Football season is upon us and the first week of games will be here before we know it. With that in mind, here is the first look at who will be the elite teams in the New York City football leagues this upcoming season. Let's look at the preseason edition of the ESPNNewYork.com New York Top 10 poll.
1. St. Anthony's: The defending CHSFL champion loses a lot from last season, but like it does every year, will be reloaded to make another run this year. The team returns running backs Brian Sherlock and Dariyan Riley, who combined for over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. The Friars will have to replace quarterback Charlie Raffa.
2. Tottenville: The Pirates are the clear-cut favorites to win the PSAL title this season. The Pirates lost in the semifinals last season, but will tough to beat with rising junior sophomore quarterback Brandon Barnes and rising senior wide receiver Alvin Cornelius, a Syracuse recruit.
3. Xaverian: The Clippers didn't live up to their potential last season, going 5-5 and losing in the first round of the playoffs, but are littered with talented playmakers for this season. Running backs Laray Smith and Isaiah Kearney will be a potent group in the backfield for the Clippers.
4. Archbishop Stepinac: The Crusaders make the move to the AAA-AA Division this season after going undefeated and winning the Class "AA" title last year, but are well-equipped to handle the move. Running back Caleb Gilligan-Evans and tight end/defensive end Austin Tapps should anchor the team and it also returns a bevy of starters.
5. Poly Prep: The Blue Devils an independent schedule, but will again be one of the better teams in New York City. Safety/Tight End Malik Rodriguez, who is headed to Ohio, quarterback Kevin Gebon and running back Mike Bernandez will guide a team coming off an 8-1 season.
6. Erasmus Hall: The Dutchmen teased us with their potential last season, but didn't put it all together. That shouldn't the case this season. Erasmus has the top recruit in the city in cornerback Wayne Morgan. Coach Danny Landberg said that rising senior linebacker Luder Jean Louis is the leader of the team.
7. Curtis: The Warriors lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs last season, but will return with perhaps the most promising young quarterback in the city in rising sophomore Prince Dukes. Three transfers should help the team, according to coach Pete Gambardella, and he said his team has the chance to have an explosive offense.
8. Lincoln: The Railsplitters lost plenty to graduation, including top recruit Ishaq Williams, but the city finalists have a lot of their lineman back, according to head coach Shawn O'Connor. Running back Kareem Folkes will anchor the backfield and rising senior Jessel Jones will take over at quarterback.
9. Fort Hamilton: The defending PSAL champions, who defeated Lincoln for the city title, will be relying on their young players to compete this season. Rising senior Marvin Centeno is back at quarterback and should be a steady presence, while rising junior wide receiver/cornerback Travon Reid Segure will be a key player for the Tigers.
10.Iona Prep: The Gaels, like many teams on this list, lose some talented players from last season, but should be able to recover form their losses. Rising senior cornerback Justin Combs is a top recruit in the area, but Iona Prep will have to find new starters at quarterback and running back.