Reigning State 4A football champion Gonzaga Prep was a near-unanimous No. 1 pick in the Associated Press Washington preseason rankings released Wednesday.
The Bullpups, coming off a 14-0 season, received eight of nine first-place votes for 89 points by a media panel statewide. That means G-Prep was voted second on the ballot that nominated state runner-up Skyline, which was 14 points behind the champs in second.
Interestingly, Skyline travels to G-Prep on Sept. 9 for what should be an entertaining early showdown.
Central Valley, coming off a state playoff appearance, was ranked eighth. Richland, which eliminated CV in the first round, was ranked third.
No Greater Spokane League teams were ranked in 3A. Two-time state champ Eastside Catholic, which plays host to G-Prep in a season opener, received all nine first-place votes. Kamiakin is second.
In 2A, traditional power Tumwater was picked first and defending champ Prosser, which topped Tumwater in the final last year, is second. Clarkston, at fifth, is the lone Great Northern League team in the poll.
Defending champ Royal was picked No. 1 in 1A. Colville, which is expected to make the playoffs again, came in at seventh.
Arguably the best 2B league in the state is well represented in the preseason poll. Lind-Ritzville/Sprague is second and received one first-place vote behind No. 1 Napavine. Northwest Christian is fifth, Asotin, which joins the Northeast league, is fifth, Liberty sixth and Davenport was tied for eighth.
In 1B, 2015 state runner-up Lummi Nation was picked No. 1, followed by defending champ Almira/Coulee-Hartline. Touchet is fourth and Odessa-Harrington is fifth.
Coeur d’Alene received the highest ranking for North Idaho teams in preseason rankings released Wednesday.
The Vikings, who open Saturday at Folsom (California) High, were picked second in the 5A rankings. Highland of Pocatello was slotted first.
In 4A, Sandpoint, which advanced to the state title game a year ago, was tabbed third. Defending champ Bishop Kelly was ranked first.
Timberlake was ranked fifth in 3A and St. Maries was picked fourth in 2A.
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review's sports newsletter
Get the day's top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.