By Ray Hamill — The early-season MaxPreps baseball and softball rankings are in, with two Humboldt-Del Norte League teams in the top 100 in California.
Leading the way among the local contingent of 18 varsity baseball and softball teams is McKinleyville baseball.
The Panthers are ranked No. 58 overall in the state, ahead of any other local program.
The Mack boys, who are off to a 5-0 start, are also the only local team ranked No. 1 within their own North Coast Section division, coming in ahead of the field in Division IV.
Three other local teams are currently ranked No. 2 in their NCS divisions, including Arcata baseball, which is just one spot behind McKinleyville in Division IV.
The Tigers are also ranked No. 90 overall in the state, the only other local team to break the top 100.
If the MaxPrep rankings are to be believed, it could be a bumper spring at McKinleyville High, in both baseball and softball.
Not only do the Panthers have the top-ranked local baseball team, but they also have the top-ranked local softball team.
The McKinleyville girls are No. 195 in the state, well ahead of the rest of the H-DNL, with No. 443 Eureka the only other program to break the top 500.
McKinleyville is also No. 2 among Division-IV schools in the NCS, the same ranking the Ferndale girls have in Division VI.
The Arcata girls are off to an impressive 4-1 start this season and are ranked No. 6 in NCS Division IV, just four spots behind their close rivals.
St. Bernard’s is also ranked No. 6 in Division V, while Eureka and Fortuna are each ranked No. 7 in Division III and IV, respectively.
Hoopa Valley is No. 8 in Division V, giving the H-DNL girls eight teams in the top eight within their respective brackets.
Del Norte is No. 14 in Division IV.
The H-DNL boys, meanwhile have only three teams ranked higher than No 11 in their NCS brackets.
In addition to Nos. 1 and 2 in Division IV — McKinleyville and Arcata — St Bernard’s is currently No. 3 in Division V (No. 199 in the state).
State Rankings/NCS Division Rankings
McKinleyville — 58 in California, 1 in NCS D-IV
Arcata — 90 in California, 2 in NCS D-IV
St. Bernard’s — 199 in California, 3 in NCS D-V
Eureka — 408 in California, 11 in NCS D-III
Ferndale — 682 in California, 12 in NCS D-V
Del Norte — 705 in California, 13 in NCS D-IV
Fortuna — 846 in California, 16 in NCS D-IV
Hoopa Valley and South Fork, no rankings available
McKinleyville — 195 in California, 2 in NCS D-IV
Eureka — 443 in California, 7 in NCS D-III
Arcata — 531 in California, 6 in NCS D-IV
Fortuna — 554 in California, 7 in NCS D-IV
Ferndale — 584 in California, 2 in NCS D-VI
Del Norte — 789 in California, 14 in NCS D-IV
St. Bernard’s — 819 in California, 6 in NCS D-V
Hoopa Valley — 876 in California, 8 in NCS D-V
South Fork, no rankings available