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Rankings after Week 1

All nine classes now updated

  • Mill Valley looked like the state's most complete team in their dominant Week 1 victory over Olathe Northwest and together with Andale appear to be most well-equipped to win another State Title. (Photo: Lori Wood Habiger, Center Stage Photography)
    Mill Valley looked like the state's most complete team in their dominant Week 1 victory over Olathe Northwest and together with Andale appear to be most well-equipped to win another State Title. (Photo: Lori Wood Habiger, Center Stage Photography)

Week 1 saw several surprises and a great group of quality games to open the season. The end result is some shuffling in our first round of rankings following actual games and we're sure to see more changes as the season roars ahead.

Reminder, you can read our complete 2022 Football Preview online at this link, and check out our take on the rankings after Week 1 along with some notes and analysis below:

Class 6A

1. Blue Valley Northwest (1-0)
2. Manhattan (1-0)
3. Derby (0-1)
4. Olathe West (1-0)
5. Wichita Northwest (0-1)

Notes: Manhattan pulled of the upset of the week with a 26-23 overtime win on the road at state power Derby. The loss ended a 46-game winning streak at home for the Panthers and was just their seventh regular-season loss since 2013. Coming on the heels of last year's State Championship game loss it was also the first time Derby has dropped consecutive games since the start of the 2011 season. The Manhattan defense was physical and even though they allowed standout senior Dylan Edwards nearly 200 yards on the ground the Indians exposed question marks along the inexperienced Panther offensive line. Manhattan senior quarterback Keenan Schartz led a versatile group of offensive contributors including running backs DeAndre Aukland and Jason Sanchez and receiver Braxton Frey, who also kicked the game winning field goal in overtime. The game had all the makings of a typical Week 1 contest with several turnovers, key penalties and missed field goals, but the Tribe appears like a legitimate contender in the 6A race and Derby will almost certainly fix their issues as the season goes along. ... Blue Valley Northwest appeared to have plenty of answers for the loss of the best class in program history in a 35-21 season-opening win over two-time defending 4A Champs St. James Academy. An experienced offensive line propelled standout running back Grant Stubblefield to nearly 300 yards rushing against a potent SJA defensive front, and even though Connor White had anticipated growing pains in replacing star Mikey Pauley as signal-caller, he showed off potential going 13 of 21 passing for 169 yards with three touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions. The Huskies have little time to celebrate their victory with Aquinas up next as part of one of the toughest schedules in Kansas. ... Mason McGavran showed why he is regarded as one of the state's top dual-threat quarterbacks in a quality 33-6 win over Lawrence Free State rushing for 117 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and adding 111 yards through the air on 9 of 14 passing with a touchdown and no interceptions behind one of the state's best offensive lines. The defense was spectacular in holding the Firebirds to six points and senior linebacker/defensive back Cooper Novacek announced his return with 16 total tackles after missing all of last season to injury. ... Wichita Northwest squandered a 31-9 third quarter lead against perennial powerhouse, and rival, Bishop Carroll, allowing 44 points in the second half and losing 53-41. Even with the loss to one of 5A's top teams the Grizzlies showed off an explosive offense and should have the talent to answer the questions on defense as the season goes along.

Others: Olathe South looked impressive in knocking off third-ranked Lawrence 36-32 last Thursday night and quarterback Bryce Noernberg could have the Falcons a 6A contender behind a big offensive line and K-State defensive end commit Jordan Allen. ... Lawrence will likely still emerge in the thick of the 6A race once junior quarterback Tyson Grammer gets more comfortable in the passing game. Tyrell Reed is a budding star on offense and in the return game and Brayden Heck provides a consistent presence in the running game. ... Olathe North picked up a win over Olathe East but is likely to learn a lot about their team this week against Shawnee Mission Northwest, who dominated Shawnee Mission West in a 44-0 shutout behind 300 plus all-purpose yards from standout Malik O'Atis. ... Washburn Rural showed off the offensive explosiveness we all anticipated in erupting for 49 points behind multiple weapons including quarterback Branton DeWeese, tight end Lukas Hanks, receiver Amr Sabbarini, and others, but Wichita East showed off their own set of offensive stars in QB DaeOnte Mitchell and receivers Ashton and MJ White and scored 42 points against what was thought to be one of the top defenses in 6A. ... Junction City got off to a rough start, but against a Hays team that appears to be contender in 5A. The Blue Jays remain optimistic thanks to the play of dual-threat QB Xavion Felton, who is one of the top throwers in Kansas, but can still make things happen with his legs. JC's schedule doesn't get any easier. The Blue Jays host Dodge City and McPherson in consecutive weeks before going on the road against Bishop Carroll and Washburn Rural. In Week 6 the Blue Jays host arch-rival Manhattan. Each of the Blue Jays first six opponents won at least six games a season ago and all but Dodge City won at least one playoff game.

Class 5A

1. Mill Valley (1-0)
2. Maize (1-0)
3. Kapaun Mt. Carmel (1-0)
4. Bishop Carroll (1-0)
5. Blue Valley Southwest (0-1)

Notes: This class most closely reflected our preseason rankings as Mill Valley, Maize, and Kapaun all posted dominant wins against less consistent programs, while Carroll recorded an incredible comeback victory against perennial power Wichita Northwest. ... Mill Valley looked the part of the most complete team in the state of Kansas all classes with their 40-0 win over Olathe Northwest. The Jags got an incredible performance from their experienced and loaded defense allowing the Ravens just 102 yards and four first downs in the contest. ... Maize had to wait until Saturday to play their game against Topeka High but the Eagles didn't show any rust and exploded for 59 first half points and cruised to a 78-7 win in a game that featured a running clock in the second half. Avery Johnson looked the part of a four-star quarterback prospect and accounted for four touchdowns in just two quarters of play as the K-State commit sat the second half of the lopsided game. ... Kapaun looked ready to make another deep playoff run in a dominant win over Wichita South that saw the Crusaders allow the Titans just 27 total yards of offense including -23 on the ground. Omari Elias picked up where he left off a year ago in the running game and senior QB Dylan Hamilton showed off quality arm strength in the passing game when throwing to favorite target Will Anciaux as Kapaun rolled up 524 yards of total offense. ... Bishop Carroll watched rival Wichita Northwest jump out to a 31-9 lead early in the third quarter before the Golden Eagles rallied behind backup quarterback Jackson King and pulled off the incredible 53-41 comeback win. ... Blue Valley Southwest dropped their opener 28-21 to perennial power Blue Valley, but still looked the part of a 5A contender. As per usual the Timberwolves schedule almost certainly has some more losses on it, but this experienced squad looks well-equipped to make a quarterfinal playoff berth for the fourth straight season.

Others: Maize South and Hays posted two of the most impressive wins in all classes led by a pair of non-senior standouts in Maize South sophomore quarterback Tate McNew, who threw for 448 yards and five TDs in the Mavericks pummeling of Andover, and Hays High junior running back Malik Bah, who as anticipated in our coverage of this summer's Sharp Performance events, introduced himself to the state with his nearly 300 yards rushing in a quality win over talented 6A team, Junction City. ... Spring Hill started their mission to improve on last year's eight win season with a blowout victory over Bonner Springs, but the next three weeks will likely tell the tale if the Broncos are a legitimate contender in 5A this season as Tonganoxie, Eudora, and BVSW provide a trio of quality opponents. ... De Soto, Goddard, Hutchinson, Seaman, and Salina Central all picked up season-opening wins, but the jury is still out on their potential for postseason success ... Finally, while Highland Park likely won't finish the season challenging for a top 10 finish the Scots have already made it a season to remember by ending a 65-game losing streak with a 60-47 victory over KC Wyandotte sparked by an amazing offensive performance from Kansas Pregame coverboy Tre Richardson, and the schedule should provide some more opportunities for wins for the Scots in the newly formed Meadowlark Conference.

Class 4A

1. St. Thomas Aquinas (1-0)
2. Bishop Miege (1-0)
3. St. James Academy (0-1)
4. McPherson (1-0)
5. Chanute (1-0)

Notes: Aquinas flexed it's formerly 5A muscle with a quality 31-7 win over an experienced Blue Valley West team that was a 6A semifinalist a year ago. The Aquinas offense was methodical in possessing the ball for 35 minutes and 33 seconds and rolling up 412 total yards - 363 of it on the ground - with three players rushing for at least 97 yards in Sean Carroll (15 car., 105 yds., 2 TDs), Gianni Rizzi (19 car., 104 yds.), and Jack Forge (8 car., 97 yds., 1 TD). As impressive as the Saints were on offense the defense stole the show pitching three scoreless quarters and holding the Jags to just 239 yards of offense and only 6 minutes and 30 seconds of possession time. If veteran coach Randy Dreiling wants to point to an area for improvement for his Saints it will likely be penalties after Aquinas was dinged with 14 yellow hankies for 150 yards. ... After winning five State Championships between 2015 and 2019, Bishop Miege appears to be on a mission to erase the memory of consecutive semifinal losses to St. James Academy. The Stags opened with a Week 1 throttling of 6A BV North, 40-14. Quarterback Mac Armstrong was spectacular in throwing for 363 yards and three touchdowns with two of them going to Isaiah Coppage who needed just nine catches to amass his 167 yards receiving. The Stag defense held North to 199 yards of total offense and two scores, one apiece in the second and fourth quarter. ... St. James slips behind Miege in the rankings after a 35-21 loss to defending 6A Champs Blue Valley Northwest, and while there is no shame in losing to the Huskies, it's unclear how the injury to starting quarterback Ben Wheeler will impact the Thunder further down the schedule. Blake Boydston played well in replacing Wheeler throwing for 176 yards and two scores while John Niesen showed why he is one of the best receivers in Kansas after making 10 receptions for 100 yards and a score. The defense, thought to be a team strength entering the year, has some questions to answer after allowing the Huskies to gain 432 yards of total offense, including nearly 300 yards rushing to standout Husky back Grant Stubblefield. The Thunder will face another EKL 6A power this week at Blue Valley and then they get Miege and Aquinas in back-to-back weeks. ... McPherson got a 44-27 win over an improved Great Bend team thanks in large part to senior quarterback Hunter Alvord's 320 plus combined yards passing and rushing and three touchdowns accounted for along with Blaise Hoover's three field goals on four attempts. A 76-yard blocked field goal return by Luke Schroeder was another pivotal play in the Bullpup victory. ... Chanute showed why they are ranked in the Top 5 with a quality win over a solid Augusta squad, 38-14. Kansas Pregame coverboy Eric Erbe was surgical in completing 13 of 15 passes for 188 yards with seven of those receptions going to standout junior receiver Kaiden Seamster for 114 yards with two touchdowns. Now the Blue Comets will host a Pittsburg team that lost to Emporia in overtime.

Others: Wamego did not miss a beat without star quarterback Hayden Oviatt as Colin Donahue made the move from receiver to QB and promptly enlisted teammates Hagan Johnson and Chase Cottom in rolling up more than 300 yards passing in a 45-6 win over Clay Center. The Red Raiders will be favorites in at least the next four weeks and the return of Oviatt in the last couple weeks of the season could give coach Weston Moody all he needs for another deep playoff run. ... Drew Steffen inherited a loaded Eudora squad and while a young Baldwin team is not a measuring stick for the season ahead the Cardinals appear to have the pieces to challenge Chanute for the role as the top non-private school team on the east side of the bracket. ... Ark City hammered rival Winfield behind the arm of coverboy Gabe Welch and could be on the way to recreate the magic that saw them make a run to the 4A title game in 2020 and beat 5A power Maize last season prior to Welch's season ending injury. ... Basehor-Linwood and KC Piper will play this week in an important United Kansas Conference match-up. ... Atchison faces Sumner Academy in a game that will likely yield a heavy-favorite in the newly formed Meadowlark Conference. ... Andover Central dispatched Buhler in a match-up of state powers that suffered major losses to graduation, but Jag coach Derek Tuttle will likely learn a lot about his team in a match-up with 5A power Maize this week. ... Circle looks to continue their improvement under Logan Clothier with senior wide receiver and defensive back Ty Smith the leader of a quality group of seniors that should help the T-Birds build on a breakout season of a year ago.

Class 3A

1. Andale (1-0)
2. Wichita Collegiate (1-0)
3. Topeka Hayden (1-0)
4. Holton (0-1)
5. Rock Creek (0-1)

Notes: Andale dominated Wellington 63-14 and will be heavy-favorites in the next four contests before a Week 6 game at Wichita Collegiate that is one of the state's most anticipated games of the year. Andale is the heaviest favorite at the top of any classification this season and appears to be in the midst of what could become a historic run of success under coach Dylan Schmidt. ... Speaking of Collegiate, they make the move to the second spot in the 3A rankings following a 28-6 win over a solid Rose Hill squad and will also be favored in every contest leading up to the Week 6 Andale game. ... Hayden moves up to the third spot following a methodical 21-7 win over two-time defending 1A Champs Olpe in a defensive battle that saw Hayden not score their first touchdown until late in the second quarter. ... In a battle of Big 7 league powers Nemaha Central avoided a fifth consecutive loss to Holton by edging the Wildcats 35-28. In spite of the close loss the Wildcats still look like one of the best teams in the classification and Garyson Booth showed off explosive home-run ability with a 92-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats have another tough game with another quality Big 7 opponent from 2A this week in Sabetha. The schedule includes other tough tests against Perry-Lecompton in Week 4, Rossville in Week 6, and Topeka-Hayden in Week 7. The Wildcats play in arguably the toughest district in Class 3A with Hayden and Perry-Lecompton contenders with the Wildcats for the district title. As evidence to how tough a challenge Sabetha presents they opened with a win against a quality Perry-Lecompton team on Friday. ... Rock Creek had a similar story to Holton on Friday dropping a hard fought game with one of 2A's best teams in a 38-26 loss to Southeast of Saline and in spite of a brutal schedule that includes games with St. Marys, Riley County, and Silver Lake the next three weeks, the Mustangs still have the pieces to make a deep playoff run in the classification.

Others: A quality group of southeast Kansas teams will look to challenge defending 3A east representative Frontenac, who opened the season with a two-point loss to rival St. Mary's-Colgan. Frontenac could find it tough going in a district that will challenge District 4 for the toughest in the state with Galena, Parsons, and Columbus all looking like legitimate contenders for the district title. Galena opened with a 32-7 win over Riverton, Parsons looked explosive in rolling up more than 500 yards of total offense in a 56-22 win over Prairie View, and Columbus fell 20-15 against a Girard team that returns significant experience and production from a 10-win squad of a season ago. That same Girard team will also try to be a factor in the 3A east race behind coverboy quarterback Luke Niggemann. Hesston got a quality win over 2A Hoisington and will try to challenge Collegiate for the District 6 championship and Holcomb got off to a solid start with a win over Liberal behind 179 yards rushing and two touchdowns from speedy junior running back Damon Mesa.

Class 2A

1. Southeast of Saline (1-0)
2. Nemaha Central (1-0)
3. Sabetha (1-0)
4. Rossville (0-1)
5. Kingman (1-0)

Notes: Southeast of Saline and Nemaha Central showed they are the class of a classification originally thought to be quite deep, but after just one week feels top-heavy. Offseason discussion focused on the Southeast of Saline trio of Luke and Jake Gebhardt and Michael Murray as the keys to a 2A playoff run for SES, and those players were as advertised in the Trojans' win over Rock Creek, but there are many other talented skill players that can impact the offense. Running back Nathan Friesen, receiver Landen Allen, and backup QB Daniel Kejr are all explosive weapons to complement the "Big 3." Linebacker Caden Isaacson has slid into the role of top tackler vacated by graduated standout Matthew Rodriguez, which is no surprise given he recorded 77 tackles a season ago as a junior. For Nemaha Central it was a somewhat similar story as offseason discussion centered around the Thunder's impressive big men on the offensive and defensive fronts in junior Holden Bass and senior Conner Deters, and the front lines did not disappoint in the Thunder's impressive win over Holton which snapped a four-game losing streak to the always potent Wildcats, but running back Cooper Hajek rolled up 200 yards rushing while quarterback Brayden Uphaus and receiver Gavin Cain connected on an incredible second half long-ball pass and catch. Former Centralia standout Michael Glatczak - where he played for his father, Larry - appears to have a top contender in just his second year leading the Thunder. ... While Sabetha was inadvertently left out of our "Others" list in our preseason rankings they were keenly on our radar as evidenced by the paragraph on the Bluejays in our notables section in the 2A Overview in the magazine. After their win over 3A Perry-Lecompton on Friday we decided to vault them into the third spot in the rankings and veteran coach Garrett Michael's squad will get a chance to prove they're deserving in a matchup at Holton this week. Josh Herrmann and Jonathan Renyer led the Bluejay rushing attack that tallied nearly 300 yards on the ground against the Kaws, while the defense reined in standout P-L QB Gunnar Ball. The Kaws would add a touchdown with 11 seconds left for the final 28-14 margin. ... Rossville's 26-game winning streak ended at the hands of an excellent 1A St. Marys squad, but the Dawgs were bound to experience some growing pains following the graduation of Torrey Horak, Corey Catron, and others. Coach Derrick Hammes is one of the state's most consistent winners and is sure to get the Dawgs back on the right track as quarterback Camden Horak and running back Kade Perine develop behind a good offensive line. ... Kingman had their hands full with a Cheney team that was hit hard by graduation but has developed into a consistent winner under coach Shelby Wehrman. Cheney sophomore Josh Burdick was solid in replacing graduated superstar Harrison Voth at QB throwing for 244 yards on 22 of 35 passing, but the Kingman secondary showed why the Cardinals could lead the Eagles to a return trip to the 2A semifinals by grabbing three interceptions and the Kingman D held the Cardinals to just 20 rushing yards. Kingman coach Tanner Hageman, a Cheney native, employed a balance offense in the win utilizing his speedy group of versatile athletes led by quarterback Nolan Freund and receiver Avrey Albright.

Others: Ellsworth knocked off Beloit, 14-6, in one of the more surprising results last Friday night, but injuries, a lack of experienced depth and a lack of speed in the backfield all coupled with a better than expected Ellsworth squad left the Trojans playing catchup all game against the Bearcats. A district that appeared to be the Trojans to lose entering the season now looks like one of the deepest in the classification with much-improved Norton and Phillipsburg squads, an experienced and talented TMP squad and a wild card Russell team with a first year coach. The Trojans have little time to rest though with top-ranked Southeast of Saline coming to town Friday. ... Humboldt pulled away from Fredonia in the second half of a 54-18 blowout victory with sophomore quarterback Blake Ellis leading the way rushing for 170 yards on 13 carries and passing for 191 more yards with three touchdowns. Kansas Pregame coverboy Trey Sommer added 143 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. This week the Cubs will host Caney Valley in what could be one of the better games in the classification. ... An experienced Norton squad opened the season with a quality win over Plainville and has a big matchup with MCL rival Smith Center this week. Norton quarterback and linebacker Sean Anderson is a name to know for the Bluejays. ... Hoisington dropped a seven-point decision to a quality 3A Hesston team and will face an interesting Halstead team under first-year coach Derek Racette, but the Cardinals will be heavy-favorites in at least four of the final seven regular season games and could hit the 2A postseason in excellent position to make a deep playoff run. ... Osage City and coverboy Landon Boss and TMP with family feature subject Kade Harris look like significant players in 2A this season while an inexperienced Silver Lake squad delivered a win for new coach Logan Pegram in the first game post CJ Hamilton, but will quarterback Tanner Martin be enough to lead the Eagles back to their usual position near the top of the 2A rankings? Time will tell if the win over Riley County is a good indicator that both teams are again primed for the postseason as the Falcons also saw significant graduation losses, though Sam Allen was a bright spot for RC in the 28-21 loss.

Class 1A

1. St. Marys (1-0)
2. St. Mary's-Colgan (1-0)
3. Olpe (0-1)
4. Inman (1-0)
5. Smith Center (1-0)

Notes: The east side of Class 1A appears more complete from top to bottom with new 1A team St. Marys, perennial power Pittsburg-Colgan, and two-time defending 1A Champs Olpe in a virtual three-way tie atop the rankings. The Bears get the top spot in the rankings on the strength of their win over back-to-back 2A Champs Rossville to open the season while Colgan showed resiliency in their two-point comeback win over 3A Runner-up Frontenac. Olpe started the season with a loss, but against 3A private school power Topeka-Hayden in a 21-7 defensive battle. New Olpe quarterback Truman Bailey took some lumps, throwing two interceptions, but led the Eagles on a long drive and capped it with a two-yard sneak late in the game for the final 21-7 margin. St. Marys quarterback Keller Hurla, a Kansas Pregame coverboy, was efficient in targeting multiple receivers in Kyle Schenk's spread offense and the defense held the Dawgs to the fewest points since their 2019 Week 2 loss to Silver Lake. Colgan's Tucker Harrell and Cooper Simmons led the Panthers to the comeback win over Frontenac and appear poised for excellent seasons with more game reps together in the offensive backfield. The Panthers went 4-5 last season - the first losing record for the Panthers since 1997 - and will try to continue the revenge tour this week in a matchup at Girard, a team they lost to 33-7 last season as part of a season-opening three-game losing streak. If the Panthers get past an experienced Girard team coming off a 10-win season they will likely be favorites in the final six games of the regular season, and heavy-favorites in four of those contests with a Week 3 contest with Riverton and a Week 6 contest with Columbus providing potential stumbling blocks. ... Smith Center got a tough battle from improved rival Phillipsburg and the three-headed backfield monster of Jake Sasse, Luke Franklin, and Bentley Montgomery appeared well-equipped for another deep playoff run behind a huge offensive line. The Redmen built a 21-0 lead before the Panthers stormed back to tie the game, but the Redmen got a long touchdown run by Luke Franklin and the defensive secondary posted a pair of late interceptions to secure the win. Jake Sasse, head coach Darren Sasse's son, was a welcome site for the Redmen in the offensive backfield and at middle linebacker after missing all of last season with a broken foot, and despite a giant club on his left hand protecting a devastating summer injury in which he lost a finger, he showed little rust and returned to his role as the leader for the Red on both offense and defense. ... Inman and Olpe jump the Redmen in the rankings on the strength of their speedy offensive weapons. Inman dispatched an experienced Marion team with prejudice, 46-12, and Harrison Brunk and Tanner Heckel showed off explosive game-breaking ability as the Teuton offense rolled up nearly 450 yards of total offense and Heckel returned a first quarter kickoff 80-yards for a score.

Others: An experienced Hutch-Trinity team appears poised to make noise in the 1A classification and upended consistent winner, and rival, Sedgwick, 24-18 in the opener. Eric Armour and Blake Hammeke hooked up for three touchdowns through the air for the Celtics, while new Sedgwick QB Corey Crumrine rushed for two scores and passed for another in his first start after the Cardinals graduated record-breaking Emporia State signee Lance Hoffsommer. ... Centralia posted a win over Valley Heights in their first season under new coach Roger Holthaus while Troy got a quality victory over a solid Wabaunsee team, 28-22. ... Conway Springs lost 6-0 to arch-rival Garden Plain, Jeff County North opened with a dominant win over Pleasant Ridge, while Oakley and Plainville fell to superior 2A opponents in TMP and Norton respectively, but remain heavy-favorites to play for the District 8 title.

8-Man I

1. Clifton-Clyde (1-0)
2. Little River (0-1)
3. Chase County (1-0)
4. Meade (1-0)
5. Hill City (1-0)

Notes: First impression? Deep, deep classification. Second impression? Don't overreact to the Little River loss to Canton-Galva. Yes, Canton-Galva is 8-Man II this year. Yes, Canton-Galva was missing key players, including starting quarterback Garrett Maltbie, to injury, and still posted a 30-point win over the Redskins. But we believe it shows just how good Canton-Galva is, and Little River will still be a major player in 8-Man I thanks to their standout group of skill players and the best coach in 8-Man in Kevin Ayers. Now, does it appear there are more legitimate contenders in this classification than originally believed? Yes! Frankly, Little River's loss does leave this Top 5 a guessing game. ... Clifton-Clyde opened the season with a dominant win over TVL rival and perennial 8-Man II powerhouse Hanover, and a healthy Eagle team does appear well-equipped to post playoff victories. ... Chase County's Budke, Kohlmeier and Griffin are three of the very best players in the classification but the district is brutal with Burlingame, Lyndon, and Madison all fielding quality squads and new KSHSAA team Cair Paravel looking impressive for a half against defending 8-Man II champion Axtell. ... Defending 8-Man I Champs Meade graduated pieces but opened with a dominant victory over South Central. The Buffs could get a test from Hodgeman County this week, but will be heavy-favorites in the three games beyond that before a highly-anticipated Week 6 matchup with Wichita County that will likely be for the District 8 title. ... Hill City quarterback Aiden Amrein looked impressive throwing and running the ball in a dominant win over Osborne but the Ringnecks must stay healthy to make a deep playoff run.

Others: Sitting just outside our Top 5 are the previously mentioned Wichita County, who erupted for 76 points in a shutout win over last year's 8-Man II Runner-up Wheatland. The duo of brothers Erhik (QB) and Khris (ATH) Hermosillo is a force to be dealt with for opposing defenses and coach Brant Douglas continues to show off his coaching chops in developing the once downtrodden WC program into a consistent winner. ... Hoxie picked up one of the more impressive wins of the weekend with a 60-24 victory over a solid Trego team and Ryan Shaw posted a breakout performance with more than 200 yards rushing and nearly 50 yards receiving. ... South Sumner, La Crosse, and Goessel also look like contenders and Ell-Saline provides an intriguing team to watch in their first year of 8-Man since the mid-90s.

8-Man II

1. Axtell (1-0)
2. Canton-Galva (1-0)
3. Thunder Ridge (1-0)
4. Victoria (1-0)
5. Dighton (1-0)

Notes: The first reaction by most will be to flip-flop defending 8-Man II Champs and former 8-Man I power Canton-Galva after the latter looked impressive in their win over previously 8-Man I top-ranked Little River in spite of starting quarterback Garrett Maltbie and running back Ryder Nordstrom missing the game after injuries sustained in the jamboree, but we're going to stick with the defending champs at the top spot in spite of their slow start against Cair Paravel. While it seems strange to say in Week 2, it appears a near-certainty the two teams will face each other in the 8-Man II semifinals, though it's imperative the defending champs stay healthy as they aren't built to match the depth of C-G. Now, we're not suggesting we shouldn't go ahead and play the rest of the schedule leading up to that anticipated match-up between the top-ranked teams, but this pair of Eagles look like the clear favorites. ... A tough District 1 will try to produce a challenger to the east side powers with Lebo looking like the favorite in spite of their six-point loss to new 8-Man I representative Lyndon in the opener but Colony-Crest, with coverboy Holden Barker, and consistent winner St. Paul hope to have something to say about it. ... Frankfort and Hanover appear to be in a rebuilding mode but should still challenge for the second spot in District 3 behind Axtell and in spite of Osborne's lopsided loss to 8-Man I power Hill City last Thursday the Bulldogs appear poised to challenge St. John's-Beloit for the District 4 title. ...On the west side of the bracket Thunder Ridge, Victoria and Dighton look like favorites with Sylvan-Lucas, South Barber, and Bucklin nipping at their heels.


1. Cunningham (1-0)
2. Ashland (0-1)
3. Northern Valley (1-0)

Notes: To us, 6-Man is the biggest guessing game given the influx of new teams and the disparity that one star athlete can create in this wide-open game, however, after the 38-30 victory by Cunningham over second-ranked Ashland it appears we could be right on target. We'll keep the top two the same given the margin in the contest and we'll keep Northern Valley at third after their 38-0 win over defending 6-Man Champs Natoma. Waverly and Cheylin appear like contenders and Tescott and Burrton posted two of the most impressive victories of the weekend with the Trojans blasting Peabody-Burns 43-6 and the Chargers winning a shootout over Centre 79-71. Ingalls and Moscow also posted what appear to be quality wins in the first week of the season.

Alright, there you go, our take on the rankings after one week of high school football.

As always a reminder to let the coaches coach, the players play, the officials officiate, and be a great fan of Kansas high school football.