Iowa high school preseason football rankings: There's a twist in Class 2A

6 panelists all choose a different No. 1 in that class

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Six ballots. Six different No. 1s.

There’s not a consensus on the state’s top Class 2A football team in the preseason poll released today by The Gazette and KGYM Radio. Not even close.

In an extremely balanced 2A poll, defending-champion Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley raked in the most points and will begin the season ranked No. 1. The Nighthawks are one of two defending champs to start the season on top; Pella (3A) is the other.

The other top-rated teams are Ankeny Centennial (4A), Iowa City Regina (1A), Council Bluffs St. Albert (Class A) and Harris-Lake Park (8-Player).

None of the No. 1 teams are unanimous, and the poll diversity is most striking in 2A.

BHRV (12-1 last year) received one of the No. 1 votes. So did Monroe PCM (9-2) and Mount Vernon (9-3), who are tied for the No. 2 slot. And so did No. 4 Carroll Kuemper (9-2), No. 5 Union (11-2) and No. 7 Williamsburg (8-3). The Nighthawks topped Union, 44-21, for the 2A title last November.

Centennial (10-2) edges three-time defending champion West Des Moines Dowling (12-1) by a 57-54 margin atop the 4A rankings. The Jaguars and the Maroons split the first-place votes, three each. Dowling beat Centennial, 41-17, in the semifinals last year, but the Jaguars return a good share of their top players.

Iowa City West (10-3), which made a run to the finals last year, is No. 4. Cedar Rapids Washington (10-2) is No. 6 and Cedar Rapids Prairie (9-2) is tied for ninth.

Pella (13-0) has captured the last three 3A titles and owns a 41-game win streak. The Dutch are the No. 1 team in that class by a wide margin. Norwalk (8-2) and Cedar Rapids Xavier (11-1) are second and third. Pella edged the Saints, 34-30, in the semifinals.

Regina had a six-year championship run end at the hands of Western Christian, 47-34, in last year’s final. But the Regals (11-2) find themselves atop the 1A poll again. They’re followed by Van Meter (11-1) and Western Christian (12-1).

A semifinalist last year, St. Albert (11-1) edges two-time defending champ Gladbrook-Reinbeck (13-0) by a 56-54 margin for the top spot in Class A. West Sioux (9-2) is No. 3.

Don Bosco won the 8-Player title last year, 48-21 over Harris-Lake Park. But the Wolves edge the Dons by a 56-53 count to start this season. Both teams were 12-1 in 2016.

This year’s panel consists of Jeff Johnson, K.J. Pilcher, Jeff Linder, Nathan Ford and Douglas Miles of The Gazette and Scott Unash of KGYM-AM.

Class 4A

1.

Ankeny Centennial

57 points (3 first-place votes)

Last year: 10-2, State semifinalist
Week 1: vs. Johnston
 
2.

West Des Moines Dowling

54 points (3 first-place votes)

Last year: 12-1, State champion
Week 1: vs. No. 8 Ankeny
 
3.

West Des Moines Valley

47 points

Last year: 10-1, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: at No. 9 Bettendorf
 
4.

Iowa City West

43 points

Last year: 10-3, State runner-up
Week 1: at Southeast Polk
 
5.

Waukee

38 points

Last year: 8-3, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: vs. Urbandale
 
6.

Cedar Rapids Washington

18 points

Last year: 10-2, State semifinalist
Week 1: vs. No. 9 Cedar Rapids Prairie
 
7.

Lewis Central

13 points

Last year: 6-3, State first round
Week 1: at 3A No. 10 Harlan
 
8.

Ankeny

12 points

Last year: 6-4, State first round
Week 1: at No. 2 West Des Moines Dowling
 
9.

Bettendorf

10 points

Last year: 7-3, State first round
Week 1: vs. No. 3 West Des Moines Valley
 
9.

Cedar Rapids Prairie

10 points

Last year: 9-2, State quarterfinalist 
Week 1: at No. 6 Cedar Rapids Washington
 

Others receiving votes: Johnston 9, Ames 6, Southeast Polk 6, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 3, Pleasant Valley 3, Cedar Falls 1.

 

Class 3A

1.

Pella

59 points (5 first-place votes)

Last year: 13-0, State champion
Week 1: at Oskaloosa
 
2.

Norwalk

37 points

Last year: 8-2, State first round
Week 1: vs. Indianola
 
3.

Cedar Rapids Xavier

32 points

Last year: 11-1, State semifinalist
Week 1: at 1A No. 1 Iowa City Regina
 
4.

Sioux City Heelan

24 points (1 first-place vote)

Last year: 6-3
Week 1: at Sioux City East
 
4.

West Delaware

24 points

Last year: 8-2, State first round
Week 1: vs. Independence
 
6.

Creston/O-M

21 points

Last year: 8-2, State first round
Week 1: at Boone
 
6.

Dallas Center-Grimes

21 points

Last year: 6-3
Week 1: at Adel ADM
 
8.

Storm Lake

17 points

Last year: 9-1, State first round
Week 1: at Cherokee
 
9.

Webster City

15 points

Last year: 11-2, State runner-up
Week 1: at Humboldt
 
10.

Harlan

13 points

Last year: 4-5
Week 1: vs. 4A No. 7 Lewis Central
 

Others receiving votes: Solon 12, Carroll 11, Washington 10, Carlisle 9, Davenport Assumption 9, Bondurant-Farrar 6, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 6, Glenwood 3, Benton Community 1, Marion 1.

 

Class 2A

1.

Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley

45 points (1 first-place vote)

Last year: 12-1, State champion
Week 1: vs. 1A No. 3 Western Christian
 
2.

Monroe PCM

42 points (1 first-place vote)

Last year: 9-2, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: at 1A No. 7 Pella Christian
 
2.

Mount Vernon

42 points (1 first-place vote)

Last year: 9-3, State semifinalist
Week 1: vs. Solon
 
4.

Carroll Kuemper

37 points (1 first-place vote)

Last year: 9-2, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: at Greene County
 
5.

Union Community

34 points (1 first-place vote)

Last year: 11-2, State runner-up
Week 1: at Marion
 
6.

Waukon

26 points

Last year: 6-3
Week 1: vs. MFL MarMac
 
7.

Williamsburg

23 points (1 first-place vote)

Last year: 8-3, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: at Fairfield
 
8.

South Central Calhoun

15 points

Last year: 7-3, State first round 
Week 1: at Carroll
 
9.

Dike-New Hartford

12 points

Last year: 9-3, State semifinalist
Week 0: at Independence
 
10.

Sheldon

9 points

Last year: 4-5
Week 1: at Sibley-Ocheyedan
 

Others receiving votes: Central Lee 7, North Fayette Valley 7, New Hampton 6, Central Lyon-GLR 5, Garner GHV 5, Roland-Story 5, Sioux Center 5, Saydel 4, West Marshall 1.

 

Class 1A

1.

Iowa City Regina

58 points (5 first-place votes)

Last year: 11-2, State runner-up
Week 1: vs. 3A No. 3 Cedar Rapids Xavier
 
2.

Van Meter

52 points

Last year: 11-1, State semifinalist
Last week: at Earlham
 
3.

Western Christian

41 points

Last year: 12-1, State champion
Week 1: at 2A No. 1 Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley
 
4.

West Lyon

40 points (1 first-place vote)

Last year: 7-3, State first round
Week 1: at Central Lyon
 
5.

Denver

37 points

Last year: 11-1, State semifinalist
Week 1: at 2A No. 9 Dike-New Hartford
 
6.

Pleasantville

16 points

Last year: 8-2, State first round
Week 1: vs. Eddyville EBF
 
7.

Pella Christian

13 points

Last year: 10-1, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: at 2A No. 2 Monroe PCM
 
8.

Bellevue

10 points

Last year: 10-1, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: vs. Camanche
 
8.

South Winneshiek

10 points

Last year: 7-3, State first round
Week 1: at Wapsie Valley
 
10.

Logan-Magnolia

9 points

Last year: 8-2, State first round
Week 1: vs. A No. 1 Council Bluffs St. Albert
 
10.

Panorama

9 points

Last year: 7-2
Week 1: vs. Des Moines Christian
 

Others receiving votes: Avoca AHSTW 8, Wilton 6, Interstate 35 5, Mount Ayr 4, Hinton 3, Madrid 3, Missouri Valley 3, Clayton Ridge 2, West Branch 1.

 

Class A

1.

Council Bluffs St. Albert

56 points (4 first-place votes)

Last year: 11-1, State semifinalist
Week 1: at 1A No. 10 Logan-Magnolia
 
2.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck

54 points (2 first-place votes)

Last year: 13-0, State champion
Week 1: at Grundy Center
 
3.

West Sioux

38 points

Last year: 9-2, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: vs. Unity Christian (at Sioux City)
 
4.

Lynnville-Sully

29 points

Last year: 8-2, State first round
Week 1: at Colfax-Mingo
 
5.

Algona Garrigan

26 points

Last year: 12-1, State runner-up
Week 1: at Pocahontas Area/L-M
 
5.

West Hancock

26 points

Last year: 8-3, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: at Garner GHV
 
7.

Lisbon

23 points

Last year: 9-2, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: at Winfield-Mount Union
 
8.

Hudson

21 points

Last year: 8-2, State first round
Week 1: vs. East Marshall
 
8.

Saint Ansgar

21 points

Last year: 11-1, State semifinalist
Week 1: at Osage
 
10.

Le Mars Gehlen

11 points

Last year: 5-4
Week 1: vs. MMCRU
 

Others receiving votes: Wapsie Valley 8, Southwest Valley 5, Fort Dodge St. Edmond 3, North Linn 3, East Buchanan 2, Pekin 2, Belle Plaine 1, Nashua-Plainfield 1.

 

8-Player

1.

Harris-Lake Park

56 points (2 first-place votes)

Last year: 12-1, State runner-up
Week 1: at North Iowa
 
2.

Don Bosco

53 points (3 first-place votes)

Last year: 12-1, State champion
Week 1: vs. Midland
 
3.

Audubon

45 points (1 first-place vote)

Last year: 8-2, State first round
Week 1: vs. Exira-EHK
 
4.

Fremont-Mills

40 points

Last year: 11-1, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: vs. Lenox
 
5.

Ruthven GTRA

30 points

Last year: 7-2
Week 1: at Glidden-Ralston
 
6.

Newell-Fonda

18 points

Last year: 7-3, State first round
Week 1: at Coon Rapids-Bayard
 
7.

Twin Cedars

17 points

Last year: 10-1, State quarterfinalist
Week 1: vs. WACO
 
8.

Remsen St. Mary's

14 points

Last year: 6-3
Week 1: at Ar-We-Va
 
9.

Turkey Valley

8 points

Last year: 9-1, State first round
Week 1: at Lansing Kee
 
10.

HLV

6 points

Last year: 7-4, State first round
Week 0: at WACO
 
10.

Lone Tree

6 points

Last year: 8-1
Week 0: at Central City
 
10.

West Bend-Mallard

6 points

Last year: 5-4
Week 1: at Northwood-Kensett
 

Others receiving votes: Exira-EHK 5, Lenox 5, Midland 5, Bedford 4, Elkader Central 4, East Union 3, Anita CAM 2, Coon Rapids-Bayard 1, Lamoni 1, Tripoli 1.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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