Monday was the official start of fall football practice. Even though not a single game has been played Max Preps has reviewed teams based upon returning players, schedules, coaching performance, and program tradition to come up with the preseason rankings. In the Single A Division there are several mountain teams and members of the Smoky Mountain Conference who rank in the top 25 these include Murphy at number 2, Swain at number 10, Cherokee at number 14 and Robbinsville at number 21. Also in Single A rankings are some familiar names including top ranked Tarboro, Mitchel is ranked fourth, state champion runner-up Plymouth checks in at number 9.
In the Two A division Shelby returns with the top preseason ranking followed by several mountain teams including Hendersonville at number 11, East Lincoln at number 13, Franklin at number 14, Mountain Heritage is 15th, Pisgah is 18th and Brevard is 20th. Smoky Mountain comes in with a 60 ranking.
In Three A Wake Forest is the top ranked team. The highest ranked mountain team is A.C.Reynolds at number 20 and Tuscola at 39th.
Teams can participate in organized scrimmages starting August 8th and the first official game can be played on August 18th.