Another competitive season is ahead on the basketball court, and before the season starts, the coaches/media have voted on which teams they believe are the early season contenders.

Last season, 4A was wide open and it showed, with everybody beating everybody, and all but 1 team getting a pre-season vote. This season, it appears things are not as wide open compared to last year. For the 2nd year in a row, Cheyenne East claims the #1 spot, but they won't be able to prove it for awhile. The Thunderbirds don't play on opening weekend. Instead, they opted to play in the Energy Classic Tournament in Gillette during the Winter break. As for the rest of the top 5, #2 Sheridan and #3 Kelly Walsh will both play at Riverton, along with unranked Evanston, who missed the top 5 by 1 vote. #4 and defending champ Campbell County will open at home to start the season, while #5 Cheyenne Central will head to Colorado.

Opening weekend in 3A will be big one, as the top 4 teams will gather in Buffalo...and we haven't seen the schedule yet. The defending champion Bison are the overwhelming #1 ranked team. Other teams visiting will be #2 Rawlins, #3 Lander and #4 Worland. As for the #5 team, that goes to Newcastle, who only plays a home game to start the season.

2A could be an interesting class to watch. Defending champ Pine Bluffs and runner-up Wind River start the season ranked #1 and #2 respectively. Wyoming Indian is ranked #3 and will start the season vs. #1 PB in Burns. #4 Wright could be a team to keep an eye on, as the Panthers have every player back from last season. Big Horn claims the final spot at #5.

Some coaches have said there could be parity in 1A this season. Some forgot that Upton is back after spending the last 2 seasons at 2A. State Runner-up Burlington is on top at the beginning of the season, which is usually no surprise. #2 Farson-Eden and #3 Upton figure to be in the mix as well. Don't count out #4 Encampment either. The Tigers were last season's 3rd place team. Defending champ Kaycee starts their defense at #5, and should have a good schedule to prove themselves, with games vs. Upton, and Burlington to look forward to.

Disclaimer: The rankings have no official say on post-season positioning, and are only to be used as a measuring stick on the regular season. Please don't read too much into the rankings.