By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/11/16
The Phillylacrosse.com Preseason Boys’ Rankings, 2016 (last year’s records in parenthesis):
1. Haverford School (26-0) The Fords have graduated a lot from a team that won the Inter-Ac League and Inter-Ac Challenge championship and went 26-0 in a memorable year that landed them at the No. 1 spot in every national poll. But they return enough talent to stay at No. 1; they will be tested immediately Saturday when they face MIAA power St. Paul’s at Washington College.
2. Hun School (19-1) The Raiders emerged as a national power last year and should again be in the mix for an Inter-Ac Challenge title.
3. Malvern Prep (13-10) The Friars fought some ups and downs and injuries last year after going undefeated in 2014. Expect them to be a major challenger for the Inter-Ac League and Challenge championships.
4. La Salle (13-6) – The Explorers return a strong nucleus of upperclassmen and underclassmen with experience and look to regain the Catholic League title.
5. Episcopal Academy (14-7) The Churchmen have a lot back from a team that reached the semifinals of the Inter-Ac Challenge and tied for second in the Inter-Ac League.
6. Garnet Valley (15-5) – The Jaguars shared the Central League title last year and come in as one of the favorites in what figures to be a balanced race.
7. Conestoga (13-10) The Pioneers reached the District 1 finals and the state quarterfinals last year and are one of many Central League favorites.
8. Radnor (21-6) The Raiders won their first state championship in school history and will challenge for the Central League crown.
9. St. Augustine Prep (15-5) The Hermits will challenge in New Jersey’s Parochial A race.
10. Salesianum School (16-3) The Sals won their fourth Delaware state title in five years and enter the year as the clear favorite
11. St. Joseph’s Prep (19-6) The Hawks – who lost to Radnor in the state finals in overtime – have their third coach in three years, but will fight with La Salle once again for the Catholic League crown.
12. Upper Dublin (18-2) – The Cardinals return a strong senior class that stamps them as a major District 1 contender.
13. Bishop Shanahan (18-3) The Eagles won their third straight Ches-Mont League title last year and look to challenge for a District 1 and state crown.
14. Avon Grove (13-7) – The Devils were hit hard by injuries last year in an ups and down season that featured many one-goal losses. They have the talent to challenge for Ches-Mont, District 1 and state honors.
15. Springfield-Delco (19-5) The Cougars, who won the District 1 championship and reached the state semifinals last year, are young but are a team to watch as the season progresses.
Under consideration: Abington (14-6), Academy of the New Church (16-3), Central Bucks East (18-4), Hempfield (18-5), Hershey (22-2), Manheim Township (23-3), Penncrest (15-6), Ridley (13-7), Shawnee (16-4), Shipley (15-6), Southern Lehigh (17-2), Spring-Ford (21-3)