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Demopolis slips to No. 10 in polls

The National Football League has long clamored for parity among its teams.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 5A had found it – at least according to this week’s Alabama Sports Writers Association poll. Seven teams – the most in any class since 2006 – received voted for the top spot.

In fact, Class 6A No. 1 Hoover – the only unanimous pick in this week’s poll – has a margin of 107 points over second place and Region 6 rival Vestavia Hills. Some 102 points separate the top seven teams in Class 5A with the eighth place team – and only unbeaten squad in the whole class, Fort Payne – still picking up three first-place votes.

Why is the poll so tight? Upsets in class and losses out of it. The haymaker was Walker’s 49-28 win over then-No. 1 Russellville, which knocked the Golden Eagles to sixth and the Vikings moved up to third.

That spread the first-place votes around to the seven other schools, whether or not they won. For example, Briarwood Christian and Hartselle stepped up in class to play teams ranked in 6A – then No. 3 Hartselle losing 20-14 to 6A No. 9 Decatur and No. 2 Briarwood to 6A No. 4 Vestavia Hills, 34-10.

Losing to teams in a higher class didn’t always pay off in this week’s poll. Class 2A No. 1 Leroy lost to Class 4A No. 1 Jackson and fell to second, with Elba moving into the top spot. Class 1A No. 1 Sweet Water lost to Class 3A No. 5 Handley, 41-27; Handley bumped up a spot in 3A, Sweet Water fell to third.

Hoover, Jackson, Class 3A Leeds and AISA leader Fort Dale Academy all held their spots.

This week’s games involving ranked teams include: Class 6A No. 8 Auburn at No. 9 Central-Phenix City, Class 3A No. 6 Bayside at No. 7 Washington County, Class 1A No. 7 R.A. Hubbard hosting No. 5 Addison, AISA No. 1 Fort Dale hosts No. 4 Monroe Academy, and No. 6 Prattville Christian hosts No. 7 Pike Liberal Arts.

CLASS 6A

1. Hoover (35) (5-0) 420

2. Vestavia Hills (5-0) 313

3. Daphne (5-0) 235

4. Bob Jones (4-1) 220

5. Decatur (5-0) 170

6. Gadsden City (4-1) 158

7. Davidson (4-1) 138

8. Auburn (4-1) 75

9. Central-Phenix City (5-0) 57

10. Wetumpka (4-0) 55

Others receiving votes: Carver-Montgomery (4-1) 53, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (5-0) 45, Prattville (3-2) 19, Foley (4-1) 11, Oxford (3-2) 10, Mountain Brook (4-1) 9, Enterprise (3-2) 3, Murphy (4-1) 3, Hewitt-Trussville (4-1) 1.

CLASS 5A

1. Hartselle (7) (4-1) 275

2. Briarwood Chr. (9) (4-1) 272

3. Walker (6) (4-1) 267

4. McAdory (7) (4-1) 243

5. Hueytown (2) (4-1) 206

6. Russellville (4-1) 181

7. Spanish Fort (1) (4-1) 173

8. Fort Payne (3) (5-0) 123

9. Pleasant Grove (4-1) 105

10. Demopolis (3-2) 42

Others receiving votes: LeFlore (4-1) 33, Vigor (3-2) 24, Valley (4-1) 19, Greenville (4-1) 12, St. Paul’s (4-1) 12, Tallassee (4-1) 5, Cullman (3-2) 3.

CLASS 4A

1. Jackson (23) (5-0) 380

2. Thomasville (10) (5-0) 345

3. N. Jackson (5-0) 268

4. Straughn (1) (5-0) 235

5. Bibb Co. (1) (5-0) 220

6. Deshler (4-1) 170

7. Dadeville (5-0) 133

8. UMS-Wright (3-2) 84

9. Fairview (5-0) 60

10. Fayette Co. (4-1) 30

Others receiving votes: West Limestone (5-0) 17, Anniston (4-1) 14, Oak Grove (5-0) 11, Ashford (5-0) 10, Beauregard (4-1) 5, Cherokee Co. (3-2) 5, Andalusia (4-1) 3, Escambia Co. (4-1) 2, St. Clair Co. (4-1) 2, Central-Florence (4-1) 1.

CLASS 3A

1. Leeds (32) (5-0) 411

2. Cordova (2) (5-0) 311

3. Piedmont (5-0) 269

4. Handley (1) (5-0) 238

5. Hamilton (5-0) 233

6. Bayside Acad. (5-0) 163

7. Washington Co. (4-1) 114

8. Glencoe (4-1) 70

9. Pike Co. (4-1) 53

10. Gordo (4-1) 52

Others receiving votes: Trinity (4-1) 33, Madison Acad. (4-1) 27, T.R. Miller (3-2) 6, Abbeville (4-1) 5, Clay Co. (2-3) 3, Elkmont (3-2) 2, Aliceville (4-1) 1, Plainview (3-2) 1, Susan Moore (3-2) 1, Walter Wellborn (4-1) 1, Winfield (3-2) 1.

CLASS 2A

1. Elba (18) (5-0) 362

2. Leroy (12) (4-1) 319

3. Reeltown (4) (4-1) 287

4. Westbrook Chr. (1) (5-0) 248

5. Cottonwood (5-0) 219

6. Tanner (4-0) 185

7. Lineville (4-1) 122

8. Fyffe (4-1) 115

9. Ider (4-1) 68

10. Goshen (4-1) 32

Others receiving votes: Sulligent (4-1) 11, Thorsby (5-0) 11, Mobile Chr. (4-1) 8, Colbert Hts. (4-1) 4, Flomaton (4-1) 2, Woodland (4-1) 2.

CLASS 1A

1. Brantley (30) (5-0) 402

2. Maplesville (2) (5-0) 295

3. Sweet Water (3) (3-2) 262

4. Linden (4-1) 252

5. Addison (5-0) 217

6. McKenzie (5-0) 147

7. R.A. Hubbard (4-1) 123

8. Hackleburg (4-1) 103

9. Lynn (5-0) 93

10. Pickens Co. (4-1) 45

Others receiving votes: Appalachian (5-0) 23, Cedar Bluff (4-1) 13, Collinsville (5-0) 10, St. Jude (4-1) 7, McIntosh (4-1) 2, Gaylesville (4-1) 1.

AISA

1. Fort Dale (26) (5-0) 391

2. Edgewood (2) (6-0) 309

3. Bessemer Acad. (4) (5-0) 290

4. Monroe Acad. (3) (5-0) 257

5. Crenshaw Chr. (5-0) 205

6. Prattville Chr. (6-0) 172

7. Pike Liberal (4-1) 147

8. Clarke Prep (4-1) 97

9. Springwood (4-1) 63

10. Glenwood (4-1) 47

Others receiving votes: Patrician (2-2) 9, Lowndes Acad. (5-1) 7, Coosa Valley (4-1) 1.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are:; Paul Beaudry, Chairman, Freelance (Birmingham); Andrew Garner, Andalusia Star-News; Nick Birdsong, Anniston Star; Chandler Myers, Atmore Advance; Jeff Sentell, Birmingham News; Adam Robinson, Brewton Standard; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Justin Graves, Cullman Times; Jonathon Bentley, Daily Mountain Eagle; Jason Bowen, Daily Sentinel; Cody Whitlock, Decatur Daily; Jeremy Smith, Demopolis Times; David Mundee, Dothan Eagle; Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant; Newton Peters, Florala News; Gregg Dewalt, Florence TimesDaily; Lew Gilliland, Fort Payne Times-Journal; Scot Beard, Franklin County Times; Dennis Victory, Freelance (Birmingham); Brooke Johnson, Freelance (Madison); Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger; Kim Craft, Gadsden Times; Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer; Mike Easterling, Huntsville Times; Josh Bean, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Wesley Lyle, Montgomery Advertiser; Jonathan Deal, Moulton Advertiser; Robert Carter, North Jefferson News; David Morrison, Opelika-Auburn News; Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter; Aaron Suttles, Tuscaloosa News; Griffin Pritchard, Wetumpka Herald. Not Voting: Heather Baggett, Talladega Daily Home.