At the midpoint of the season, I believe the desert’s teams fall into three distinct groups: Palm Springs, Palm Desert and La Quinta; Desert Hot Springs, Shadow Hills, Cathedral City and Indio; and Coachella Valley, Desert Mirage and Xavier Prep.
First group: Regardless of their records, the Desert Valley League’s three perennial powers will always lead the rankings until one of them is beaten by Cathedral City, Indio or Coachella Valley.
Second group: Cathedral City and Indio have each defeated a De Anza League opponent. The Lions edged Twentynine Palms 3-2 last week, while Indio shut out Yucca Valley 32-0 two weeks ago. How Desert Hot Springs and Shadow Hills fare against these De Anza rivals will help to sort out the power rankings.
Third group: Results against a common opponent, Banning, have led me to place the second group of four teams ahead of the three teams in this group. The Broncos beat Coachella Valley 56-0 last week, while Cathedral City (62-32 loss) and Shadow Hills (50-47 loss) were more competitive against Banning.
Here are the power rankings, which are unchanged from last week:
1. Palm Springs (3-2, last week No. 1)
2. Palm Desert (1-5, 2)
3. La Quinta (0-5, 3)
4. Desert Hot Springs (3-3, 4)
5. Shadow Hills (3-2, 5)
6. Cathedral City (4-2, 6)
7. Indio (1-4, 7)
8. Coachella Valley (1-4, 8 )
9. Desert Mirage (0-5, 9)
10. Xavier Prep (0-6, 10)
1. Desert Christian Academy (4-1, last week No. 1)
2. Desert Chapel (5-0, 2)
3. Marywood-Palm Valley (1-3, 3)