By Ray Hamill — Seven H-DNL football teams moved either up or down in this week’s North Coast Section rankings on MaxPreps.com, including two that could have a big impact in the playoff seedings.
In Division 5, the Del Norte Warriors dropped one spot to No. 2 despite their big shutout win at Fortuna on Saturday night.
After one week at No. 1, the Warriors drop back behind San Marin, which has occupied the top spot in the division for most of the season.
Both teams have looked very impressive this season and whichever gets the top seed for the postseason could have a huge advantage in the NCS decider, providing they both make it that far.
Also in Division 5, St. Bernard’s moves up one spot to No. 3, just one spot behind the Warriors.
If those rankings hold for the postseason, it could result in an all-HDNL semifinal showdown between the Crusaders and Warriors.
Rounding out the local contingent in Division 5, Eureka drops two spots to No. 8, while Fortuna drops one spot to No. 10.
In Division 6, meanwhile, the Arcata Tigers also dropped one spot this week despite winning a seventh straight game over the weekend.
The Tigers are now No. 3, trailing No. 1 Salesian and No. 2 Justin-Siena, and it’s a ranking that could ultimately mean the difference between hosting a semifinal or not.
Traveling for playoff games doesn’t have as big an effect on the H-DNL teams, all of whom are well used to long road trips, but hosting those games can make a huge difference when the opposing teams are not used to long road trips or playing on muddy grass fields.
In Division 7, meanwhile, McKinleyville stays put at No. 6, while Ferndale drops two spots to No. 9 and Hoopa jumps two spots to No. 10.
In eight-person football, South Fork is ranked No. 5.