The Bee's high school football rankings

November 13, 2013 

The Bee's Joe Cortez, Brian VanderBeek and Ron Agostini give their insights on the Sac-Joaquin Section first-round playoff pairings. They also touch on national anthems, senior night and winless teams. (Brian Clark/



(Last week’s rankings in parenthesis)

Large Schools

1. (1) Merced (8-2) — The Bears handled intracity rival Golden Valley last week to complete a perfect run thorugh Central California Conference play.

2. (2) Manteca (9-1) — The Buffaloes outscored their seven Valley Oak League opponents 352-89 with their closest game a 15-point victory over Oakdale.

3. (4) Pitman (7-3) — There may be a question as to whether the Pride peaked too early, but they’ll be ready for their first-round game against Franklin (Elk Grove.)

4. (3) Patterson (9-1) — Central Catholic spoiled the Tigers’ bid for a perfect regular season, and it doesn’t get easier with playoff opener against Oakdale.

5. (5) Modesto (7-3) — Five-game winning streak to finish regular season gave Panthers an MMC co-title and a first-round home game against Pleasant Grove.

Small Schools

1. (1) Central Catholic (9-1) — Raiders have won eight straight since lone loss at St. Mary’s, and were rewarded for tough schedule with No. 1 seed in Division 4.

2. (2) Hilmar (10-0) — YellowJackets might be a little miffed over being seeded No. 2 in playoffs behind Central Catholic, but may get chance to prove point on field.

3. (3) Ripon (9-1) — Indians got a bye week heading into playoffs, so they should be healthy when Dixon comes to town for playoff opener..

4. (nr) Sierra (7-3) — Timberwolves’ placement in Division 4 not only makes them a section darkhorse, but warrants their move into the small-school rankings.

5. (4) Le Grand (10-0) — Bulldogs might not be challenged during their run toward a fourth straight Division V title. First up: a bye week to get healthy.

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