We're already three weeks into the high school football season and the landscape has featured some expected — and unexpected — results.

With that, we'll begin ranking our local programs at this stage of the 2019 campaign.

A few ground rules: First off, these are power rankings as opposed to an overall ranking, meaning that we're not taking into account the hypothetical result if any of these teams played each other.

There are divisions for a reason, and nine out of 10 times the higher division would win a hypothetical game pitting the two teams against each other. Therefore, the rankings would be dominated by those upper-echelon programs.

These rankings simply take into account the recent successes of the local teams, with strength and overall quality of the wins being used to decide tiebreakers.

Secondly, these rankings focus primarily on teams from within Kern County.

Without further ado, here are this week's power rankings:

1. Liberty Patriots (3-0): Liberty has been one of the area's premier teams over the past few seasons and this year is no different. The Patriots opened their season with three straight road games and have only scored 24, 21 and 17 points in those contests, respectively, but the team's defense has been holding things down. Liberty still has one more road game before their 2019 home opener — and that would be Thursday, at D-I foe Clovis-Buchanan.

2. Bakersfield Christian Eagles (2-0): Despite being at No. 2, the Eagles are nipping at Liberty's heels. BCHS, coming off their bye week, has pitched two shutouts already and has comfortably put up points on the offensive side of the ball. The Eagles will travel to a tough Santa Maria-St. Joseph's team this week, which defeated the same two teams — Garces and Visalia-Central Valley Christian — that BCHS has this season.

3. Ridgeview Wolf Pack (2-1): One team that is not afraid to put up points is the Wolf Pack. Ridgeview has put up up 44, 13 (in a close loss against Liberty), and a whopping 63 in Friday's shootout win over Frontier. Ridgeview appears to be back among the top area teams and is quickly becoming a threat in D-I. The Wolf Pack's early-season performance has added a few more circles around that Oct. 18 game against BCHS. For now, Ridgeview will face another tough test on Friday against a Bakersfield High squad reeling from a tough, 28-20, defeat to Paramount.

4. Kennedy Thunderbirds (3-0): The defending section champ is picking back up where they left off last season, rolling to another 3-0 start. The Thunderbirds picked up expected blowout wins over Foothill and Mira Monte, then opened up a 28-3 lead over Highland before holding off the Scots late in last week's home victory. Kennedy will travel on Friday to a Madera-Liberty team that blew a 21-7 halftime lead to Kennedy's SSL and in-town rival Chavez last week.

5. Centennial Golden Hawks (2-1): I figured the Golden Hawks would have the window to compete in the SWYL this season with other teams on the downswing, and so far that's proven to be accurate. After opening the year with a 35-6 in over North, they then fell to a talented D-I foe in Arroyo Grande, before rebounding at home on Friday against Merced-Golden Valley (35-21 victory). Centennial is winning the games they're supposed to, but needs an upset win to help propel them upward. They close out their nonconference slate against two top D-II teams from Santa Maria — on Friday they travel to Santa Maria-Righetti before hosting Santa Maria-St. Joseph's on Sept. 20.

Best of the Rest: Chavez (3-0), McFarland (2-0), North (2-1), East (2-1), Highland (2-1)

(14) comments


You guys ever go to CenCalPreps.com? Could use some south valley support over there.


BHS, unranked, just beat the number 3 team, and the number 5 team just got beat by 8 TDs. That's why the ranking is questioned. Seriously, putting McFarland or Chavez ahead of the Drillers, no matter how much you may hate them, is not warranted based on simple records. That was 92s point.


I'm not a Driller fan, but he's absolutely right. Calabasas and Paramount are traditional powerhouses. I'm not sure just how good the Drillers are THIS year, but in California football, they are the winningest team of all time. They may even lose to Ridgeview this week who have a solid team, but you don't necessarily rank teams by record without considering strength of schedule. Hanging with Paramount is harder than beating Avenal. Their whole defensive backfield are going D-1. As for the system used for this ranking, it's really just based on record, and they state so. But then they say strength of schedule is used, and it obviously isn't. But what it boils down to is that rankings are opinions, and mean nothing compared to on field results. MY opinion is BHS is going to end up in a better position at the end. Driller92s post isnt so much comparing BHS to Alabama, it's comparing opponents. BHS actively schedules high quality early season opponents. They don't care about polls, they want championships. They probably won't get there, but this 'ranking" will certainly give them motivation. Good luck to ALL Kern County teams!


McFarland ranked ahead of B.H.S.?

Is the ranking contingent on where a dart lands?


I dunno, but I'm betting BHS would give Centennial a slap down. Records mean less when you compare opponents.


Where is Garces? Oh wait...this is good teams.

You guys hype them so much they must be paying you. Sad

Gene Pool Chlorinator

You obviously know nothing about football- I'm sure you were on the typing team in high school, weren't you?


Garces is getting it's hot shot QB back for the next game. They'll probably improve.

I don't understand the criteria for the poll. Just rank the teams against other teams in their state Divisions. You can bet an undefeated DIV IV team would have a hard time against a winless DIV I team.

And just ignore dic he is one.


The Drillers aren't ranked on here? What a joke!! The Californian's sports reporting has gone downhill since Trevor left and the guy previous to him was even better.


Dude, the Drillers are 1-2. That Trevor guy was totally clueless, he's not even in the news business any longer. Get a grip....


dlc, so by your logic, if Alabama opens against Clemson and LSU but loses both and is 1-2, that means they can't beat Bowling who is 3-0? Dude, when you learn about rankings and sports in general, you let me know


Driller92, sooooo are the Drillers are supposed to be Alabama in your analogy? That's your problem, the Drillers are NOT Alabama. The Drillers are more like Bowling. But don't worry, you can just lower your expectations and you'll be fine.


dlc, are you really the dude that made these rankings? It's okay that you made a mistake.


Driller92, you’re wrong again; however, the author of the article and the rankings made it clear that these are “power” rankings based on parameters set by those doing the rankings. So get over yourself and read the article in order to understand the rankings. Unlike your ego, the sun does not rise and set based on the success of Driller football.

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