Gaels Prepare to Host Nation's No. 1 Ranked Team


Ho hum. Another week, another nationally ranked opponent for Bishop Gorman High School. Only this isn’t just any ranked team.

The Gaels (4-1) will host Booker T. Washington High School (5-0) from Miami, Fla., ranked No. 1 in the nation by both USA Today and MaxPreps.com, on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Fertitta Field in a contest that will be nationally televised by ESPNU.

It’s just the latest of ranked opponents for Gorman, which opened the season with a 28-21 loss to No. 14 Mountain Pointe of Phoenix but has bounced back with four straight wins including three over some of the top schools in southern California – Santa Margarita, Anaheim Servite and Encino Crespi. The Gaels also knocked off east coast power Bergen Catholic, 20-17, in their last outing in New Jersey on Sept. 21.

“This is definitely a good opportunity to be able to play against them, to be able to show people that we’re definitely one of the top teams in the country and that we can compete with anybody,” hard-hitting junior safety Nicco Fertitta said.

Check out the preview of Friday's matchup at MyLVSports.com

“We’ve played a lot of great football teams over the years,” Gorman head coach Tony Sanchez said. “The good thing for us is that (we won’t) be really awe-struck at all. … I believe this will be our seventh or eighth game against against a Top 10 team. It’s fantastic. We love having No. 1 here. We’re excited about the matchup and we’re ready to compete.”

The Gaels, who come in ranked No. 25 in the nation by MaxPreps.com, will have their hands full against a Tornadoes squad loaded with big-time Division I prospects including 6-foot-5 defensive Chad “Big Shorty” Thomas, who has committed to Miami, and quarterback Treon Harris, a Florida State commit in the Charlie Wardmold.

Washington opened the season on the road at then No. 3-ranked Norcross, Ga., and scored a dominating 55-0 victory. The Tornadoes’ closest game was a 28-17 victory over Miami Central, which is rated No. 8 in the nation this week.

Still, Sanchez welcomes the challenge of taking on arguably the most talented prep team in the nation.

“We know we have our work cut out for us,” Sanchez said, “but we wouldn’t want to play anybody else this week.”