Defending champs rule preseason football rankings

(Kevin Keyser/KeyserImages.com)

Valor Christian is the preseason No. 1 in 5A. (Kevin Keyser/KeyserImages.com)

Defending champions head six of football's seven preseason CHSAANow.com rankings, which were unveiled Monday morning.

The lone exception is Lutheran in Class 3A — which saw both its champion (Coronado) and runner-up (Silver Creek) move up to 4A this cycle.

In fact, that ranking was also the most split of any other, with both Lutheran and preseason No. 2 Delta both getting three first-place votes. Lutheran got the No. 1 nod with 65 total points. Delta had 53 points.

Lutheran was eliminated in the first round of the 3A playoffs last season, while Delta made the semifinals. Lutheran is entering its first season under new coach Blair Hubbard, formerly of Faith Christian.

Valor Christian, a five-time defending champion across three classifications, opens up as No. 1 in Class 5A for the second year in a row. The Eagles topped Fairview to win the 5A title last season.

Cherry Creek, a quarterfinalist a year ago, is No. 2 in 5A. Cherokee Trail is ranked third, Pomona is fourth and Columbine is fifth.

Chatfield begins the season as No. 6, Regis Jesuit is No. 7, Grandview is No. 8, Ralston Valley is No. 9 and Fairview rounds out the preseason poll.

Platte Valley players celebrate with the 2A championship trophy. (Jon E. Yunt)

Platte Valley celebrates last year's 2A championship. (Jon E. Yunt)

Among those receiving votes in 5A were ThunderRidge, Overland, newcomer Monarch and Legend.

In 4A, Pine Creek begins as the No. 1 team. The Eagles beat Montrose in last year's title game. Montrose is No. 2 in the ranking.

Other preseason No. 1 teams are Platte Valley (2A), Paonia (1A), Dayspring Christian (8-man) and Stratton/Liberty (6-man).

The rankings are voted upon by coaches and select media members, and are the official polls of the Association. During the regular season, rankings will be released each Monday.

Complete rankings are below.

CHSAANow.com Football Polls

Voted upon by coaches and select media members around the state. New voters can sign up by emailing rcasey@chsaa.org.

These rankings have no bearing on postseason seeding, except in 5A where they are used as part of the seeding criteria.

Go to: 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A | 1A | 8-man | 6-man

Class 5A
RK TEAM PTS
1 Valor Christian (10) 125
2 Cherry Creek (3) 113
3 Cherokee Trail 80
4 Pomona 61
5 Columbine 56
6 Chatfield 54
7 Regis Jesuit 51
8 Grandview 45
9 Ralston Valley 34
10 Fairview 32
Others receiving votes:
ThunderRidge 31, Overland 16, Monarch 7, Legend 5, Douglas County 3, Grand Junction 3, Mullen 2, Doherty 1, Fountain-Fort Carson 1.

Class 4A
RK TEAM PTS
1 Pine Creek (11) 110
2 Montrose 81
3 Pueblo South 75
4 Longmont 67
5 Denver South 53
6 Broomfield 43
7 Standley Lake 36
8 Dakota Ridge 28
9 Pueblo Centennial 26
10 Windsor 25
Others receiving votes:
Pueblo West 18, Vista Ridge 17, Loveland 13, Fort Collins 5, Coronado 3, Palmer Ridge 2, Wheat Ridge 2, Falcon 1.

Class 3A
RK TEAM PTS
1 Lutheran (3) 65
2 Delta (3) 53
3 Holy Family 52
4 Rifle (1) 40
5 Roosevelt 33
6 Evergreen 25
7 The Classical Academy 19
8 Palisade 16
9 Lewis-Palmer (1) 15
10 Vista PEAK 11
Others receiving votes:
Fort Morgan 9, Northridge 9, Pueblo East 7, Mead 4, Conifer 3, Discovery Canyon 3, Erie 3, Frederick 3, Woodland Park 2, Eagle Valley 1, Pueblo Central 1.

Class 2A
RK TEAM PTS
1 Platte Valley (5) 66
2 Faith Christian (1) 64
3 Brush (1) 54
4 Manitou Springs 41
5 Kent Denver 38
6 Florence 31
7 Strasburg 24
8 Bennett 23
9 Lamar 16
10 Olathe 9
Others receiving votes:
Gunnison 7, La Junta 4, Sterling 4, Eaton 2, Middle Park 1, Moffat County 1.

Class 1A
RK TEAM PTS
1 Paonia (4) 63
2 Centauri (2) 58
3 Limon (1) 53
4 Buena Vista 49
5 Resurrection Christian 40
6 Burlington 36
7 Monte Vista 30
8 Yuma 13
9 Wray 10
10 Cedaredge 8
Others receiving votes:
Platte Canyon 6, Colorado Springs Christian 5, Meeker 4, Holyoke 3, Hotchkiss 3, Rye 2, Front Range Christian 1, Wiggins 1.

8-man
RK TEAM PTS
1 Dayspring Christian (7) 70
2 Norwood 61
3 Caliche 53
4 Hoehne 50
5 Simla 42
6 Sargent 29
7 Merino 25
8 Sanford 22
9 Sedgwick County 11
10 Dove Creek 7
Others receiving votes:
Granada 4, McClave 4, Kiowa 3, Rangely 2, Vail Christian 2.

6-man
RK TEAM PTS
1 Stratton/Liberty (4) 49
2 Eads 40
3 Arickaree/Woodlin (1) 39
4 Peetz 32
5 Hi-Plains 25
6 Briggsdale 21
7 Fleming 18
8 Idalia 16
9 Otis 11
10 Kit Carson 9
Others receiving votes:
Prairie 7, Flagler 4, Hanover 3, Walsh 1.