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The state preseason football poll is out and defending 3A state champion Sugar-Salem opens the season as the favorite once again.

The Diggers received all seven first-place votes, the only team other than Rocky Mountain in 5A to be unanimous picks.

Hillcrest and Skyline tied for fourth in the 4A poll, but both had first-place votes. Perennial power Bishop Kelly took the top spot.

Snake River earned a fifth-place pick in 3A and North Fremont was third behind Grangeville and West Side in 2A.

None of the local teams in 1A were top-5, but Challis received three votes in 1A Division I.

Sugar-Salem lost plenty of seniors off of last year’s title team, but returns the core of its lineup and skill players. The battle in 4A might be the most interesting for District 6 teams. Hillcrest is the defending state champion but will have a slew of new and younger players taking on key roles. Skyline, state champion in 2016 and 2017, may be poised to make another run. Bonneville returns an experienced group of seniors.

The 2019 season kicks off Friday.

PRESEASON STATE MEDIA POLL

CLASS 5A

Rk Team (1st-place votes) Points

1. Rocky Mountain (7) 35

2. Mountain View 24

3. Highland 17

4. Coeur d’Alene 12

5. Eagle 11

Others receiving votes: Post Falls 4, Capital 1, Rigby 1.

CLASS 4A

1. Bishop Kelly (4) 32

2. Middleton 17

3. Vallivue 16

t-4. Hillcrest (2) 14

t-4. Skyline (1) 14

Others receiving votes: Century 8, Nampa 3, Minico 1.

CLASS 3A

1. Sugar-Salem (7) 35

2. Homedale 28

3. Timberlake 15

4. Gooding 14

t-5. Kimberly 5

t-5. Snake River 5

Others receiving votes: Weiser 2, Fruitland 1.

CLASS 2A

1. Grangeville (4) 31

2. West Side (1) 16

3. North Fremont 15

t-4. Declo (2) 13

t-4. McCall-Donnelly 13

Others receiving votes: St. Maries 12, Aberdeen 5.

CLASS 1A DIVISION I

1. Oakley (6) 34

2. Valley (1) 20

3. Wilder 14

4. Prairie 13

5. Raft River 6

Others receiving votes: Idaho City 4, Challis 3, Lapwai 3, Clearwater Valley 3, Glenns Ferry 1.

CLASS 1A DIVISION II

1. Carey (6) 34

2. Lighthouse Christian (1) 29

3. Garden Valley 18

4. Kendrick 15

5. Salmon River 8

Others receiving votes: Deary 1.

VOTERS

Ben Jones, (Twin Falls) Times-News

Mark Nelke, Coeur d’Alene Press

Madison Guernsey, Idaho State Journal

Brandon Walton, Idaho Press

Allan Steele, (Idaho Falls) Post Register

Michael Lycklama, Idaho Statesman

Paul Kingsbury, IdahoSports.com

Allan Steele is Sports Editor of the Post Register. Reach him at 208 542-6772 and follow on Twitter at asteele12000