Hilltoppers ranked No. 13 in first poll

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By The Staff

It’s not even two weeks into the official New Mexico football preseason, but MaxPreps.com has already thrown its two cents in to determine the top teams in Class 4A.

The first preseason New Mexico prep football rankings were released by MaxPreps Wednesday, and the Los Alamos Hilltoppers are starting at right about the same spot they finished the 2012 season.

The Hilltoppers are ranked No. 13 in the first Class 4A polls, right smack dab in the middle of the 25 4A football teams.

Los Alamos finished the 2012 season with a record of 6-4 and was second in the District 2-4A title race behind Santa Fe. Los Alamos was just squeezed out of the playoffs last season — it was between the Hilltoppers and the Roswell Coyotes for the 12th and final postseason at-large bid, but it was given to the Coyotes.

In the preseason power rankings, Los Alamos finished with a rating of zero, putting it in a dead heat with Del Norte and Valencia.

By contrast, the preseason No. 1 in the MaxPreps rankings, Goddard, had a rating of 46.8, while No. 25 team Chaparral had a rating of -40.7.

Goddard is the defending 4A champ heading into this season. It defeated Los Lunas 17-14 last year’s state title game.

The Rockets’ rating was 14.7 points better than Artesia, which finished at the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
Rounding out the top five were Los Lunas, Belen and Aztec. Farmington, Los Alamos’ week two opponent, finished ninth.

MaxPreps uses a mathematical formula to come up with its rankings based largely on past performance against similarly-sized schools with playoff games weighted more heavily than regular season games. Media and coaches polls of teams do not figure into the ranking formula.

Los Alamos, which opens its season Aug. 30 at Pojoaque Valley, was the top-rated District 2-4A team.
Santa Fe, which lost some key skill position players to graduation, finished No. 17 in the preseason poll. Bernalillo was 19th overall, while Española Valley and Capital finished 23rd and 24th out of 25.