Preseason Power Rankings released

As we have done for the past eleven seasons here at,  we’ve once again released our Preseason Power Rankings presented by Palmetto Sports Fundraising.  Unlike the AP Top-10 polls, the Football Power Rankings in theory look to be a roadmap to which teams will be making the deepest runs in the postseason, and which teams, sometimes regardless of record, are the most powerful teams in North Carolina.

Also, unlike the AP Polls which are voted on by various members of the media from across the state, the Football Power Rankings are compiled and ranked by one person, and that’s right, me!  While the AP Polls are generally accepted as the primary rankings in our state, I feel that having our rankings compiled solely by myself allows for a more accurate portrayal of our top teams.

While some of our best sportswriters in N.C. such as J.Mike Blake, Earl Vaughan Jr., Langston Wertz Jr., or Mike London are amazing at covering their areas, its harder for them to have a wide range of knowledge on a statewide level because of their laser focus on their specific coverage areas, and because they don’t just write about football, they are going at a non-stop pace writing about all prep sports.  With my focus being on all regions of North Carolina, and with my background as a coach and with my connections to our coaches in the state, I feel it gives me a much better grasp on ranking our teams week to week.

Ok, here are the Preseason Power Rankings.  I’ll be the first to admit that any preseason ranking is a crap-shoot at best.  I use so many different tools at my disposal to include returning players, strength of schedule, strength of coaching staffs, and other factors, it’s still a very inexact science trying to predict the future.  More often than not, it seems that the Preseason Power Rankings are just an item used to spur on some conversations and get folks talking about the upcoming season.

I will also admit that I don’t really look forward to the Preseason Power Rankings, but nevertheless, I have put in several months of research, hundreds of calls, and probably hundreds more text messages, and hours of watching film to come up with these rankings.  Of course it can all go south quickly during the summer months when a star player is lost to injury, or a player moves out of the school prior to the first practices or games.

Another major change to the Preseason Power Rankings that is new for 2018 is that we’re doing away with the Top-25 model.  Maybe on day we’ll go back to it, but with the changes last year made during realignment and with the NCHSAA going to the 20/30/30/20 model, I thought it was time to change how many teams we rank now.

2018 Preseason Football Power Rankings presented by Palmetto Sports Fundraising.


  1. Wake Forest
  2. Charlotte Mallard Creek
  3. Matthews Butler
  4. Charlotte Vance
  5. Cornelius Hough
  6. Greensboro Page
  7. East Forsyth
  8. Garner
  9. Charlotte Myers Park
  10. Richmond County
  11. Scotland County
  12. Harrisburg Hickory Ridge
  13. Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons
  14. Indian Trail Porter Ridge
  15. West Forsyth


  1. Charlotte Catholic
  2. Havelock
  3. Greensboro Dudley
  4. Clayton
  5. Wilmington New Hanover
  6. Winston-Salem Mount Tabor
  7. Jacksonville
  8. Asheville A.C. Reynolds
  9. Kings Mountain
  10. Monroe Sun Valley
  11. Shelby Crest
  12. Eastern Guilford
  13. Fayetteville Cape Fear
  14. Northern Durham
  15. Kannapolis Brown
  16. Watauga
  17. Gastonia Huss
  18. Greenville Conley
  19. Southern Nash
  20. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge


  1. Lenoir Hibriten
  2. Wallace-Rose Hill
  3. North Davidson
  4. Shelby
  5. Elizabeth City Northeastern
  6. Belmont South Point
  7. Reidsville
  8. East Duplin
  9. Maiden
  10. Whiteville
  11. Mount Pleasant
  12. Burnsville Mountian Heritage
  13. West Craven
  14. South Columbus
  15. Clinton
  16. Canton Pisgah
  17. Randleman
  18. Southwest Onslow
  19. Franklin
  20. South Granville


  1. Tarboro
  2. Mt. Airy
  3. North Stanly
  4. Mitchell County
  5. Murphy
  6. Edenton Holmes
  7. Swain County
  8. East Surry
  9. Bessemer City
  10. Mountian Island Charter
  11. North Rowan
  12. Polk County
  13. Pamlico County
  14. Robbinsville
  15. Mooresboro Thomas Jefferson


About Chris Hughes

Chris Hughes is the editor and founder of A life-long student of the game, he brings a unique perspective of the game from multiple angles, including that of a former coach. His work has been featured both locally and nationally, including FNF Magazine,, and ESPN U, and SiriusXM.

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