The North Dakota high school football season kicks off this Friday, August 18th with 9-man teams across the state taking the field. So, it's the perfect time to release our MidcoSN ND high school power rankings for all 4 classes of football. Enjoy, debate, discuss!
- Bismarck Century
- Bismarck High
- West Fargo
- West Fargo Sheyenne
My Take: The 2-time defending state champs from Century return 33 seniors. Sr. QB Jakob Olson, a 1st team all-state selection last year, returns to guide the offense for the Patriots. Bismarck High returns two great offensive weapons with quarterback Will Madler and running back Jalen Sprecher back in the mix. West Fargo lost some studs on the OL/DL, but QB Andy Gravdahl will have the Packers back in the mix. Minot and Sheyenne have the talent to be contenders, as well.
- Bismarck St. Mary's
- Watford City
- Devils Lake
My Take: No surprises at #1 and #2. St. Mary's and Shanley will be the teams to beat in the thin division of ND high school football. Only 10 teams make up Class AA and that means every win on the road is going to have to be earned. For example, Wahpeton finishes the regular season with a 424 mile trip or a 6+ hour bus drive, if you will, to Watford City. That will be the longest of all the trips, but this reclassification will be a hot topic all season. Another wrinkle in Class AA is the addition of former AAA schools Devils Lake and Jamestown. I think their depth will help them compete instantly at this level.
- Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich
- Hillsboro-Central Valley
- Dickinson Trinity
My Take: Keeping with the "reclassification" theme. Beulah, who made the state quarterfinals in Class AA last season is my #1 team in Class A to begin the year. The Miners are strong every year and they'll have to be because they're playing in a competitive Region 4 that features another former Class AA program in Dickinson Trinity along with last year's co-champs of Region 4, Hazen and Killdeer. Oh and then there's the defending state champs from E-E-K who bring back 1st team all-state running back Clayton Grueneich. Don't be surprised if the Thunder roll right back into the Fargodome this fall (pun intended). E-E-K gets a huge test September 1st at last year's AA runner-up Kindred.
- St. John
- Shiloh Christian
My Take: Opening night is going to be spectacular with Thompson playing at Cavalier! Almost everybody is back for Cavalier and that's scary for the rest of the teams in ND 9-man. 1st team all-state QB Austin Urlaub will be a force for this veteran team. Defending state champ Thompson gets the nod at #2 for me. The Tommies graduated a lot of talent off that 2016 team, but do return skill players Cadyn Schwabe, Marcus Hughes and Cole Sorby. Look for Hughes and Schwabe to handle the QB duties with Sorby becoming a beast in the backfield. St. John should emerge out of Region 4 this year with 8 starters returning on both sides of the ball. Woodchucks Sr. QB Bryor Parisien is going to be a nightmare for opposing defenses. I had about 8 teams in the mix for my final two spots, but Shiloh Christian and Wyndmere-Lidgerwood get the nod.
You'll be able to watch high school sports coverage as part of our NEW daily show, Midco Sports Tonight, which will air Monday thru Friday 6-7 pm CT. We'll also be broadcasting some live high school football games this season on our Midco Sports Network channel. In addition, you can catch our Friday night highlight show, "Varsity Sports Live" during the fall. It airs live at 10:30-11:30 pm CT. Also, the MidcoSN app is available for free in the Apple Store and Google Play. We will be updating the app frequently on game nights as we receive final scores. We're excited to take our coverage to the next level this season!