The one month countdown is on for the 2022 high school football season, and based on the voting in the Deseret News’ annual coaches preseason class-by-class rankings, the chase for state titles is as wide open as it’s been in years.

Only two of the six defending state champions begin the year ranked No. 1 in their respective classification, while at least three teams received first-place votes in four of the six classifications.

All of that should make for a very exciting season, which officially gets underway on Thursday, Aug. 11.

Being ranked first in the preseason is no guarantee of success, as only one of last year’s preseason No. 1s — Duchesne — ended up winning the state title.

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6A projections

All six of Lone Peak’s Deseret News first team all-staters last year were seniors, but coaches around 6A fully expect the Knights to reload and be great yet again.

Lone Peak narrowly edged region foes Skyridge and Corner Canyon to claim the top preseason spot in 6A this year. All three schools received at least four first-place votes.

It’s only fitting those three teams begin the year at the top of the 6A rankings as they shared the Region 4 title a year ago. In the playoffs though, Lone Peak dominated the trenches en route to the title, but it will count on new faces in 2022 in its quest to repeat.

American Fork and Bingham round out the top five in 6A.

5A projections

Lehi was the surprise winner of Class 5A last year as it ran the tables in the playoffs as a No. 7 seed, but there’d be nothing surprising about a repeat title in 2022.

The Pioneers are loaded with returning talent, including reigning 5A Player of the Year Isaac Terrell and then Colorado State commit QB Jackson Brousseau. Sprinkle in a handful of other starters and it’s easy to see why coach Ed Larson’s team received 19 of 21 first-place votes of the coaches who voted.

Lehi’s biggest tests could come from within its own region, as Timpview checks in at No. 2 in the preseason rankings followed by Orem at No. 3.

Springville and East round out the top five.

4A projections

Desert Hills won the Region 10 title a year ago but bowed out of the playoffs much earlier than expected in the quarterfinals. A year later, the Thunder return seven offensive starters from that group as they’ll begin the season as the preseason favorite in 4A.

Leading the way is three-year starting quarterback Noah Fuailetolo and running back Tyden Morris.

Ridgeline went a perfect 13-0 last season, but it graduated some major pieces from last year’s team and opens the season ranked No. 2 in 4A.

Snow Canyon, Dixie and Green Canyon round out the top five in 4A, but all three received one first-place vote as the classification appears to be wide open with five different teams garnering first-place votes.

3A projections

A year ago in 3A, four teams had winning records — Juab, Juan Diego, Grantsville and Morgan — while the other eight teams all had sub-.500 records.

Based the coaches voting, those same four teams are expected to be the class of four yet again, with a big drop off after that.

Morgan was the 3A runner-up a year ago, but it received seven of 10 first-place votes and will begin the year ranked No. 1. Juab checks in at No. 2, followed by defending champion Grantsville and third, Juan Diego at fourth and Richfield in fifth.

Grantsville returns a good chunk of starters back from last year’s dominant defensive team, a unit it will look to ride to another deep playoff run this year.

2A projections

San Juan was head and shoulders above everyone else in 2A last season as nearly every starter returned from the previous season. This year the defending champion Broncos are breaking in a whole new crew of contributors as the chase in 2A figures to be much more wide open as a result.

Beaver, which won state titles the previous two seasons, narrowly edged San Juan in the preseason coaches ranks as it begins the season No. 1. Like San Juan, it has a lot of question marks as it needs to replace a big chunk of starters from last year’s runner-up team.

South Summit, Summit Academy and Emery round out the top five in 2A. 

1A projections

A year ago Duchesne edged Layton Christian in a tight and tense 1A state title game, but in 2022 it’s Layton Christian that opens the season as the team to beat.

With eight turning starters back on both sides of the coach, coach Ray Stowers’ team is loaded with top-end talent that will give the rest of 1A fits. While Layton Christian snagged seven first-place votes, Duchesne and its six returning starters grabbed the other three first-place votes as it will very much still be a force in 1A.

Kanab, Enterprise and Milford round out the top five.


2022 preseason high school football rankings

Each year, the Deseret News asks every football coach in the state to vote for the top five teams in their classification. The votes are tallied, and five points are assigned for a first-place vote, four for a second-place vote, etc. Coaches aren’t allowed to vote for their own team. The following are the results from the coaches who elected to participate (first-place votes indicated in parenthesis):

Class 6A

Team ’21 record

1. Lone Peak (4) 10-2.

2. Skyridge (4) 11-2.

3. Corner Canyon (6) 12-2.

4. American Fork (1) 7-4.

5. Bingham 7-5.

Others receiving multiple votes: Weber, Mountain Ridge, Riverton, Syracuse, West.

Class 5A

Team ’21 record

1. Lehi (19) 11-3.

2. Timpview 9-3.

3. Orem (2) 7-6.

4. Springville 11-2.

5. East 5-7.

Others receiving multiple votes: Brighton, Olympus, Stansbury, Wasatch, Alta, Bountiful, Spanish Fork.

Class 4A

Team ’21 record

1. Desert Hills (5) 9-2.

2. Ridgeline (3) 13-0.

3. Snow Canyon (1) 5-5.

4. Dixie (1) 9-4.

5. Green Canyon (1) 7-3.

Others receiving multiple votes: Sky View, Crimson Cliffs, Pine View.

Class 3A

Team ’21 record

1. Morgan (7) 9-4.

2. Juab (2) 10-2.

3. Grantsville (1) 10-3.

4. Juan Diego 8-3.

5. Richfield 4-7.

Others receiving multiple votes: North Sanpete, Canyon View, Ogden, Manti.

Class 2A

Team ’21 record

1. Beaver (5) 11-2.

2. San Juan (3) 12-1.

3. South Summit 11-1.

4. Summit Academy (2) 7-5.

5. Emery 6-6.

Others receiving multiple votes: Delta, Millard.

Class 1A

Team ’21 record

1. Layton Christian (7) 9-5.

2. Duchesne (3) 11-1.

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3. Kanab 9-3.

4. Enterprise 6-4.

5. Milford 7-5.

Others receiving multiple votes: North Summit, North Sevier.

Lehi High School players celebrate winning the 5A football championship game against Springville High School at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. Lehi won 35-6. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
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