MAKING A CASE FOR SENECA VALLEY
When a team starts the season at No. 1, as long as they don't lose, they should stay No. 1. Seneca Valley has been No. 1 for three straight years, never losing. They are clearly the best team in the area. Hylton has had a great season, but they didn't start the season No. 1. ... Culpeper deserves to be in the top five, they beat a nationally ranked team and won the state title, but Seneca is a nationally ranked team and won its third straight title. ... I think the decision is clear. Seneca is No. 1.
Matt Dewhurst, Germantown
I believe that Seneca Valley should be No. 1. How can you argue with a 39-game win streak? They have been No. 1 all year and no one has beaten them to prove otherwise. This is not to take anything away from the great accomplishments of the other teams, but Seneca Valley is king of the hill until they get knocked off. They are the biggest game on the other teams' schedule every week and they still manage to keep winning when teams are preparing for them the whole season. The coach has done a splendid job getting these kids focused and prepared weekly.
I had the privilege of seeing Seneca Valley play in the Maryland state final at College Park. I also traveled to Richmond and saw Hylton play Varina and Culpeper play Henrico in the Virginia state finals. ... My picks would be: 1. Seneca Valley; 2. Hylton; 3. Culpeper.
Wayne Powers, Hagerstown, Md.
MAKING A CASE FOR HYLTON
Hylton beat Friendly, last year's Maryland 3A champion; Dunbar, this year's D.C. champion; and has been the best in Virginia two years straight. Hylton No. 1.
Bill Goodman, Dumfries
Hylton clearly deserves to be ranked No. 1 in your biased opinion poll that always favors Maryland schools. Hylton is ranked higher in the country than Seneca Valley [Hylton is No. 14, Seneca No. 23 in USA Today] and it plays a much harder schedule. Virginia is clearly stronger in football. Plus, Hylton attempted to schedule a game with Seneca this year but they refused. ... I have always wondered why they never play anyone from Virginia, because they couldn't handle them.
Gavin Turner, Woodbridge
MAKING A CASE FOR CULPEPER
I think Culpeper should be ranked No. 1 because it beat Hampton, which was No. 1 in Virginia the past four years.
You guys gave pretty good coverage of all area prep football, even considering the "rural" Culpeper Blue Devils, who are on the fringe. But hey, the Culpeper Blue Devils should be No. 1 overall. They overcame numerous odds just to get to the final. Defeating two past state champions [E.C. Glass and Hampton]. ... They then went to the state finals for the first time ever. The pressure would have been overwhelming for most teams, especially playing in Henrico's home area. ... It is often said that offenses win games but defenses win championships. These boys have done it with both. But they never did lose the team concept that got them where they are.
Mark P. Frazier
Without taking anything away from the incredible 39-game winning streak of Seneca Valley, I think Culpeper, which defeated nationally ranked Hampton on its home field, should be No. 1. No. 2 should be Hylton, which has a 30-game winning streak, and two straight AAA Division 6 championships. Both Culpeper and Hylton have tougher roads to a championship than Seneca Valley. They both have to play teams in the playoffs that are well out of the metro area, including teams from Richmond, southwest Virginia and the Hampton Roads area.
Scott Whetzel, Arlington
Logical and convincing arguments can be made for all three undefeated state championship teams. Seneca Valley's winning streak is certainly impressive, as is Hylton's come-from-behind victory over Varina to win its second straight state title. But if you're taking into consideration only this year, you have to give the nod to Culpeper. They were the only area team to defeat a nationally ranked squad (Hampton was ranked fifth when Culpeper defeated them). ... Maybe I'm biased because I work at Culpeper High School, but my vote goes to the Blue Devils.
MORE THAN ONE?
The average national ranking of Seneca Valley and Hylton are so close that I am sure you would have no complaints if you crowned both of these excellent, unbeaten state champions as tied for No. 1 in your poll.
Norman Gross, Alexandria
The Washington Post should do the right thing and create a final poll with tri-metro champions. ... What The Washington Post should do is promote a Metro championship game with the proceeds going to charity. The game could be played at RFK, College Park, W.T. Woodson or Washington-Lee the week prior to Christmas.
Mike Lewis, Oakton