The 2008 high school football season is exactly a month away, and the defending state champs were shown a lot of love in the Deseret News' annual coaches preseason rankings.

Alta, Timpview, Logan, North Summit and Kanab all claimed the classification's respective titles last year, and they're each the team to beat again this year.

Coaches have a habit of voting for last year's champ, so the rankings aren't necessarily surprising. With that said, the coaches might actually be right for a change with their preseason rankings. Outside of 5A, where the Alta Hawks only return a handful of starters, the remaining four teams are all loaded for another run in 2008.

Following a 13-0 season in 2007, Timpview returns 12 starters this year and received every first place vote from the 21 coaches who submitted 4A preseason ballots.

In 3A, Logan returns nine starters, including returning 3A MVP Jordan Ballam and heavily recruited quarterback Jeff Manning. In 2A, North Summit returns seven starters and two first-team all-staters. As for 1A, Kanab has four returning starters on offense and five on defense to try and follow up last year's 12-1 season.

Based on the number of returning starters — four — the Alta Hawks seem to have the toughest task of repeating. Alta has a very strong youth football program though, and coach Les Hamilton will likely just be reloading again this year.

The No. 1 challenger in 5A will be the Bingham Miners. With five starters back on both sides of the ball, several of which who've already verbally committed to colleges, the Miners are in great shape this year.

Things seem to be pretty open after Timpview in Class 4A. Seven different teams received second-place votes, all of whom appeared on at least eight of the 21 ballots submitted.

2008 preseason high school football rankings

Each year, the Deseret Morning News asks every football coach in the state to vote for the top five teams in their classification. The votes are tallied, and five points are assigned for a first-place vote, four for a second-place vote, etc. The following are the results of those votes (first-place votes indicated in parenthesis):

            

CLASS 5A PTS. '07 RECORD

1. Alta (9) 63 13-1

2. Bingham (5) 61 11-2

3. Layton (1) 33 12-2

4. Jordan 17 7-4

5. Northridge 14 8-3

Others receiving votes: Skyline, Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Riverton, Davis, Lone Peak, Viewmont, Kearns, Spanish Fork.

            

CLASS 4A PTS. '07 RECORD

1. Tmpview (21) 105 13-0

2. Cottonwood 38 10-2

3. Pine View 37 13-1

4. Mtn.Crest 36 7-5

5. Highland 28 8-3

Others receiving votes: Bountiful, Sky View, East, Snow Canyon, Mountain View, Dixie, Bonneville.

            

CLASS 3A PTS. '07 RECORD

1. Logan (12) 79 12-2

2. Judge (3) 51 10-3

3. Park City 35 8-3

4. Juan Diego 23 8-4

5. Cedar (1) 17 8-4

Others receiving votes: Hurricane, Delta, Bear River, Wasatch, Morgan, Uintah, Union.

            

CLASS 2A PTS. '07 RECORD

1. N.Summit (4) 37 12-0

2. Juab (1) 36 6-5

3. Millard (4) 35 11-1

4. Manti (2) 25 7-4

5. San Juan 18 6-5

Others receiving votes: Richfield, Grand, South Summit.

            

CLASS 1A PTS. '07 RECORD

1. Kanab (6) 41 12-1

2. Rich (2) 31 8-4

3. North Sevier 17 4-5

4. Duchesne 16 7-5

5. Enterprise 11 7-5

Others receiving votes: Parowan, Monticello, Layton Christian, Altamont.