POWER RANKINGS — The calm before the storm

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – The Crusaders will be the only Big 4 team in action this weekend.

By Ray Hamill — Three of the Big 4 teams will have a bye this coming weekend, as they get set to kick off league play the following week.

St. Bernard’s is the one exception, and the Crusaders will face off against St. Vincent de Paul at Crusader Field on Saturday afternoon in what should be a competitive game.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

It will also give us some added perspective on what to expect in the Big 4 over the next month.

In what was an entertaining game two weeks ago, Fortuna fell to the Mustangs by a score of 22-15 and it was a game that could easily have gone either way.

It will be interesting to see how the Crusaders match up against the same team this weekend.

Interestingly, for what it’s worth, SB is the highest ranked local team in the North Coast Section, according to Maxpreps, coming in at No. 33 overall, which is five spots behind St. Vincent and five spots ahead of Fortuna.

The Crusaders are also ranked No. 2 in Division 5, trailing only Miramonte, which is 6-0 and ranked No. 27 overall.

All of that suggests the Crusaders should be well capable of contending for a section title in their division this year.

Fortuna is in Division 6 and has dropped in the rankings in recent weeks, falling from No. 2 to No. 5, but I wouldn’t read too much into that. 

The Huskies will still be a handful for any team in the division, which is led by No. 25 overall Moreau Catholic. 

With a huge league opener between St. Bernard’s and Fortuna at Crusader Field next week, the Big 4 should begin with a bang and give us a clearer idea of who should really be No. 1 in our Power Rankings.

For now, the two teams remain deadlocked in the top spot as they have been for the past few weeks.

The Del Norte Warriors, meanwhile, have won three straight games to go to 4-2 on the season.

The Warriors are ranked No. 4 in NCS Division 4 and will likely have to win the Big 4 to host a playoff game.

They won comfortably enough against Eureka this past weekend and remain a strong No. 3 in our Power Rankings.

And once again, as it has been for most of the season, there are no changes at Nos. 4 or 5.

It took a huge comeback, but No. 4 Arcata defeated No. 5 Ferndale in what was arguably the game of the season at the Redwood Bowl on Friday night.

The two teams will face off again in Ferndale on the final weekend of the regular season and that’s a game local fans might want to circle on their calendars.

Outside of our top five, Hoopa ended a three-game losing streak with a victory over McKinleyville last weekend, but the Panthers, Eureka Loggers and South Fork Cubs all remain winless as we head into week eight of the 2023 season.


1T — Fortuna (5-2)

The Huskies got back to winning ways with a big win over Healdsburg

1T — St. Bernard’s (5-1)

The Crusaders passed a big test at Segerstrom

3 — Del Norte (4-2)

The Warriors are getting healthy and that will make them a dangerous team in the Big 4

4 — Arcata (4-2)

The Tigers now have sole possession of the lead in the L4

5 — Ferndale (3-3)

The Wildcats let one get away at the Redwood Bowl

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