The high school football season kicks into high gear this week with all five Bismarck schools and Mandan playing for the first time.
Defending 9-man runner-up Shiloh Christian gets things started on Tuesday with a road tilt at Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood in a matchup of highly-regarded teams.
The Skyhawks were picked second in the Region 5 preseason coaches' poll behind New Salem-Almont-Glen Ullin (1-0). The Holsteins rolled past Kidder County 60-12 on Friday night behind a five-touchdown game (four passing) from quarterback Evan Henke.
M-L-S was picked as the preseason favorite in Region 6. The Mavericks went 7-2 last season.
On Friday night, Century and Legacy open the season in Bismarck, while BHS, St. Mary's and Mandan hit the road.
Century, the Class AAA West Region preseason favorite in the coaches’ poll, hosts West Fargo Sheyenne. The Mustangs were picked second in the East Region by the coaches behind only West Fargo. The Patriots host Sheyenne at the Sanford Sports Complex at 7 p.m.
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At 6:30 p.m. at the MDU Resources Community Bowl, Legacy squares off with Grand Forks Red River. The Sabers were picked fourth out of seven in the preseason poll. The Roughriders are the No. 6 choice (out of seven) in the East.
Bismarck High, the No. 2 selection in the coaches poll, plays at Fargo Davies on Friday night. The Eagles were picked third.
Mandan travels to Grand Forks Central to face the Knights. The Braves were tabbed fifth by the coaches, while Central was picked last.
St. Mary's begins its quest for a Class AA 3-peat at Grafton on Friday night. The Saints, who defeated Fargo Shanley 31-12 in last year's championship game at the Fargodome, are picked second in the preseason poll behind the Deacons (31-12). St. Mary's has won four of the last five Class AA titles.
The Bismarck Tribune's football preview will be published on Thursday.
The 32-page section features stories on Bismarck High, Century, Legacy, Mandan, St. Mary's, Kidder County, New Salem-Almont-Glen Ullin and the University of Mary, plus capsules of every team in North Dakota and the Northern Sun. Also included are capsules on NDSU, UND, Dickinson State and the University of Jamestown along with schedules for all high-school and college teams in the state.