AVCTL coaches give their predicted order of finish for upcoming football season

McPherson is the overwhelming favorite to win AVCTL-III this season. El Dorado and Buhler will give the Bullpups a test this season.

We here at Gannett Kansas gave you our personal predictions for how the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League was going to finish earlier this season and that was met with some push back.

We went out and found the professionals of the AVCTL, the coaches, and found their opinions on this. While I've seen many other papers and publications do the coaches' predictions and we see it in the collegiate level, not having one for the state's largest league felt like we were all missing out. 

So, we messaged every coach, almost to the point of badgering them, to trust us with anonymous rankings. While we had never done that, we sent out an email saying it was anonymous without realizing some of the issues we would run into.

One issue, was coaches not wanting to do it unless every team does it. Eventually, we were able to get every coach to buy-in because we were not going to publish unless we had them all.

More:Butler County high school football: What we learned on the first day of practice

Secondly, we did not anticipate a lot of coaches ranking their own teams last. Of the 26 schools, 13 ranked their teams last. Five schools didn't bother to rank their teams at all, leaving us with only eight schools who ranked every one. We decided to drop all same team rankings, meaning Derby didn't rank Derby and Mulvane didn't rank Mulvane. 

When the dust settled, every coach helped out and the final coach eventually broke a couple of tiebreakers, meaning every vote mattered. 

Here are the preseason coaches' predicted order of finish for all for levels of the AVCTL:

AVCTL I

Note: (1st place votes)

  1. Derby (6)
  2. Hutchinson (1)
  3. Maize
  4. Maize South
  5. Salina South
  6. Newton
  7. Campus

One thing to note, Hutch and Maize tied in total points but our formatting here would not let us put them both at two. We "ranked" Hutch higher due to their one first place vote. Many coaches feel it's a three-headed race for first place. One coach called Maize's Avery Johnson a "monster," meaning he could help Maize win the whole thing.

AVCTL II

  1. Andover Central (3)
  2. Andover (1)
  3. Arkansas City (3)
  4. Goddard Eisenhower
  5. Goddard
  6. Salina Central
  7. Valley Center

From top to bottom, this was our closest voted league. There are a lot of unanswered questions and with a state runner-up in the mix, it brought a lot of unique ballots. This will once again be a fun league to watch. In all my years, I don't know if I've ever seen such distribution with the votes.

More:Butler Community College football notes: A quarterback battle highlights early practice storyline

AVCTL III

  1. McPherson (5)
  2. Buhler (1)
  3. El Dorado
  4. Winfield
  5. Augusta
  6. Circle

This appears to be an old fashioned race between McPherson and Buhler. Most coaches consider Winfield to be much improved as the season progresses under a new head coach. El Dorado is a wild card one coach said sand they said "don't know whether to rank them first, second or third." Another coach said "Mac may be better than they've been in the last few years."

AVCTL IV

  1. Andale (5)
  2. Wichita Collegiate (1)
  3. Rose Hill
  4. Wellington
  5. Clearwater
  6. Mulvane

While Andale is the runaway favorite in this league, the rest of the league is separated by seven total point differentials. It's a race for second place. The one wildcard three coaches said was Clearwater. With the graduation of Tanner Cash and a new head coach, no one was quite sure what to expect out of them.