Three area teams will start the season ranked in the Top 10.
Two-time state champion Cedar Park will open its season ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Class 5A poll of Texas high school football programs.
Manvel, which ended the Timberwolves’ playoff run last November in the third round, opens as the top-ranked Class 5A team. After spending much of last season considered among the favorites to win the title, Manvel beat Cedar Park before falling to eventual state runner-up Temple in the fourth round.
Defending 5A-DII champion Aledo, winners of six state titles in the last eight seasons, is ranked No. 2 in the AP preseason 5A poll, just ahead of last year’s 5A-DI champion Highland Park.
Lake Travis, which beat The Woodlands in impressive fashion to capture last year’s 6A Division I title, will open the 2017 season ranked No. 6 in the AP’s Class 6A poll.
The Cavaliers’ District 25-6A rival Westlake opens at No. 7.
Both teams lost their starting quarterbacks to Division 1 college programs, with Westlake’s Sam Ehlinger now on campus at the University of Texas and Lake Travis’ Charlie Brewer is now at Baylor.
Perennial powerhouse Allen opens as the top-ranked 6A team, followed by Katy and the 2016 6A-DII champion DeSoto.
Cedar Park will open the season on Friday, Sept. 1 at home against Waco Midway. Lake Travis travels to Converse Judson and Westlake travels to No. 2 ranked Katy the same night.