With just a few weeks until the start of the '17-18. high school football season in Southern Nevada, it's time to see where some of the best teams in the state rank heading into the season.
Many of the teams in the top-15 face each other early in the year, which means there's bound to be a lot of movement up and down the board.
The preseason rankings are a product of a team's lower level success, returning players and standing at the end of last season.
15. Silverado (8-3 in 2016) - A lot of question marks surround the Skyhawks after the departure of Randall Cunningham as head coach but it's hard to leave a team that finished last season with an 8-3 record off of our list.
The talent is still in-house at Silverado and it's up to the new coaching staff to get the kids to buy into a new culture.
14. Chaparral (6-6 in 2016) - The Cowboys had another deep run in the playoffs last season and that experience earns them a spot on our list. They've lost a lot of production to graduation and young players will have to step up to fill the voids, but there's no doubt head coach Paul Nihipali will have his team ready.
13. Moapa Valley (7-4 in 2016) - Moapa Valley is an elite program in the 3A division and they seem to reload as well as any other team after losing key contributors.
Last season they finished second in the Sunrise with a line that faced a steep learning curve. That line will enter this season with experience and should help the Pirates battle to win the division.
12. Durango (6-3 in 2016) - The Trailblazers were impressive last year and rode the talents of several sophomores to a 6-3 record. They'll look to build on that success and turn it into playoff success in 2017.
11. Las Vegas (7-3 in 2016) - The Wildcats feature one of the best, in not the best, running back duo in Southern Nevada with seniors Elijah Hicks and DiQuan Brown. Factor in Zach Matlock's prototypical size/production and LVHS is primed to make a serious run in the playoffs this year.
10. Legacy (8-3 in 2016) - The loss of running back Samuel Turner (1934 yds and 24 TDS) will hurt the Longhorns but by now people should know that another good running back is ready to keep the production going. The problem will be whether they will have the experience to hang in the tough Northwest Division.
9. Virgin Valley (9-2 in 2016) - An early surprise pick for 3A state champion, the Bulldogs have all of the tools to pull the upset against defending champions Desert Pines. Health will be a major factor in the team's success, along with another strong rushing season from Jayden Perkins.
8. Sierra Vista (8-2 in 2016) - The Mountain Lions are one of the teams that made a huge splash last season and they have plenty of returning starters to ensure they'll be right back in the playoff hunt this season.
Expect Sierra Vista to continue to pound the ball with one of the biggest offensive lines in the city.
7. Faith Lutheran (6-5 in 2016) - Faith Lutheran is just a handful of years removed from winning a 3A football title and the Crusaders are finally getting used to the 4A level of competition. Numbers are up in the program, several players have D-1 offers, and the team is ready to turn that into a strong push for a Northwest division title.
6. Canyon Springs (8-2 in 2016) - The Pioneers have athletes all over the field and have shown the ability to dominate the Northeast division. This year should continue along those lines and possibly see them pulling an upset over one of the many tough Southeast teams.
5. Basic (8-4 in 2016) - Speaking of tough Southeast division teams, the Wolves are always in the mix come playoff time. Consistency is key for this team and their coaching staff does a great job in preparing them to play each week.
The goals for the Wolves is clear, dethrone Liberty as the kings of the 4A Sunrise conference and take the fight to Bishop Gorman in a state championship match up.
4. Arbor View (10-2 in 2016) - The Aggies lost quality talent for last year's team but head coach Dan Barnson knows how to reload. With several D-1 prospects still on the roster, expect the Aggies to once again stare Bishop Gorman in the eyes this upcoming postseason.
3. Desert Pines (12-1 in 2016) - The Jaguars are the reigning 3A champions and they did so with a sophomore quarterback under center last season. Expect Tyler Williamson to open up the offense as a junior this year and get the ball to their many play makers.
2. Liberty (12-2 in 2016) - Liberty and senior quarterback Kenyon Oblad (doesn't it seem like Oblad's been an elite Southern Nevada QB for a decade now?) are looking to eclipse their historical 2016 season. For the first time, the team was ranked nationally and they once again held the Sunrise conference.
Will this be the year Liberty finally gets the best of Bishop Gorman?
1. Bishop Gorman (15-0 in 2016) - Speaking of Bishop Gorman, the perennial #1 team in the nation is hoping to capture yet another national championship. They'll have to do so with a new quarterback under center and a new running back behind him. Gone are top recruits Tate Martel and Biaggio Ali Walsh, replaced with the highly touted Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Amod Cianelli.
The duo has a strong defensive front seven that'll have to hold teams down while they work out the kinks. It'll be an interesting year for the Gaels and one that may very well end in another national title.