This year the Las Vegas valley has as much talent, if not more, than ever before and the student-athletes are ready to show their skills on the gridiron.
With plenty of exciting week one matchups on tap, it's only right that we dive right into the schedule.
Cheyenne v. Basic
Cheyenne returns good size in the trenches and will need for a premier back to step up and pound the ball against the always dangerous Wolves. That's easier said than done when playing against the wide open Wolves' offense. Basic will move the ball early and often in route to a victory.
BASIC 38 - CHEYENNE 16
Dematha (Maryland) v. Bishop Gorman
Dematha is one of the best teams in the nation year in and year out, but Gorman is still in an elite class. They'll have to replace a lot of offensive fire power but their defense will be good enough in the front seven to limit points until the new pieces get comfortable.
BISHOP GORMAN 28 - DEMATHA 24
Coronado v. Cimarron-Memorial
Two teams hoping to get off to a better start than they did last season. The Cougars have looked good over the summer and are poised to get back into the race in the Southwest 4A division. On the other hand, Cimarron is searching for the hard-nosed spirit the school used to exhibit in the 90s. It'll be a tough battle between two hungry teams.
CORONADO 42 - CIMARRON 26
Rancho v. Western
A battle of two teams that were winless a season ago. Both squads have new head coaches and hope to establish a winning culture right off the bat in 2017. Turnovers, special teams, and injuries will be the determining factor in who leaves this game victorious and who starts their season on the winning foot.
WESTERN 20 - RANCHO 19
Eldorado v. Spring Valley
QB Jaime Rangel will be the key to the Sundevils success this week and will have to put points on the board to match a dynamic Spring Valley offense.
ELDORADO 27 - SPRING VALLEY 21
Arbor View v. Las Vegas
Arbor View is one of the most talented teams in the city but they'll have to deal with Las Vegas' three-headed monster backfield. Zach Matlock, Elijah Hicks, and DiQuan Brown are a handful for any team.
The Aggies will try to take the first step toward another 10-win season and an eventual meeting with Bishop Gorman.
ARBOR VIEW 42 - LAS VEGAS 24
Legacy v. Silverado
The 2017 Legacy squad may be as balanced as they've been in years, which should help take pressure off of the always effective running game. The defense will have to prove they are up to stopping the Skyhawks running attack if they hope to come away with a huge win on the road.
LEGACY 22 - SILVERADO 14
Palo Verde v. Sierra Vista
Vista returns a lot of size on the offensive line and a tricky run heavy offense that helped them steam roll most teams they played last year. They'll look to use that ground game to control the ball and force Palo Verde into making mistakes.
SIERRA VISTA 35 - PALO VERDE 20
Centennial v. Foothill
Foothill has weapons all over the field and has the spread attack that will give even the toughest teams in the Las Vegas valley trouble.
Dual-threat quarterback Jordan Wilson will enter his Junior year already having a 1,000-yard passing season under his belt and a talented junior receiver, Jordan Blakely, to target. Expect those two to combine for big numbers in this game. Centennial enters the game relatively unproven but has a lot of talent on the squad. This will be one of the closest matchups of the weekend.
FOOTHILL 33 - CENTENNIAL 22
Shadow Ridge v. Desert Oasis
Another two teams looking to propel themselves to strong seasons... Starting to see a theme developing? Shadow Ridge had the third-best record in the Northwest last season but failed to make the playoffs. That's something they aim to change with a talented group of senior athletes. Desert Oasis' skill position players have the talent to stop Shadow Ridge from pulling away with a lead and keep the game tight.
SHADOW RIDGE 45 - DESERT OASIS 35
Durango v. Pahrump Valley
The Trailblazers surprised a lot of teams last season (6-3) with a group of exceptional sophomoressummerand they are poised to take the next step. They lost a fair amount of seniors from that squad but returners such as Kaden Renshaw and Alhjai-Ibrahim Kamara are there to keep the ship afloat.
Pahrump must also replace some senior leadership and is one of the toughest teams to defeat at home. This'll be a fun back and forth.
DURANGO 28 - PAHRUMP 13
Clark v. Boulder City
It's hard to look at the Chargers' players and believe that they only won a single game last season. The combo of size and speed is there for Clark but Boulder City will hope to lean on a good size line to slow the pace of the game and come away with a victory.
CLARK 38 - BOULDER CITY 14
Sunrise Mountain v. Moapa Valley
A battle of former 3A Sunrise foes. These two teams spent several seasons battling for a home playoff game in the division before Sunrise Mountain moved to the Sunset side of 3A. This game should be as good as the previous match ups, but the experience of Sunrise Mountain wins out.
SUNRISE MOUNTAIN 22 - MOAPA VALLEY 21
Chaparral v. Bonanza
The Cowboys have had back-to-back deep playoff runs but it'll be hard for this year's team to live up to those lofty standards. Bonanza is coming off of a good year in their own right but lost over 20 seniors to graduation. For that reason, Chap squeaks by with a late victory.
CHAPARRAL 16 - BONANZA 10
Del Sol v. Mojave
Mojave will have athletes across the field when they line up on Friday but they won't have a Taariq Flowers. Maalik Flowers (QB) accompanies his older brother in the backfield and make for one of the best backfield duos in the state. The underrated Dragons defense will have to step up to the plate and limit what should be an explosive Rattlers offense in order for them to have a chance at a win.
DEL SOL 30 - MOJAVE 24
Green Valley v. El Toro (California)
We don't know much about El Toro California but Green Valley's passing game is strong and the young team that stepped on the field last season has matured. It's only a matter of time before they put the pieces together, so why not against a tough out-of-state opponent?
GREEN VALLEY 41 - EL TORO 35
Canyon Springs v. St. Augustine (California)
Another out of state opponent for a talented Las Vegas team. The pioneers are the favorite to run away with the Northeast division but games like these will prepare them for their future playoff match ups against Southeast division teams.
ST AUGUSTINE 28 - CANYON SPRINGS 20
Faith Lutheran v. Valor Christian (Colorado)
Faith Lutheran has a team with legit D-1 talent and an offense that has proven it can score with the best of them. This is the year they add depth and defense to the equation to compete with the big boys in the Northwest.
FAITH LUTHERAN 31 - VALOR CHRISTIAN 28
Canyon View (Utah) v. Virgin Valley
Virgin Valley is a team that can make a strong 3A championship push this season but this first week will be tough. Utah teams traditionally have good success in these early games vs. Las Vegas squads, but we expect the Bulldogs to bounce back nicely.
CANYON VIEW 28 - VIRGIN VALLEY 21
Desert Pines v. Bishop Diego (California)
Desert Pines looks to join Liberty and Bishop Gorman on the list of nationally recognized teams in Las Vegas but first, they'll have to get past Bishop Diego. We expect the Jags to pull the upset and start yet another strong 3a campaign.
DESERT PINES 19 - BISHOP DIEGO 14
Saguara (Arizona) v. Liberty
The Pioneers are becoming as established as Bishop Gorman High School within the city. but this match up will show that they are a team worthy of a national ranking every season.