Good Counsel is accustomed to being near the top of The Post’s high school football rankings.
This season, though, marked a number of firsts for the Olney private school, which won its third consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship to finish No. 1 for the third year in a row as well.
The Falcons (12-0) went undefeated for the first time in school history and went wire-to-wire as The Post’s top-ranked team. (The complete Top 20, plus interactive poll, can be found here.)
“It certainly puts a lot of pressure on you when you’re Number One, you’re now a target,” Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy said, adding that like most coaches he would prefer to start the season ranked lower and have his team gradually move up with little fanfare. “I’ve found you get super-human efforts from every single team you play.”
The Falcons, though, were up to the task, starting with a pair of close, high-profile victories. The season opener required overtime to beat Manatee of Bradenton, Fla., 24-17, then came a 26-21 victory over Gilman. Manatee will play this week in the Florida 7A championship game, while Gilman did not lose another game and finished the season as The (Baltimore) Sun’s top-ranked team.
It has been more than a decade since a Washington-area team had such a dominant stretch. Urbana won a Maryland-record 50 consecutive games and four state titles from 1998 through 2001, while Seneca Valley rattled off three consecutive 13-0 state championship seasons from 1997 through 1999.
Those teams, while successful, lacked the star power that made this season’s Good Counsel team so special. Nearly 20 Falcons already have been offered college scholarships and the team’s elite seniors – wide receiver-defensive back Stefon Diggs, running back Wes Brown and lineman Ryan Watson – are sorting through more than three dozen offers apiece, many from the biggest names in college football. That is why Milloy considers this his most talented team.
“Based on the number of kids that have scholarship offers and the types of schools they are going to, that pretty much settles that argument,” Milloy said.
Old Mill (14-0), which staged a furious rally to win its second Maryland 4A title in three seasons, finished No. 2, while Virginia AAA Division 6 runner-up Centreville (13-2) was third. Westfield (12-1), which beat Centreville in the regular season but lost to the Wildcats in the Northern Region Division 6 final, was fourth, followed by Maryland 4A runner-up Quince Orchard (13-1).
No. 6 Briar Woods (14-1), which won 14 consecutive games after losing its season opener, was the area’s only state champion in Virginia, winning its second consecutive AA Division 4 title.
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