After four straight Class A state championships, Central Catholic will not open the season as the favorite in Class 2A.
Ritter, last season’s 2A state runner-up, earned the vote of both the Associated Press media panel and the Indiana Football Coaches Association as the preseason No. 1.
Central Catholic, which moved up to 2A due to the IHSAA’s tournament success factor, is alone at No. 2 in the AP poll and tied there with Evansville Mater Dei in the coaches poll.
West Lafayette opens the season ranked No. 8 in the IFCA poll. The Red Devils finished 6-4 last season, with two losses coming against eventual state finalists and two others against sectional champions.
West Lafayette did not crack the AP top 10 but is among the teams receiving votes.
Among other area teams, West Central opens the season ranked No. 7 in the AP Class A poll. The Trojans finished 10-2 last season. McCutcheon (5A), North Montgomery (3A), Rensselar (2A) and Fountain Central, Attica and Carroll (A) all received votes.
Rensselaer and Southmont (2A) and West Central, Seeger and Attica (A) also received IFCA votes.
Defending 5A state champion Lawrence Central and Carmel shared the top spot in the AP poll for 6A. Lawrence Central has the spot to itself in the IFCA poll. This is the first season of a sixth class of IHSAA football.
The two polls matched each other on the rest of the No. 1s: Cathedral (5A), Chatard (4A), Hamilton Heights (3A), Ritter (2A) and Sheridan (A).
You can view Journal & Courier reporter Nathan Baird’s AP poll votes at http://php.jconline.com/blogs/nathan/