Class 5A Rankings

#1 Bishop Carroll (0-0)
Last: lost 35-14 to Mill Valley in 5A championship game

Bishop Carroll lost its season opener to Wichita Northwest and eventually finished second to the Grizzlies in the 2015 City League race. Still, the Golden Eagles survived a bevy of injuries and advanced to the 5A state title game where they lost to Mill Valley. Carroll (11-2) returns running backs Adam Theis and Gage Gottschalk, who tallied more than 1,500 rushing yards and 27 scores. Carroll has plenty of defensive standouts with linebackers Riggs Robben and Luke Evans and lineman Robert Garcia and Martin Esquivel. The Eagles captured 5A state titles in 2012 and 2014.

Next: vs. Wichita Northwest
#2 St. Thomas Aquinas (0-0)
Last: season ended with a 45-28 loss to No. 1 Mill Valley in 5A sub-state semifinals

Aquinas has posted 9-4 and 9-3 records under third-year coach Randy Dreiling, who previously won seven state titles in 17 years at Hutchinson. The Saints have plenty of returning experience from a defense that permitted 17.8 points per game, sixth-best in Class 5A. The offense averaged 346 rushing yards a contest but has to replace quarterback Karter Odermann and its top-six running backs, including James Cosentino. Angel Dominguez, an Iowa State commit, is a four-year starter on defense who has recorded 17.5 tackles for loss in the last two seasons.

Next: vs. Gardner-Edgerton
#3 Mill Valley (0-0)
Last: beat Bishop Carroll 35-14 to win the 5A state title

Mill Valley improved from 5-5 in 2014 to 12-1 and a Class 5A title, the first in school annals. The Jaguars opened the season with a key victory versus Aquinas, then beat eventual 6A titlist Derby and only lost to Missouri power Staley. The Jaguars suffered heavy graduation losses, including quarterback Logan Koch and all-purpose threat Christian Jegen, along with offensive lineman Ben Hecht. Ten of the top 11 tacklers graduated, as did standout kicker Andrew Hicks. Three offensive and two defensive starters return.

Next: vs. No. 4 St. James Academy
#4 St. James Academy (0-0)
Last: season ended with a 42-7 loss to No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas in the state quarterfinals

St. James Academy delivered a 9-2 season, the best in its short football history, last fall. The Thunder won their first playoff game in school annals with a 41-20 victory versus Lansing. This year, the Thunder are a state favorite behind a standout defense and all-purpose back Dylan Streeter. St. James should yield better passing numbers behind quarterback Sammy Wheeler, a former wide receiver and Kansas State commit. The top-five defense permitted just 15.4 points per contest and returns standout defensive back Clay Lautt and linebacker Bryce Steffens.

Next: at No. 3 Mill Valley
#5 Goddard-Eisenhower (0-0)
Last: lost 34-7 to Bishop Carroll in 5A state semifinals

Eisenhower was arguably Kansas' biggest surprise in November when it finished 7-5 and reached the Class 5A sub-state semifinal game. The Tigers had back-to-back 2-7 seasons before last season's breakout that featured a 20-14 first round playoff victory versus Kapaun, and a 16-0 win versus Maize South. Senior quarterback Mason Madzey recorded more than 1,800 total yards, while offensive linemen Parker Jones and Cameron Bradley are both three-year starters. Defensive lineman Adam Brown paces a unit that allowed 24.1 points per game. Eisenhower opens the season in a key road game Class 6A No. 1 Derby.

Next: at 6A No. 1 Derby

Others Considered: Goddard, Great Bend, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Pittsburg, Wichita Heights

Last updated: August 29, 2016 - 12:50 am