Football Top Ten Rankings

MileHigh Prep Report Preseason 8-Man Football Rankings

Picture by OTSportsChek (Haxtun vs Mancos)

MileHigh Prep Report Preseason 8-Man Football Rankings

We are getting closer and closer to the start of the football season.  Here is my top 16 preseason rankings.  8-Man will be a battle this year with plenty of talent returning.  Once again, the defending state champion comes from the plains league and the question is can anyone unseat that league from the top.  I believe we are going to try and do somewhat of a media poll this season but here are my Preseason Rankings.  I am excited to see what the Coaches Poll looks like come August if they continue to do a coach’s poll.  I move to 6-Man Football next week. Good Luck to all teams this season!

8-Man

RankTeamNotes
#1Haxtun    

Defending State Champions
Haxtun is your defending State Champions and will be looking to defend their title.  Haxtun lost a solid senior class but look for the underclassmen to step up.  Haxtun offensively will be looking for a new QB but will have strong leadership back in Michael Gerk at RB.  Defensively Haxtun will return 6 of their top 10 tacklers including 3 of their top 5.  Haxtun should be poised to defend the title but will need some depth and underclassmen to step up.
#2Akron  

Made the playoffs, lost in the Quarterfinals
Akron reached the playoffs last season before falling to Haxtun in the Quarterfinals.  Akron took some big steps last season and will be looking for a deeper playoff run.  Akron offensively return QB Ryan Mccaffrey and RB Anderson Filla.  Both will be vital to getting the offense going strong.  Defensively Akron must improve from being outside the top 20.  Akron will return key pieces with 6 of their top 10 tacklers coming back including 3 of their top 5.  If Akron can improve to a top 10 defense watch out for this team.
#3Holly

Made the playoffs, lost in the semifinals
Holly reached the semifinals last year before falling to eventual state champions Haxtun.  Holly will have some holes to fill but could make a similar run this year.  Offensively Holly will be looking for a QB but look for the rushing attack to get them going RB Daunte Maldonado could have a breakout year.  Defensively Holly returns 7 of their top 10 tacklers including 4 of their top 5.  Holly defensively could be a top 5 unit this season.
#4Dove Creek  

Made the playoffs, lost in the Quarterfinals
Dove Creek reached the quarterfinals a season ago before falling to Holly.  Dove Creek will hope for a deeper playoff run but have a few key holes to fill.  Dove Creek offensively will be looking for a new QB.  At RB Dove Creek returns key weapons in Gage Buffington and Kade Hankins.  Both will be important offensively to get Dove Creek going.  Defensively Dove Creek should continue to improve.  Dove Creek returns 8 of their top 10 tacklers including 4 of their top 5.
#5Merino  

Made the playoffs, lost in the first round
Merino made the playoffs last season but fell in the first round to Dayspring Christian.  Merino will reload this season and look for a deeper playoff run.  Merino offensively returns QB Coen Schmidt and RB Deacon Trenkle.  Defensively Merino must improve this season. Merino had the 23rd ranked defense a year ago and they will be looking to improve.  Merino will return 7 of their top 10 tacklers including 4 of their top 5.
#6Simla  

Missed the playoffs, went 6-3 last season
Simla missed the playoffs a season ago but had success defeating a playoff team in Calhan and pushing Sanford and Swink to the brink.  Simla offensively returns QB Caston Cox along with RB Brayden Glover and WR Brent Bowker.  Defensively Simla was top 10 last season and should be again this season returning 8 of their top 10 tacklers including 3 of their top 5.  Simla could make a push for the playoffs and possible a deep run.
#7McClave    

Missed the playoffs, went 6-3 Fall Season
McClave missed the playoffs a season ago but had success with a 6-3 season.  McClave closed the season winning 4 straight games and now this upcoming senior class will have their shot at making the playoffs.  Offensively McClave returns QB Ayden Gomez, RB Braden Marks, and WR Aiden Martinez.  This unit could be one of the best in the state.  Defensively McClave must improve, and they should returning 9 of their top 10 tacklers including 4 of their top 5.  This is the season if McClave is going to make a big run.
#8Swink  

Made the playoffs, lost in the first round
Swink made the playoffs a season ago but fell in the first round to Holly.  Swink continues to improve yearly, and this is a big year for this team.  Offensively QB Hunter Bauserman, RB Garlon Guerin, and WR Ben Miner are all back to lead a potent offensive attack.  Defensively Swink had a top 5 unit and will look to repeat that.  Swink will have some holes to fill losing 4 of their top 10 tacklers but Swink returns key leadership on defense returning 3 of their top 5 tacklers.
#9Mancos  

Made the playoffs, Runners up
Mancos had a stellar run last season reaching the state championship but fell in the finals to Haxtun.  Mancos does not leave the cupboards bear though and could make another deep run this season.  Offensively they will have to replace a key RB but look for Kail Wayman to step up.  At QB Ayden Mathews is back to lead the offense.  Defensively Mancos returns 6 of their top 10 tacklers and key leadership with 4 of their top 5 tacklers coming back. 
#10Sanford  

Made the playoffs, lost in the semifinals
Sanford reached the semifinals after squeezing into the playoffs as the #11 seed.  Sanford fell to rival Mancos in a tightly contested game.  Sanford will have some key holes to fill at QB and RB but look for a combination of Cash Caldon, Gauge Lewis, and Ben Sittler to step up.  Defensively Sanford must improve this season and return 6 of their top 10 tacklers.  Key leadership is back on defense with 3 of their top 5 tacklers coming back.  Defensively Sanford may need to carry the offense until they get going.
#11Crowley County  

Made the playoffs, lost in the first round
Crowley County reached the playoffs last season before falling to Dove Creek in the first round.  Crowley County will look to reach the playoffs again and possibly push for a deeper run. Crowley County will be in search of a new QB but RB’s Dillon Buford and Robert Sanjuan should have big seasons.  Defensively Crowley County returns 7 of their top 10 tacklers including 4 of their top 5.  Crowley County could hold a top 10 defensive spot down this season.
#12Wiley

Missed the playoffs, went 3-4 last season
Wiley had an up and down season last year.  They opened defeating Crowley County but lost 3 straights before ending the year winning 2 of their final 3.  Look for Wiley to push for a playoff spot this season.  Wiley had 0 seniors last year and I think push for a playoff spot but must come together.
#13Fowler  

Made the playoffs, lost in the first round
Fowler reached the playoffs a season ago but fell in the first round to Mancos.  Fowler had a bit of a retooling year last season and this year look for a deeper playoff run.  Fowler will return QB Gage Gottbehuet, RB Justin Totten, and WR Boyd Rogers.  Defensively Fowler must improve as they sat outside the top 25 on defense.  Fowler will return 7 of their top 10 tacklers and 3 of their top 5.
#14Vail Christian  

Made the playoffs, lost in the Quarterfinals
Vail Christian reached the playoffs a season ago but fell in the Quarterfinals to Sanford.  Vail Christian will look to repeat last season but look for a deeper run.  Vail Christian offensively will return QB Taylor Shull who also led them in rushing.  The WR and RB position will need new players to step up as both leading receivers and rushers are gone.  Defensively Vail Christian will return 5 of their top 10 tacklers and this unit will have the most holes to fill this season.
#15Hayden  

Missed the playoffs, went 5-3 last season
Hayden had a huge improvement last season going 5-3 and were possibly just 1 win away from making the playoffs.  Hayden had 0 seniors on their roster and will look for a playoff run this season.  QB Brayden Dale returns to lead the offense, but this unit needs more playmakers to step up.  Defensively they return everyone, but can this unit continue to improve and be a top 8 defense.
#16Byers  

Made the playoffs, lost in the first round
Byers reached the playoffs last season and did so by winning their league.  Byers this year will look for a higher seed in the playoffs and look for a playoff run.  Byers will need a new QB but return their top two RBs in Cesar Meza and Zach Cary.  Defensively Byers must improve as they sat at #25 in defensive rankings.  Byers should improve as they return 8 of their top 10 tacklers but could use more leadership to step up this season.
 Other Teams to WatchHoehne, Sedgwick County, West Grand, Elbert, Lyons, Caliche, Front Range Christian, Dayspring Christian, Sargent, Pikes Peak Christian, Calhan

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