The Des Moines Register's Preseason Super 10 Football Rankings

Cody Goodwin
The Des Moines Register

The high school football season is upon us again, and with that brings back the Des Moines Register's rankings — specifically, our Super 10.

For those unfamiliar, the Super 10 is our poll that ranks the best prep football teams in Iowa, regardless of class. They often showcase some of the best in Iowa's largest classes, but occasionally, those small-class schools make appearances from time to time.

Southeast Polk and Ankeny Centennial were both included in the Des Moines Register's preseason Super 10 high school football rankings. They will play each other during Week Six of the 2018 regular season.

This preseason edition of the Super 10 is top heavy. You may recognize all the teams as those who have been dominant the last few seasons. We expect plenty of shuffling over the first couple of weeks, as games between ranked teams will fill the calendar.

Until then, we can only predict results and further our discussion as Week One draws near. Below you'll find the teams, chosen after lively consultation by the Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen staff members, along with a quick summary and their upcoming opponent.

Without further ado …

1. Dowling Catholic

Dowling Catholic's Jason Murray (2) rushed for 1,947 yards last year, leading the Maroons to a fifth-straight Class 4A state championship. Murray is back for his senior campaign, and he and his teammates will open the 2018 season at No. 1 in the Des Moines Register's Super 10 high school football rankings.

Analysis: Four of five starting offensive linemen are back for the five-time defending Class 4A state champs, as is lightning-fast running back Jason Murray. A handful of playmakers on defense are back as well, including linebacker Jack Keough.

Week One: at Waukee

2. Johnston

Johnston checks in at No. 2 in the Register's preseason Super 10 high school football rankings. Can they dethrone Dowling Catholic in Class 4A this season? The Dragons and Maroons will square off in Week Three of the 2018 regular season.

Analysis: Lots of strong pieces from last year's state quarterfinal team return again, including Nathan Newcomb, Anthony Coleman and Andrew Nord, among others. The defense will be mean, and the offense has some playmakers.

Week One: at Urbandale

3. Bettendorf

Carter Bell (11) is one of many returning playmakers for Bettendorf this season. The Bulldogs check in at No. 3 in the Register's preseason Super 10 rankings.

Summary: Three starting offensive linemen are back, led by senior Griffen Deere, as is athletic dual-threat quarterback Carter Bell and Iowa State recruit Darien Porter. The Bulldogs' front seven on defense will be strong, too.

Week One: vs. Pleasant Valley

4. West Des Moines Valley

Beau Lombardi and the Valley football team are always tough in central Iowa. The Tigers enter the 2018 season at No. 4 in the Register's preseason Super 10 rankings.

Summary: The Tigers will be a force again here in central Iowa. The offense is expected to take strides after averaging 34.7 points per game in 2017. Beau Lombardi is back under center, and Jake Remsburg will lead an experienced offensive line.

Week One: vs. No. 10 Southeast Polk 

5. Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls reached the Class 4A state quarterfinals last season, falling to eventual finalist Iowa City West. The Tigers return plenty of playmakers and figure to contend in Iowa's largest class again in 2018.

Summary: Cedar Falls returns many playmakers from last year's squad that ranked in the top five of both offense and defense. Playmakers on both sides of the ball, like Jack Campbell and Logan Wolf, will help make the Tigers contenders again this season.

Week One: at Ames

6. Cedar Rapids Prairie

Cedar Rapids Prairie checks in at No. 6 in the Register's preseason Super 10 rankings. The Hawks were Cedar Rapids' best 4A team last season, and figure to be near the top of the heap again in 2018.

Summary: Keegan Simmons was the star for the Hawks last season and is back again after rushing for 1,822 yards. The defense should be seasoned as well, with veterans Logan LaGrange and Gavin Ozmun both back in the fold.

Week One: at Cedar Rapids Washington

7. Cedar Rapids Xavier

Cedar Rapids Xavier is the highest-ranked Class 3A team in the Register's preseason Super 10 rankings. The Saints went 13-0 and won the 3A state title last season.

Summary: Our first Class 3A team in the Super 10. Xavier dethroned Pella last year in the 3A title game for its first state title since 2006. Plenty of strong pieces are back, like Quinn Schulte, Braden Stovie and big Josh Volk on the offensive line. 

Week One: at Iowa City Regina

8. Lewis Central

Lewis Central dropped to Class 3A after the Iowa High School Athletic Association realigned the state football classes. Max Duggan, left, is one of state's top pound-for-pound recruits, and the TCU commit is expected to lead the Titans to new heights in 2018.

Summary: Another 3A team in the Super 10. The Max Duggan-led Titans made noise last year with a stunning first-round playoff win over Valley. Now, down a class, Lewis Central boasts a roster with talent in every which direction.

Week One: vs. Sergeant Bluff-Luton

9. Ankeny Centennial

Ankeny Centennial, No. 9 in the Register's preseason Super 10 rankings, has reached the Class 4A state semifinals in back-to-back seasons.

Summary: The Jaguars are coming off back-to-back UNI-Dome appearances, but lots of experienced players left through graduation. A solid base returns this season. Can Centennial make it three-straight trips to Cedar Falls? 

Week One: at Ankeny

10. Southeast Polk

Gavin Williams will be the main attraction for Southeast Polk in 2018. The Rams round out the Register's preseason Super 10 rankings.

Summary: There's more than just Gavin Williams on this team, but the junior blue-chip recruit will draw the attention. A strong offensive and defensive line will make the Rams a sneaky dangerous team capable of a deep postseason run.

Week One: No. 4 W.D.M. Valley

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.