High School SportsHigh School Football


MontanaSports.com high school football power rankings: Billings West early favorite in preseason

Football Generic.png
Posted at 3:25 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 11:37:56-04

Montana's 2021 high school football season begins Thursday when Butte visits Billings Senior at Daylis Stadium. Ahead of the action, MontanaSports.com is bringing back its weekly high school football power rankings after a hiatus in 2020.

Billings West, a state runner-up last season, starts at No. 1 in the Class AA preseason poll. The Golden Bears open the season with a state championship rematch on the road against Missoula Sentinel, a team whose own expectations are high after being the first State AA champion from the Garden City in 26 years. The Spartans open at No. 2 in the rankings. Two other teams in the top five, Great Falls High and Helena High, also face each other in Week 1.

In Class A, Hamilton begins the season at the top of the board. The Broncs have been dominant the past four seasons, but they're still looking for their first state title since going back-to-back in 1997 and 1998. After second-place finishes in 2017 and 2018 and semifinal losses in 2019 and 2020, Hamilton hopes starting quarterback and Montana commit Tyson Rostad can lead a prolific offense to the title.

Florence received the most first-place votes in Class B, just ahead of reigning state champion Manhattan. The Falcons fell in an overtime thriller in the 2020 semifinals against Fairfield, who Manhattan then beat for the title. Florence returns loads of talent and has been on an upward trajectory since 2017. Like in Class AA, No. 1 and No. 2 will face off in the first week, as Florence will travel to Manhattan for its first game on Sept. 3.

Shelby finds itself at the top of the rankings in 8-Man after a deep playoff run last season. The Coyotes fell to Scobey in the semifinals, and then Scobey lost to Drummond-Philipsburg in the state championship. Both the Spartans and the Titans also open in the top five, but the race in 8-Man should be intriguing as the year goes along.

In 6-Man, Froid-Medicine Lake, whose state championship last year was the first in the history of either school, starts at No. 1 in 2021. The Redhawks lost five seniors from the title team, but still return plenty of talent to be in the mix this year. White Sulphur Springs was the runner-up last year and will open at No. 2.

The MontanaSports.com 2021 preseason power rankings can be found below.

Class AA

1. Billings West (0-0)
2. Missoula Sentinel (0-0)
3. Helena High (0-0)
4. Great Falls High (0-0)
5. Billings Senior (0-0)

Receiving votes: Bozeman High

Class A

1. Hamilton (0-0)
2. Billings Central (0-0)
3. Laurel (0-0)
4. Miles City (0-0)
5. Dillon (0-0)

Receiving votes: Columbia Falls, Frenchtown, Glendive, Whitefish

Class B

1. Florence (0-0)
2. Manhattan (0-0)
3. Townsend (0-0)
4. Fairfield (0-0)
5. Eureka (0-0)

Receiving votes: Bigfork, Columbus, Cut Bank, Glasgow, Huntley Project, Malta


1. Shelby (0-0)
T2. Drummond-Philipsburg (0-0)
T2. Joliet (0-0)
4. Scobey (0-0)
5. Park City (0-0)

Receiving votes: Belt, Fairview, Fort Benton, Westby-Grenora


1. Froid-Medicine Lake (0-0)
2. White Sulphur Springs (0-0)
3. Hot Springs (0-0)
4. Wibaux (0-0)
5. Bridger (0-0)

Receiving votes: Big Sandy, Richey-Lambert, Roy-Winifred