The Cascade Christian football team, despite returning five starters on offense and six on defense from its 1A-state-title team from a year ago, earned the top spot in The Associated Press’ preseason state football rankings.
Seven of its players from last year’s team graduated and went on to the college ranks – including All-Area tight end/linebacker Mason Tobeck to Utah State and quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith to Wheaton College in Illinois.
Eatonville enters at No. 6 and Nisqually rival Charles Wright is ranked ninth.
Gig Harbor was ranked No. 3 in the Class 4A rankings.
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Camas, with the returning Greater St. Helens League co-offensive player of the year in quarterback Liam Fitzgerald, is the top-ranked team in 4A with Lake Stevens right behind the Papermakers at No. 2.
Graham-Kapowsin represents the 4A SPSL South at No. 8 and Federal Way the 4A SPSL Northwest at No. 10. Defending 4A state champion Bothell is No. 7.
Defending 3A champion Eastside Catholic tops Bellevue, which will play at least its first two games without head coach Butch Goncharoff, in the 3A poll. Goncharoff was suspended by the KingCo Conference in June for two games, in part for providing money to a player’s family, The Seattle Times reported.
Three teams from the 3A SPSL are in the top-10 – Auburn Mountainview (tied for fourth), three-time defending league champion Peninsula (sixth) and Lakes (10th). Defending 3A Narrows champion Lincoln is ranked eighth.
Sedro-Woolley is top-ranked 2A team, with Tumwater right behind the Cubs at No. 2.
1. Camas (4)
2. Lake Stevens (1)
3. Gig Harbor (1)
4. Gonzaga Prep
4. Chiawana (2)
7. Bothell (3)
10. Federal Way
1. Eastside Catholic (8)
2. Bellevue (3)
4. Auburn Mountainview
9. Mt. Spokane
Others receiving six or more points: Meadowdale, Wilson
1. Sedro-Woolley (7)
2. Tumwater (3)
3. Lynden (2)
7. North Kitsap
10. W.F. West
Others receiving six or more points: Woodland, Burlington-Edison
1. Cascade Christian (4)
2. Royal (2)
4. Zillah (4)
5. Freeman (1)
8. Mount Baker
9. Charles Wright Academy
Others receiving six or more points: Connell, Montesano, Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls, Cascade of Leavenworth.
1. Napavine (4)
2. Okanogan (4)
3. Lind-Ritzville-Sprague (2)
4. North Beach
7. Pe Ell/Willapa Valley
Others receiving six or more points: Adna, Life Christian Academy, Waitsburg-Prescott
1. Liberty Christian (4)
2. Neah Bay (5)
Others receiving six or more points: Cusick, Naselle, Garfield-Palouse.