Summer workouts are in full swing and the kickoff to the high school football season is only weeks away.
Continuing with a trend that has intensified in the last few years, there are a number of intriguing interstate matchups involving top teams from all parts of the country.
Using the MaxPreps Computer "Project a Matchup" feature, we have made forecasts for some of the top 10 interstate games in the nation this season.St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) vs. Curtis (River Ridge, La.)Details:
Sept. 13, Mercedes Benz SuperdomeComputer prediction (Neutral field):
John Curtis 27, St. Thomas Aquinas 22
Save for a stunning loss to Don Bosco Prep last season, St. Thomas Aquinas has been remarkably good in premier interstate showcases. John Curtis defeated another Florida powerhouse in Plant last fall, but a victory against Aquinas would be even more impressive. St. Thomas Aquinas should be better than last season, while Curtis will regress slightly. Still, with the game in their own back yard, the Patriots could have the edge.
Paramus Catholic (N.J.) vs. St. Ignatius (Cleveland)Details:
Sept. 28, at St. IgnatiusComputer prediction (neutral field):
Paramus Catholic 34, St. Ignatius 14
Ohio powerhouse St. Ignatius is perhaps the state's most successful program. In contrast, Paramus Catholic is a newcomer to the national scene after its state title in 2012. Led by superstar Jabrill Peppers
and with plenty of other returners, this is a game that Paramus Catholic will be favored in. If St. Ignatius makes a deep playoff run, it could be a key point on Paramus Catholic's resume' for a potential national title.Norcross (Ga.) vs. Washington (Miami)Details:
Aug. 24, at NorcrossComputer prediction (neutral field):
Norcross 31, Booker T. Washinton 24
For the second year in a row, a top Miami team is taking on a top Atlanta-area team. This is also a battle of two Top 10 teams with explosive offenses and athletic defenses. Booker T. Washington has an edge on offense with returning quarterback Treon Harris back behind center. Led by Lorenzo Carter, the Norcross defense is among the nation's best. If dynamic athlete Myles Autry is back to 100 percent health after offseason surgery, Norcross will be difficult to defeat at home.Hoover (Ala.) vs. Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.)Details:
Aug. 30, at HooverComputer prediction (neutral field):
Hoover 31, Colquitt County 12
This matchup pits Rush Propst's former team (Hoover) against his current one (Colquitt County) in a game that also pairs two of the top teams from their respective states. Hoover is coming off perhaps its best season in program history. Colquitt County has been enigmatic at times under Propst and will certainly need to bring its best game to Alabama.Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) vs. Immokalee (Fla.)Details:
Aug. 30, at ImmokaleeComputer prediction (neutral field):
Our Lady of Good Counsel 28, Immokalee 7
Our Lady of Good Counsel needs to replace the likes of Brendan Marshall, Kendall Fuller and Dorian O'Daniel, but the line play on both sides will be among the best that Bob Milloy has seen during his time there. Despite losing by one point in last year's Class 5A final, Immokalee is the decided home underdog.Central (Miami) vs. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)Game details:
Sept. 21, at Don Bosco PrepComputer prediction (neutral field):
Miami Central 31, Don Bosco Prep 12
Don Bosco Prep has been a slayer of top teams from other states, including victories over Manatee and St. Thomas Aquinas in recent years. However, Miami Central, ranked No. 2 in the preseason Xcellent 25, could be its toughest foe yet. The computer likes Central, but the game will almost certainly be a close one.
Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) vs. Curtis (River Ridge, La.)Game details:
Sept. 6, at John CurtisComputer prediction (neutral field):
Bergen Catholic 28, John Curtis 26
Bergen Catholic notched a huge road win against Bishop Gorman last year, proving that its potent offense can be effective far from home. Reigning national champion John Curtis has to overcome some personnel losses, but will again be among the country's top teams. With the game in Louisiana, the Patriots will be favored.
Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) vs. Ensworth (Nashville, Tenn.)Game details:
Aug. 23, at TrinityComputer prediction (neutral field):
Ensworth 24, Trinity 20
Separated by only 175 miles, Trinity and Ensworth have emerged as two of the nation's top programs in the last five seasons. A matchup of 2011 Trinity vs. 2012 Ensworth would be one for the ages, but fans will "settle" for the 2013 matchup, which will still be one of the top games in the country. With the advantage of home field, Trinity should be considered the favorite.Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) vs. Apopka (Apopka, Fla.)Game details:
Aug. 24, at ByrnesComputer prediction (neutral field):
Apopka 38, Byrnes 28
Though a 10-point favorite in a neutral setting, Apopka could be the underdog on the road against South Carolina powerhouse Byrnes, which apart from a loss to St. Thomas Aquinas in 2009, has been remarkably good in interstate games. Regardless of who comes out on top, expect no fewer than 50 points to be scored.Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) vs. Central (Fresno, Calif.)Game details:
Aug. 24, at Valor ChristianComputer prediction (neutral field):
Valor Christian 22, Central 20
Valor Christian has been the state's most impressive team lately and returns Stanford commit Christian McCaffrey
. It will have to contend with blue-chip receiver Michiah Quick
, but if Valor Christian can find a way to win, it would be a nice victory over a Central squad that advanced to its section final last fall.