SBLive Idaho is previewing the top football teams and players in the state ahead of the 2022 high school football season.
Here are SBLive’s Class 1A Division II preseason Top 5 high school football rankings for 2022. The rankings were compiled by SBLive Idaho correspondent Brandon Walton.
CLASS 1A TOP 5 (Div. 2)
2021 record: 9-2
The Tigers won their first state championship in two decades last year - and might not have to wait as long for another. Kendrick only lost one player from last year’s team and will only be starting three seniors. It brings back six all-state players, including junior quarterback Ty Keopp, who totaled nearly 2,400 yards and 46 touchdowns of total offense a year ago. Also, 6-foot-3, 230-pound lineman Dallas Morgan earned first-team all-state honors on both sides last season.
2021 record: 9-2
The Wolves posted consecutive winning seasons for the first time in almost a decade last season - all coming after five losing seasons in a row. They will look to continue the upward trend with six all-conference returners, including all-state receiver Ethan Roland, who doubles as the punter, too. The 6-3 senior turned 75 touches into almost 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns last year. But don’t forget about senior Gus Wiggins, who was an all-league lineman and linebacker.
2021 record: 7-4
The Blue Devils are a model of consistency. They’ve made 13 consecutive state playoff appearances, winning a state title in 2020. Look for that streak to continue this season with five all-conference players back, including all-state senior defensive back Cody Power (also an all-Snake River Conference quarterback selection). Fellow seniors Payten Sneddon (RB/LB) and Dason Pizano (OL/DL) were two-way all-league players last year as well.
2021 record: 5-3
No team on this list has more all-conference players coming back than the Lumberjacks with 10. And it’s a who’s-who of names, too - starting with all-state defensive lineman Wyatt Vining. The senior was also an all-Long Pin Conference wide receiver and kicker. Council boasts the league’s reigning offensive MVP in senior quarterback Josh Gipe as well. But the Lumberjacks still have to go out and prove it with no playoff wins since 2014.
2021 record: 6-4
With arguably the classification’s most dynamic player in Teague Matthews, the Bulldogs hope to enhance their playoff fortunes after collecting just two playoff wins since 2014. The 6-5 junior wide receiver and linebacker just got done leading the basketball team to its first-ever title. He racked up 85 catches for 1,414 yards and 25 touchdowns last year. Senior fullback and linebacker Cody Woodworth is the team’s other all-league returner.
(All photos by Loren Orr Photography)