Scott G. Winterton, 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 16-25. For the top 15, click here.

#16 - Hunter
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

2010 Record: 7-4.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Bingham in 5A first round.
Outlook: After taking a seven-month break from coaching, Les Hamilton is back on the sidelines again. The landscape will be much different at Hunter than it was at Alta, and it will be interesting how Hamilton’s spread offense translates at a school known for its power running game.

#17 - Hurricane
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

2010 Record: 12-2.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Juan Diego in 3A championship.
Outlook: Despite a third straight title game loss to Juan Diego, there’s no shortage of optimism and excitement about Hurricane football this year. With three returning starters on the offensive line there’s a great foundation with which to start.

#18 - Syracuse
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

2010 Record: 6-4.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Lone Peak in 5A first round.
Outlook: With Hunter Dimick and Tyson Greenwood both back this season, the Titans should be a very good defensive team in a region where defense is so important. Coach Russ Jones has turned Syracuse into a very good program since the school opened in 2007.

#19 - East
Mike Terry, Deseret News

2010 Record: 8-3.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Mountain Crest in 4A quarterfinals.
Outlook: Quarterback will be a big question mark, but a defense that returns 10 starters should more than make up for it. East plays one of the tougher preseason schedules in the state, which should prepare it for the tough region grind. Running back Liti Molisi (pictured) is coming off a 1,300-yard season.

#20 - Pine View
Tom Smart, Deseret News

2010 Record: 7-4.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Highland in 4A quarterfinals.
Outlook: The Panthers are moving back to 3A, and with seven returning starters on each side of the ball, coach Ray Hosner’s team will instantly be a state title contender.

#21 - West
Mike Terry, Deseret News

2010 Record: 7-4.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Riverton in 5A first round.
Outlook: West returns arguably its four most talented players from a year ago, and even though there are some holes to fill, if it gets through a tough preseason schedule in one piece it should compete for the Region 2 title. West hasn’t won a playoff game since 1997.

#22 - Skyline
Tom Smart, Deseret News

2010 Record: 6-5.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Fremont in 5A quarterfinals.
Outlook: The Eagles should be very competitive in their first year in 4A, and with a fair amount of returning starters, Skyline should be the team to beat in the revamped Region 7. Coach Roger Dupaix has 294 career victories and should reach No. 300 this season.

#23 - Westlake
Ravell Call, Deseret News

2010 Record: 8-2.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to East in 4A first round.
Outlook: With nine returning starters, Westlake has the luxury of a veteran defense, but it’s rebuilding offensively with just a handful of starters back. Addison Bates (20) and Derek Parker will both be key contributors defensively.

#24 - Logan
Ravell Call, Deseret News

2010 Record: 8-3.
2010 Playoffs: Lost to Timpview in 4A first round.
Outlook: It will be an uphill battle to unseat Mountain Crest for the Region 5 crown, but coach Mike Favero’s (pictured, center) team is capable with seven returning offensive starters, including quarterback DJ Nelson.

#25 - Viewmont
Ravell Call, Deseret News

2010 Record: 3-7.
2010 Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs.
Outlook: After taking its lumps last year on a team full of underclassmen, coach Brad Lloyd’s team will be much improved in 2011 with 11 returning starters back on each side of the ball.

High school football top 25