PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When you beat Dan Marino’s Alma Mater in the PIAA state championship game you earn respect.
That’s what happened to St. Joseph’s Prep High School in Philadelphia, who beat Pittsburgh Central Catholic 35-10 in last year’s PIAA state championship game, earning their first PIAA state title.
With 15 returning starters, including tackle Jon Runyan Jr.— the son of former Eagles Pro Bowl offensive lineman Jon Runyan—MaxPreps.com ranked the Hawks as the 18th best high school football team in the country heading into the 2014 season.
St. Joe’s Prep is the only Pennsylvania team ranked in the high-school football preseason top-25 by MaxPreps. St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, NJ, which features the athletic senior quarterback and Penn State University commit, Brandon Wimbush, was ranked 23rd.
Cedar Hill in Texas was ranked as MaxPreps number one team in the nation, coming off a Class 5A-II state championship last year.
You can see the full list of MaxPreps preseason high-school football rankings here.