Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Opening night of the 2011 high school football season is less than a month away, and many of the usual suspects are expected to compete for region state championships. To get our readers excited about the season, here's a look at the Deseret News' preseason top 25 prep football rankings, which are based loosely on coaches' votes for the class-by-class rankings. This list includes teams ranked 1-15. For teams ranked 16-25, click here.

15 Juan Diego
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

2010 Record: 12-1.
2010 Playoffs: Beat Hurricane in 3A championship.
Outlook: Class 3A’s three-time state champs are poised for a run at a fourth with six returning starters on each side of the ball. Defensively, the Soaring Eagle should be very, very good again, which is bad news for the rest of 3A. Offensively, Brock Garn (pictured) will see plenty of carries.

14 Northridge
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

2010 Record: 9-3.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Bingham in 5A quarterfinals.
Outlook: Won’t be a big team, but with seven returning starters (including running back Austin Tate) on both sides of the ball, the Knights will definitely be a factor in the Region 1 race all year.

13 Riverton
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

2010 Record: 10-2.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Lone Peak in 5A quarterfinals.
Outlook: Lost most of its offense and defense to graduation, and even though the ‘Wolves will be young, they should be a very fast team that will compete every Friday night. Running back Joey Jensen is one of only three offensive returning starters.

12 Springville
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

2010 Record: 10-2.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Highland in 4A semifinals.
Outlook: The Red Devils’ season has ended at Rice-Eccles Stadium the past two years, and coach Scott Mitchell’s team is a good bet to get there again with countless returning starters, including quarterback Steve Bate.

11 Bountiful
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

2010 Record: 9-4.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Mountain Crest in 4A semifinals.
Outlook: Bountiful ended a six-year semifinal drought last year, but don’t expect six more years to pass until its next visit to Rice-Eccles Stadium. Led by all-state linebacker Teau Satuala (pictured), the Braves will feature one of the best defenses in 4A.

10 Cottonwood
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

2010 Record: 10-1.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Jordan in 5A quarterfinals.
Outlook: Considering the personnel, Cottonwood could be in a lot of shootouts this year. Coach Josh Lyman said this year’s offense should be the best in his six years at Cottonwood, led by quarterback Cooper Bateman. The defense will be young and inexperienced after losing nine starters.

9 Mountain Crest
Ravell Call, Deseret News

2010 Record: 10-3.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Highland in 4A championship.
Outlook: Was one play away from winning the title last year, but Mountain Crest isn’t sitting back and feeling sorry for itself. With eight returning starters on defense and five on offense, coach Mark Wootton said this offseason has been the best offseason since he’s been at Mountain Crest. Junior receiver Faimafili Laulu-Pututau (pictured) is a big-time recruit for the Mustangs.

8 Highland
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

2010 Record: 10-4.
2010 Playoffs: Beat Mountain Crest in 4A championship.
Outlook: Highland lost all five offensive linemen and all but one defensive lineman from last year’s surprising state championship team. If it can find adequate replacements, the Rams will be one of the teams to beat in 4A with the return of Sione Houma (pictured) at running back.

7 Jordan
Ravell Call, Deseret News

2010 Record: 9-4.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Bingham in 5A semifinals.
Outlook: A surprise semifinalist a year ago, Jordan returns most of its skill position players (including pictured wide receiver Taylor Loomis), but there are big shoes to fill with the graduation of quarterback McCoy Hill.

6 Timpview
Keith Johnson, Deseret News archives

2010 Record: 10-1.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Springville in 4A quarterfinals.
Outlook: The T-Birds lost most of their offensive starters from a year ago, including talented quarterback Christian Covey, but the defense will be solid and should give the offense plenty of time to find its rhythm. Coach Louis Wong (pictured) saw his team’s streak of four straight 4A titles come to a close last year.

5 Davis
Ravell Call, Deseret News

2010 Record: 8-2.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Jordan in 5A first round.
Outlook: Despite giving up 52 points in playoff ouster to Jordan last year, the Darts return plenty of defensive starters and should be even better this year.

4 Lone Peak
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

2010 Record: 11-2.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Fremont in 5A semifinals.
Outlook: Led by Chase Hansen (pictured) and Talon Shumway, Lone Peak will be a very athletic team this year. There’s plenty of depth on the offensive and defensive line as well, which should be a big advantage.

3 Fremont
Jeffrey D. Allred

2010 Record: 11-2.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Bingham in 5A championship.
Outlook: The Wolves snuck up on some teams last year, but that won’t happen this year. The 5A runners-up are loaded with eight offensive starters back (including running back Nick Vigil) and six defensive starters returning.

2 Alta
Stuart Johnson

2010 Record: 4-7.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Northridge in 5A first round.
Outlook: Last year’s losing record was a small blip. This team is loaded offensively and defensively, and many believe Alta is far and away the most talented team in the state. Defensive back Austin Lee verbally committed to the University of Utah this summer.

1 Bingham
Mike Terry, Deseret News

2010 Record: 13-0.
2010 Playoffs: Beat Fremont in 5A championship.
Outlook: The Miners had 15 players move on to play college football, so there are clearly some big shoes to fill all over the field. With that said, Bingham has won 24 straight games and is the team to beat until knocked off its pedestal. Jared Afalava is one of three defensive returning starters.