play in a tough league, but should be within the top 15 1A teams in the state.