Now that the high school football season has come and gone, it’s time to unveil the final power rankings for the 2013 season. Compiling such a list is no small task. How do you ran teams at the top, where the teams all beat each other?
La Quinta beat everybody but Cathedral City, which lost to Palm Springs and Palm Desert. Both of those teams lost to La Quinta and beat each other once. Palm Desert beat Shadow Hills and came within an onsides kick of beating La Quinta to claim sole possession of the Desert Valley league title.
The only way to sort it all out is by taking what we saw from each team over the final weeks of the season, mix in some team stats, and ask coaches in the valley which teams were the best at the end of the season.
With that said, here is the final poll in what has been a memorable season throughout the valley. A brief explanation is included below.
Let the debate begin …
1. La Quinta (9-3) — Co-DVL champs made it to the CIF quarterfinals.
2. Palm Desert (5-6) — Earned share of DVL title for first time since 2005.
3. Cathedral City (8-2) — Beat La Quinta and had best W-L record since 2002.
4. Palm Springs (7-4) — Made playoffs for 14th consecutive year.
5. Shadow Hills (7-5) — Won first playopff game in school history.
6. Xavier Prep (7-3) — Finished with school’s all-time best W-L record.
7. Coachella Valley (4-6) — Increased win total for third consecutive year.
8. Desert Hot Springs (2-8) — Beat Yucca Valley and narrowly missed playoffs.
9. Indio (0-10) — The Rajahs had a steadily improving offense at season’s end.
10. Desert Mirage (0-10) — The rebuilding continues into the offseason.
La Quinta is a relatively easy choice for the No. 1 spot. The Blackhawks were co-DVL champs, beat Palm Desert and Palm Springs, and went as far as anybody in the playoffs. The tough question begins with No. 2.
I’m not too keen on giving a team that didn’t have a winning record such a high ranking, but Palm Desert has the next-best resume. As mentioned earlier, the Aztecs beat Palm Springs and Cathedral City, and were co-DVL champs. They finished the season stronger than most.
Palm Springs shut Cathedral City out in the final regular season game of the season, effectively earning the final playoff spot in the DVL. But I still think Cathedral City had a slightly better year. The Lions beat La Quinta and perhaps could have beaten Palm Desert had Orlando Wallace no been suspended. Playoffs or not, Cathedral City may have been the second or third best team in the valley this year.
I like Palm Springs a lot. The defense was stellar at times this year, and the offense is blossoming with a slew of youngsters. Still, the Indians were inconsistent, and should be even better next year.
It’s difficult to deny Shadow Hills, one of only two teams in the valley that made it beyond the second round of the playoffs. The Knights were inconsistent, but this was undoubtedly the best season in school history.
Same goes for Xavier Prep. The Saints had a special season, despite not making the playoffs. They had the most prolific passing offense in the desert.
Coachella Valley improved for the third year in a row, and also has a nice core of young player returning. The Arabs disappointed down the stretch, but have a lot to look forward to next season.
The other three teams all failed to meet expectations. Desert Hot Springs did beat Yucca Valley, which should be noted.