I’m only including rankings for the seven 11-man teams that opened play last week. Cathedral City, Coachella Valley and Shadow Hills take the field for the first time Friday as well as Desert Christian Academy and Marywood-Palm Valley.
1. Palm Springs (1-0): Led by a”wolf pack” of linebackers, the Indians’ defense shined Friday. As their young offense develops, the defense will look to carry the Indians.
2. La Quinta (0-1): Junior running back Kenyon Williams broke a bone in his right foot in Friday’s 46-23 loss to Los Osos. The Blackhawks are ranked ahead of the Palm Desert based on their offensive output against Los Osos, a tough opponent that defeated them 49-7 last year.
3. Palm Desert (0-1): During their bye week, the Aztecs will get to iron out their multiple mistakes from a 21-0 loss to Palm Springs. Their numerous dropped passes especially frustrated coach Pat Blackburn.
4. Desert Hot Springs (1-0): The Golden Eagles and Palm Springs were the only two teams from the desert to win last week. The Golden Eagles take the fourth spot because of their 26-13 upset over Aquinas.
5. Indio (0-1): After their opening 61-0 loss to West Valley, the Rajahs will look to improve in their home opener against Brawley this week.
6. Desert Mirage (0-1): It will be interesting to see how the Rams play once they reach full strength. The early start to the season affected the team. Some players couldn’t suit up for the opener last week because they joined the team late.
7. Xavier Prep (0-1): The Saints’ roster has been depleted because of injuries to key players. Only 14 players were available to play in their opener against Yucca Valley last week.