The 2023 high school football season is here, with teams starting across the country in August.
That means the first USA TODAY Sports Super 25 is fast approaching, marking another start for a legendary franchise that began way back in 1982.
Last year’s Super 25 was one of the closest races of all time, as St. John Bosco edged out Mater Dei and Bishop Gorman, along with Texan leaders Duncanville and Miami Central (Florida).
How will things continue this season? Ahead of the opening of Super 25, USA TODAY HSS looks around the country for the five regions we use to create the national rankings:
- South East
- Middle West
First up is the Midwest region, which includes schools Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, west virginia, And Wisconsin.
Moeller’s 2023 roster will be led by one of the most exciting players in the country: senior running back Jordan Marshall became the No. 1 player overall in the state. Last season, Marshall averaged 10.9 yards per carry and had nine touchdowns in scrimmage. Meanwhile, the Crusaders prevailed 13-2 against some heavyweights at home and abroad. This year, they open the season on Friday, August 18 at home against Ben Davis.
Always one of the top teams in the Midwest, the Eagles went 15-1 last season en route to their sixth state championship since 2010. That run included a narrow (6-0) win over Archbishop Moeller. Their only loss that year was a field goal away from Washington. St Edward will begin their title defense at Center Grove on Saturday 19th.
The Flyers have lost just two games in 2022, both by a one-point margin earlier in the year to strong national teams of St. Frances Academy (Md.) and Creekside (Ga.). They outperformed everyone else, finishing the season 14-2 and culminating in a 50-point win in the state championship game against Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge. It was her tenth state championship title and her second in three years. East St. Louis plays its first game of the season at home on Saturday, August 26 against Chicago’s Mt. Carmel.
The Trojans went 12-2 last season, one of their losses coming in double overtime by a point to Trinity of Kentucky. This year, they continue to be led by four-star quarterback and Duke conscript Tyler Cherry, who had 2,269 passing yards and 26 total touchdowns as a junior. They will face a tough test to open the season when they start their 2023 fixture away to St Edward (Ohio) on the 19th.
Last year only one team beat the Jaguars, with Olathe North winning 20-16 in mid-October. Mill Valley smashed the rest of his competition, culminating in a 28-14 win over Maize in the Kansas state championship game – their fourth straight state title. Their new season begins on Friday, September 1 at home against Olathe Northwest.
The Tigers have enjoyed a strong 10-2 season that ended in a thrilling 22-21 overtime loss at home to Male. Senior three-star defenseman Ashton Jones (2 sacks, 4 tackles for a loss last year) will be among those welcoming Floyd Central to the first matchup of the 2023 season against St. Xavier on Friday, August 18 .
Belleville boasts one of the top youngsters in the country in five-star quarterback Bryce Underwood, ranked 1st overall in the Class of 2025. As a sophomore, Underwood led the Tigers to a 14-0 record and a second straight state championship. He threw for 2,762 yards and 37 touchdowns. The Tigers open the 2023 season on Friday the 25th at the River Rouge.
The Rams stumbled just once last season, losing 31-14 at home to Ankeny in September. It was smooth sailing from there, as Polk finished 14-1 and smashed Valley 49-14 in the state championship game. Abu Sama (who had six touchdowns in the title game) is now with Iowa State, but Polk still has starting quarterback Connor Moberly. The Rams’ first game of 2023 will also be a rematch against Valley on the 25th.
The Scarlets endured a few close encounters during the 2022 season but maintained a perfect record through to the state championship game, where they lost to Elk River by field goal. Mankato West meets Northfield at home on Friday, September 1st to open the new season.
The Cadets were clearly defeated by East St. Louis in their second game of last season by a score of 64-19. After that, they completely dominated everyone they faced until the state championship against Lee’s Summit North. It went into overtime, with Christian Brothers emerging victorious 35-28. This year they begin their title defense on Friday 18th away against Howell.
Others: Omaha Westside (Neb.) and Shanley (Fargo, ND).
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