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ASWA releases pre-season football polls

Reigning State Champs lead way in ASWA preseason football poll

By PAUL BEAUDRY

For The ASWA

BIRMINGHAM – The Super 6 from 2008 are super again to start the 2009 Alabama High School Athletic Association season – at least in the eyes of the Alabama Sports Writers Association.

All six AHSAA champions from 2008 will start the new season ranked No. 1 in their respective classes in the ASWA’s preseason high school football poll.

Class 6A Prattville, 5A Vigor, 4A UMS-Wright, 3A Leeds, 2A Leroy and 1A Sweet Water were state champions at Legion Field in December and will shoot for defending their title on Dec. 3-4 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

Not only did the six champions start the season at No. 1, but four of their six opponents will begin the year as the No. 2 team as chosen by the 36 panelists of sports writers around the state. Class 6A Hoover, 5A Russellville, 4A Cherokee County and 3A Cordova had the runner-up spot in December and in the 2009 poll.

The streak ends in the two smallest classes as Class 2A runner-up Sulligent was picked ninth in the poll and Class 1A Speake closed after the 2008-09 school year and merged with Class 4A Lawrence County.

For Leroy and Sweet Water – who meet in the regular season finale in Leroy – it’s the third-straight time and fourth in the last five years of beginning the season as the No. 1 team in their class.

In the AISA, Class AAA runner-up Fort Dale Academy begins the season as the top-ranked team while Class AA champion Edgewood Academy is second. Bessemer Academy, which had been first in every preseason poll from 2005 to 2008, is third.

The regular season begins the weekend of Aug. 27-29 for all AHSAA and most AISA schools, although a few of the latter institutions begin play on Aug. 21. Playoffs in both associations will start the weekend of Nov. 6.

Class 6A

1. Prattville (35) (13-1) 429

2. Hoover (1) (13-2) 310

3. Davidson (11-3) 244

4. Vestavia Hills (7-4) 158

5. Auburn (12-1) 130

6. Opelika (8-3) 102

7. Tuscaloosa Co. (11-1) 90

8. Minor (9-3) 75

9. Daphne (7-4) 67

tie. Jess Lanier (7-3) 67

Others receiving votes: Stanhope Elmore (7-4) 52, McGill-Toolen (9-3) 50, Foley (7-3) 47, Murphy (10-3) 30, Oxford (8-3) 28, Pelham (6-5) 27, Huntsville (10-4) 21, Fairhope (6-5) 20, Bob Jones (7-5) 19, Gadsden City (7-5) 18, Mountain Brook (11-2) 15, Theodore (8-4) 15, Buckhorn (5-5) 10, Wetumpka (9-3) 9, Enterprise (7-4) 7, Oak Mountain (3-7) 7, Clay-Chalkville (5-6) 2, Williamson (6-4) 2, Hueytown (6-5) 1.

Class 5A

1. Vigor (29) (15-0) 401

2. Russellville (4) (13-2) 306

3. Briarwood Chr. (1) (9-3) 265

4. Carver-Montgomery (1) (13-1) 233

5. Demopolis (1) (8-5) 210

6. Spanish Fort (11-2) 149

7. Cullman (11-3) 128

8. Walker (11-2) 110

9. Shelby Co. (11-1) 55

10. Springville (8-3) 54

Others receiving votes: Boaz (8-4) 31, Athens (6-5) 25, Eufaula (6-5) 24, Valley (10-2) 23, Hartselle (12-1) 20, Wenonah (6-4) 20, Sylacauga (7-4) 5, Greenville (7-4) 3, Fairfield (9-3) 2, Fort Payne (7-4) 2, Tallassee (7-4) 2, Selma (5-5) 1.

Class 4A

1. UMS-Wright (32) (13-2) 420

2. Cherokee Co. (3) (14-1) 324

3. Deshler (1) (10-4) 249

4. Thomasville (7-5) 165

5. Oneonta (10-3) 153

6. North Jackson (10-2) 130

7. Midfield (9-2) 123

8. Brooks (11-2) 96

9. Handley (10-3) 92

10. Bibb Co. (10-2) 73

Others receiving votes: Guntersville (8-3) 69, Fayette Co. (9-3) 61, Lincoln (11-2) 27, Elmore Co. (11-1) 22, Jackson (9-4) 21, Alexandria (9-3) 10, Fairview (6-5) 9, Calera (7-5) 3, W.S. Neal (2-8) 3, Andalusia (2-8) 1, Hillcrest-Evergreen (3-7) 1.

Class 3A

1. Leeds (29) (15-0) 395

2. Cordova (4) (11-4) 300

3. T.R. Miller (2) (13-1) 299

4. Colbert Co. (1) (10-4) 214

5. Piedmont (10-3) 212

6. Gordo (9-4) 120

7. Daleville (9-4) 80

8. Montevallo (5-5) 76

9. Dadeville (11-1) 71

10. Susan Moore (9-3) 66

Others receiving votes: Sardis (7-4) 52, Trinity (8-3) 43, Slocomb (9-3) 35, Hamilton (12-1) 24, Bayside Acad. (6-5) 21, West Morgan (10-2) 16, Luverne (8-4) 12, Pike Co. (5-5) 9, Montgomery Acad, (5-6) 5, Straughn (8-3) 2.

Class 2A

1. Leroy (36) (15-0) 432

2. Reeltown (12-2) 253

3. Tanner (12-1) 185

4. Fyffe (9-4) 182

5. Pickens Co. (11-2) 180

6. Clay Co. (13-1) 171

tie. Houston Acad. (8-3) 171

8. Millry (10-3) 144

9. Sulligent (12-3) 69

10. Winston Co. (9-3) 38

Others receiving votes: Washington Co. (6-6) 36, Cottonwood (6-4) 32, Fultondale (5-6) 27, Lexington (6-5) 27, American Chr. (10-2) 25, Sand Rock (9-2) 24, Lineville (4-8) 15, Barbour Co. (8-3) 11, New Brockton (6-5) 11, St. Jude (7-4) 8, Hatton (6-4) 4, Red Bay (4-7) 3, Lanett (7-4) 2, Elba (7-4) 1, Excel (3-7) 1.

Class 1A

1. Sweet Water (36) (14-1) 432

2. Gaston (11-3) 272

3. Brantley (12-1) 251

4. Loachapoka (9-3) 210

5. R.A. Hubbard (7-3) 167

6. Cedar Bluff (9-3) 154

7. Maplesville (6-4) 118

8. Linden (13-1) 88

9. Ariton (8-3) 79

10. Talladega Co. Cent. (10-2) 68

Others receiving votes: McIntosh (8-3) 43, Appalachian (10-3) 40, J.U. Blacksher (8-4) 39, Spring Garden (9-3) 26, Wadley (9-2) 11, South Lamar (9-4) 10, Ragland (7-4) 5, Victory Chr. (8-3) 5, McKenzie (9-2) 3, Billingsley (9-3) 2, Winterboro (5-6) 2, Lynn (6-5) 1.

AISA

1. Fort Dale (24) (10-3) 379

2. Edgewood Acad. (7) (13-0) 315

3. Bessemer Acad. (2) (9-3) 272

4. Southern Acad. (8-3) 202

5. Tuscaloosa Acad. (11-2) 194

6. Patrician Acad. (1) (12-0) 159

7. Monroe Acad. (1) (11-1) 141

8. South Choctaw Acad. (10-3) 107

9. Pike Liberal (1) (12-1) 91

10. Glenwood Acad. (8-3) 74

Others receiving votes: Lowndes Acad. (10-4) 48, Morgan Acad. (5-6) 22, Crenshaw Chr. (10-2) 17, Cornerstone Chr. (6-5) 8, Escambia Acad, (0-11) 8, Hooper Acad. (4-7) 7, Restoration Acad. (4-4) 3, Sparta Acad. (5-5) 3, Macon-East (5-5) 1, Lakeside Acad. (2-8) 1.