Debates can center on a variety of subjects. Obama vs. Romney: Re-elect or try again? Michael Phelps: The greatest Olympian ever?

But when it comes to the postseason in high school football, at least around these parts, no one can argue against the Peninsula District's dominance.

Thirteen of the last 17 state champions in Group AAA Division 5 have been from the PD. Hampton has the most in Group AAA history with 17. Phoebus is next with seven, all coming in the 21st century.

If history is any guide, at least four and probably five teams from the Peninsula District will play on November's second weekend. At least two, and probably three, will advance. And one — perhaps Phoebus for an unprecedented fifth consecutive time — will be left standing in Charlottesville on Dec. 8.



Strengths | Excellent running game, strong up front, and used to playing in December.

Weaknesses | A new QB for the fifth straight year.

Key stretch | The regular-season finale against Hampton on Nov. 1 could decide the region's No. 1 seed.

Best-Case Scenario | With their usual smash-mouth formula, the Phantoms make it five in a row.

Worst-Case Scenario | With no balance on offense, the Phantoms are upset in the region semifinals.


Strengths | RB Marshawn Williams and ATH Deon Newsome, both Virginia Tech commitments, are big time.

Weaknesses | No proven QB and holes to fill on defense.

Key stretch | The season finale against Phoebus on Nov. 1 could decide the region's No. 1 seed.

Best-case scenario | A strong running game carries the Crabbers to their first title since 2005.

Worst-case scenario | No passing game and a spotty defense leads to a second-round exit.