State high school football preseason top 10 rankings by the Gannett Kansas prep sports writers

Staff Reports

Here's to the first of many, and let the fun begin.

In Kansas, the Kansas State High School Activities Association classifies eight classes for football ranging from Class 6A down to 8-man Div. I and 8-man Div. II.

Every week, Gannett Kansas prep sports writers will vote and arrange the rankings, which will change week to week following the outcomes on Friday nights. This process involves much thought, planning and research from across the state.

The many Kanas sites will combine to crown eight state champions at the:

  • 6A site at Emporia State's Welch Stadium
  • 5A at Pittsburg State's Carnie Smith Stadium
  • 4A at Hummer Sports Park Football Stadium in Topeka
  • 3A at Hutchinson Community College's Gowans Stadium
  • 2A at Salina Stadium
  • 1A at Fort Hays State's Lewis Field
  • 8-man Div. I and II championship games at Newton's Fischer Field

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More:Here's the 2021 schedule for every high school football team in Kansas

Here are the 2021 preseason polls:

The Derby Panthers are once again the top of the class in 6A. They'll be looking for their fourth straight state championship.

Class 6A

Team (first place votes), 2020 record 

1. Derby (4), 9-2 

2. Blue Valley North, 7-3 

3. Olathe North, 8-2 

4. Blue Valley, 6-2 

5. Lawrence, 9-1 

6. Junction City, 9-2 

7. Gardner-Edgerton, 5-3

8. Shawnee Mission Northwest, 6-2 

9. Manhattan, 6-4

10. Wichita East, 7-2

Receiving votes: Blue Valley Northwest (5-2), Olathe East (6-2), Washburn Rural (4-6)

Class 5A

Team (first place votes), 2020 record 

1. (tie) Mill Valley (2), 9-2 

1. (tie) Wichita Northwest (2), 10-1 

3. Maize, 9-2 

4. Kapaun Mt. Carmel, 8-2 

5. Bishop Carroll, 8-3 

6. Saint Thomas Aquinas, 6-4 

7. Hutchinson, 8-2 

8. De Soto, 8-2 

9. Hays, 5-3 

10. Wichita Heights, 5-3 

Receiving votes: Andover (5-4), Blue Valley Southwest (3-5), Goddard (7-3), Maize South (5-4), Pittsburg (4-5), Topeka Seaman (7-2)

McPherson is still hunting for that elusive state title.

Class 4A

Team (first place votes), 2020 record 

1. Bishop Miege (4), 5-5 

2. St. James Academy, 8-4 

3. McPherson, 10-2 

4. Buhler, 6-4 

5. Paola, 9-1  

6. Andover Central, 7-2 

7. Arkansas City, 6-7 

8. Basehor-Linwood, 7-4 

9. El Dorado, 5-3 

10. Wamego, 6-5 

Receiving votes: Fort Scott (7-1), Tonganoxie (9-2), Wellington (3-6)

Andale's head coach Dylan Schmidt is a cool 48-2 as the head coach of the Andale Indians.

Class 3A

Team (first place votes), 2020 record 

1. Andale (4), 12-0 

2. Wichita Collegiate, 10-2 

3. Perry-Lecompton, 11-2 

4. Holton, 9-2 

5. Southeast of Saline, 9-1 

6. Cheney, 9-1 

7. Topeka Hayden, 7-2 

8.  Riley County, 8-2 

9. Columbus, 8-1 

10. Burlington, 8-2 

Receiving votes: Colby (6-3), Frontenac (6-5), Galena (6-2), Prairie View (8-2), Scott City (6-4)

Class 2A

Team (first place votes), 2020 record 

1. Rossville (4), 13-0 

2. Nemaha Central, 8-3 

3. Hoisington, 12-1 

4. Silver Lake, 6-2 

5. Osage City, 9-2 

6. St. Mary's Colgan, 7-3 

7. Garden Plain, 9-2 

8. Beloit, 5-7 

9. Hillsboro, 6-4 

10. Hutchinson Trinity, 8-2 

Receiving votes: Haven (8-3), Maur Hill-Mount Academy (8-1)

Olpe should be the favorite in 1A.

Class 1A

Team (first place votes), 2020 record 

1. Olpe (4), 12-0 

2. Lyndon, 8-2 

3. Centralia, 9-3 

4. Inman, 9-3 

5. Oakley, 10-3 

6. Smith Center, 8-2  

7. Conway Springs, 8-2  

8. Sedgwick, 8-2  

9. Jackson Heights, 4-5 

10. Plainville, 5-5 

Receiving votes: Jefferson County North (7-3), Valley Heights (7-2)

8-man Div. I

Team (first place votes), 2020 record 

1. Canton-Galva (2), 10-1 

2. Little River (1), 11-2 

3. Madison (1), 11-1 

4. Leoti-Wichita County, 12-1 

5. Argonia-Attica, 9-2 

6. Clifton-Clyde, 7-2 

7. Hoxie, 9-2 

8. Sedan, 9-1 

9. Chase County, 8-3 

10. Burlingame, 7-3 

Receiving votes: Doniphan West (4-3), Goessel (5-4), Oswego (8-2), Pratt Skyline (8-2), South Gray (8-2)

It feels like St. Francis and Hanover are on a collision course again.

8-man Div. II

Team (first place votes), 2020 record 

1. Hanover (4), 11-0 

2. St. Francis, 11-1 

3. Victoria, 11-1 

4. Lebo, 10-1 

5. Axtell, 7-3 

6. Frankfort, 7-2 

7. Colony-Crest, 10-1 

8. Caldwell, 8-3 

9. Wheatland-Grinnell, 8-3 

10. Osborne, 4-5 

Receiving votes: Beloit St. John's-Tipton (7-3), Central Plains (6-2), Norwich (4-5), South Barber (5-4), South Central (7-3), Sylvan-Lucas Unified (7-3), Thunder Ridge (5-4)