WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The 2023 high school football season kicks off this Friday! Before then, take a look at our preseason rankings, including our top ten teams from DC News Now’s Countdown to Kickoff Special on Game Night.

1. St. Johns (Last year’s record: 8-4)

Fresh off back-to-back WCAC titles, St. John’s is ready to begin their quest for a three-peat. They land the top spot on our list.

2. DeMatha (10-2)

DeMatha fell just short in a low scoring WCAC final last season. The Stags enter 2023 hoping to take back the WCAC crown.

3. Good Counsel (8-3)

While they are No.3, Good Counsel belongs in the same tier as St. John’s and DeMatha. The Falcons are hoping to win their first WCAC title since 2019.

4. Freedom-Woodbridge (15-0)

Entering this season, Freedom is the consensus number one public school team in Virginia. The Eagles will have a very interesting early season matchup against DeMatha on September 8.

5. Quince Orchard (14-0)

Much like Freedom, Quince Orchard is the top dog in the state of Maryland, until someone knocks them off. The Cougars have not lost a game since the 2019 championship game. They’re going for a MPSSAA 4A three-peat in 2023.

6. C.H. Flowers (13-1)

Flowers made school history in 2022, making it to the MPSSAA 4A state championship game, and beating their rival Wise twice en route to it. Flowers will look to repeat that success and take it a step further this season.

7. Stone Bridge (12-2)

After falling to Highland Springs in the VHSL Class 5 state semifinals, Stone Bridge enters this season in our top ten once again. The Bulldogs have been to the state championship game 11 times and won three of those appearances.

8. Gonzaga (5-6)

Facing a tough schedule in 2022, Gonzaga finished 5-6, but the Eagles boast plenty of talent and prestige entering 2023. Gonzaga will look to make some noise in a competitive WCAC upper echelon against Good Counsel, DeMatha and St. John’s.

9. Wise (11-2)

Wise fell to rival Flowers last season in the MPSSAA 4A state semifinals. They’ll look to rebound this year, led by long time head coach DaLawn Parrish. The Pumas made high profile adds – with West Virginia commit quarterback Khalil Wilkins transferring from Theodore Roosevelt and former Northwest head coach Travis Hawkins becoming the team’s defensive coordinator. 

10. Madison (11-4)

Coming off back-to-back state runner-up finishes, Madison will look to keep up and further that success. The Warhawks will trot out their third starting quarterback in the last three years. A key for Madison this season will be starting strong. 

11. Damascus (12-1)

12. Friendship Collegiate (9-5)

13. Rock Creek Christian (6-3)

14. Fairfax (13-1)

15. Theodore Roosevelt (11-2)

16. Battlefield (10-1)

17. Archbishop Carroll (10-3)

18. South County (11-2)

19. Northwest (5-6)

20. Coolidge (11-2)

21. Patriot (11-2)

22. Lake Braddock (9-3)

23. Paint Branch (9-4)

24. Centreville (10-3)

25. Loudoun County (12-1)

Honorable mention:

John Champe (8-4), Oakdale (11-3), Frederick (10-1), Urbana (11-2), Linganore (5-6), Sherwood (9-3), Dunbar (8-4), Paul VI (9-3), Bell (10-2), West Springfield (9-3)