The Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets have been tapped the No. 1 ranked Class 3A football in a state poll, compiled by the website White Mountain Football News.
The Jackets earned the top ranking less than a year after playing its way to an undefeated season and the Arizona State championship.
A perennial powerhouse in high school football, the Jackets coached by Paul Moro has been among the state's best teams for the past 30 years.
The Payson Longhorns, coming off a 6-5 season, are nowhere to be found in WMFL's state rankings.
Going unrecognized by White Mountain sources might be a blessing in disguise for the Horns.
With little respect being paid the team, Payson has the potential to sneak in on Friday nights, pull off a few upsets, and scamper back down the mountain before the Cougars, Lobos and Elks realize what's happened.
The runner-up slot in the poll is held down by the Globe Tigers. Round Valley is ranked third, Ganado fourth and Coolidge fifth.
Other ranked teams are: 6. Show Low, 7. Wickenburg, 8. Snowflake, 9. Winslow and 10. Parker.
Among the top 10 teams, four (BR, SL, RV and Snowflake) reside in the rugged East division that annually is one of the toughest in the state.
Highlights of the opening week of play (Aug. 31) will feature Kirtland (N.M.) at Blue Ridge, Show Low at Seton Catholic, Round Valley at Academia Juarez (Mexico) and Payson at St. Johns.