Lynx ranked No. 6 in opening AP 3A top 10

WEBSTER CITY – A team that lost more than 3,750 yards of offense and three first-team all-state talents from a season ago is ranked No. 6 in Class 3A in the first Associated Press prep football poll that was released Monday afternoon.

Why? How? That’s easy – respect.

Respect for the program. Respect for the Hall of Fame coach Bob Howard, who owns 312 career victories.

Whether Webster City deserves its lofty perch at No. 6 – the Lynx share the spot with Sioux City Heelan – in the top 10 will play out in the weeks to come, but an 11-1 record in 2015 and a 53-14 dismantling of Humboldt on Friday in the season opener were enough to sway the 19 voters who took part in first poll of the new season.

A regular playoff entrant over the past decade, WCHS (50 voting points) is the only District 2 team to claim a spot in the top 10, but three others drew consideration. Ballard sits 13th with 20 points, just ahead of Dallas Center-Grimes (19 points), which is 14th. Gilbert (four points) also made the cut among other teams receiving votes.

Other tidbits from the AP poll:

West Des Moines Dowling (4A), Cedar Rapids Xavier (3A), Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (2A), Iowa City Regina (1A), St. Ansgar (A) and Don Bosco (8-man) hold down the No. 1 rankings in their respective classes. Regina has won six consecutive state championships, while Dowling has claimed three straight in the state’s biggest class. Xavier opened its season by knocking off Regina, 35-26.

Pella, the two-time defending state champion in 3A, sits at No. 2 behind Xavier in the most competitive of the classes at the top. Xavier, Pella and No. 3 Washington all received six first-place votes, while No. 4 Norwalk earned one of the first-place votes.

Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley is down a class after reaching the second round of the state playoffs in 3A a season ago. BHRV had its 2015 season ended by who? Webster City, 38-6, last November.

Despite losing in Week 1, Regina picked up 12 first-place votes. The Regals haven’t lost to a 1A opponent in years, and yet six voters opted not to put them in the No. 1 spot.

Don Bosco, last season’s 8-man runner-up, earned a poll-best 16 first-place votes. Last year’s 8-man state champion, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn, is now sharing with Remsen-Union (MMCRU) and is playing 11-man football in Class A.

South Hamilton’s 1A District 6 will no doubt be treacherous this fall. Madrid begins the season ranked No. 6, with Van Meter right behind at No. 7.