As football kickoff inches closer around the country, MaxPreps forecasts the top five teams in the District of Columbia for the 2009 season.
1. St. John's
One of the strongest football programs in the District, Joe Patterson and the St. John's Cadets will take the field with a very deep team, led by two-way star Charles Brown. Brown can change the game as a running back, receiver or defensive back. The Cadets also have a strong line that will open holes for Brown. St. John's has athletes and they are very well coached.
2. H.D. Woodson
Woodson is the returning DCIAA champion and has Virginia Tech commitment Ricardo Young under center for the third straight year. Expect Woodson to be the team to beat among public schools.
Gonzaga will go as far as junior quarterback Kevin Hogan takes it. Hogan started halfway through the 2008 season and will take over full-time this fall. Hogan is a tremendous talent and he also will see significant floor time for the Gonzaga basketball team, usually among the DC area elite. Hogan's sophomore experience will give the Eagles a significant advantage this season.
Blessed with ideal size and a 4.5 40-yard dash, Javarie Johnson is the highest-rated recruit in D.C. After a 90-tackle, 10-sack season as a junior. Johnson is being flooded with offers from Division I schools, including Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Michigan. He is expected to visit Coral Gables and the University of Miami in the near future. Dunbar always competes for the DC title, and 2009 should be no different.
5. St. Albans/Coolidge
Too close to call for the final spot, so we will recognize two deserving programs. Coolidge is coming off a 9-3 season while St. Albans will look to improve on a 4-6 record from a year ago.