by Bruce Wallace

The SoBoCo Eagles football team will be challenged as much as ever this season as four of their opponents are ranked in the state’s initial prep football poll.
The Eagles kick off their season this Friday against Class 2 North Callaway at SoBoCo athletic field at 7 p.m.
The Class 3 rankings, based largely upon last year’s results and the number of returning starters and lettermen, has John Burroughs at the top and four Eagles opponents in the poll. Not far behind the top spot at No. 3 was reigning Tri-County Conference champion Blair Oaks. The Falcons were 13-1 last season.
Also from the Tri-County Conference is No. 9 ranked Osage. The Indians were only 5-6 last year – one of those wins was over the Eagles – but had a small senior class and returns nearly all of its key players.
Two other SoBoCo opponents are in the “Also Receiving Votes” category, just outside of the Top 10:
• Eldon, 7-4 last year – the Mustangs nearly knocked off the Falcons in their regular season contest and have a large contingent of returning starters.
• Wright City, 8-4 last year. The Wildcats were 8-4 last season, winning two playoff games before being knocked off by Centralia. However, Wright City lost several key players to graduation. The Eagles match up with the Wildcats in Week 2 of the season.