It's the heart of the football season, and once again, high school teams from the Hi-Line area are thriving.
In this week's Montana Prep Power Polls, there are four area teams ranked, and all four will be in action over the weekend.
The Chester/J-I Hawks are off to a perfect start to the 2012 season and ranked No. 2 in the latest Class C 8-Man Power Poll. The Hawks are 4-0 in the Northern C Conference and have the inside track on the top seed from that division in the upcoming playoffs. The Hawks have already beaten rival Chinook and Centerville this season, but they have another big test tonight when they to Belt. C/J-I also still has to play Power-Dutton-Brady and Great Falls Central this season, so there's plenty of challenges ahead.
The Sugarbeeters (3-1) are ranked No. 6 in this week's poll. Chinook's lone loss came in Chester two weeks ago, but the Beeters are firmly in the playoff hunt. The Beeters have a stern test against Centerville tonight, and they still have three more road games on the schedule, but it's certainly looking like Chinook is headed back to the playoffs.
In the Class C Six-Man race, it's no surprise that the Big Sandy Pioneers are ranked No. 3 and undefeated in 2012. The Pioneers have handled their first three opponents by an average margin of 22 points per game and they are closing in on their third straight North Division title. Big Sandy travels to Augusta Saturday, and then host Valier and travel to North Star in back-to-back weeks, both of which will be huge games.
The Knights are 2-1 on the season and received votes in this week's poll. It's supposed to be a rebuilding year at North Star, but the Knights are certainly thinking playoffs. North Star has Box Elder on the road Saturday before hosting Geraldine-Highwood in a critical matchup next week.