Aug 11, 2014 3:57 PM by Posted by Greg Smith
Defending champions head six of football's seven preseason CHSAANow.com rankings, which were unveiled Monday morning.
The lone exception is Lutheran in Class 3A - which saw both its champion (Coronado) and runner-up (Silver Creek) move up to 4A this cycle.
In fact, that ranking was also the most split of any other, with both Lutheran and preseason No. 2 Delta both getting three first-place votes. Lutheran got the No. 1 nod with 65 total points. Delta had 53 points.
Lutheran was eliminated in the first round of the 3A playoffs last season, while Delta made the semifinals. Lutheran is entering its first season under new coach Blair Hubbard, formerly of Faith Christian.
Valor Christian, a five-time defending champion across three classifications, opens up as No. 1 in Class 5A for the second year in a row. The Eagles topped Fairview to win the 5A title last season.
Cherry Creek, a quarterfinalist a year ago, is No. 2 in 5A. Cherokee Trail is ranked third, Pomona is fourth and Columbine is fifth.
Chatfield begins the season as No. 6, Regis Jesuit is No. 7, Grandview is No. 8, Ralston Valley is No. 9 and Fairview rounds out the preseason poll.
Platte Valley players celebrate with the 2A championship trophy. (Jon E. Yunt)
Platte Valley celebrates last year's 2A championship. (Jon E. Yunt)
Among those receiving votes in 5A were ThunderRidge, Overland, newcomer Monarch and Legend.
In 4A, Pine Creek begins as the No. 1 team. The Eagles beat Montrose in last year's title game. Montrose is No. 2 in the ranking.
Other preseason No. 1 teams are Platte Valley (2A), Paonia (1A), Dayspring Christian (8-man) and Stratton/Liberty (6-man).
The rankings are voted upon by coaches and select media members, and are the official polls of the Association. During the regular season, rankings will be released each Monday.