Area teams receive votes in ASWA preseason football poll

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By Paul Beaudry/For ASWA

  Three local teams received votes in the Ala-bama Sports Writers Association’s preseason high school football poll released this week.

Class 6A Gadsden City garnered 33 points, while Etowah had nine points in Class 5A. Moving up from Class 3A, Sardis is the 12th ranked squad in 4A with 24 points. 

Four teams that finished the 2011 football season as state champions will be the teams to gun for in 2012. 

Class 5A Hartselle, Class 2A Elba, Class 1A Marion County and AISA 2A champ Edgewood Academy will start the season ranked No. 1 in their respective classes, in a vote by 31 sports writers from around the state, released Wednesday morning.

Of the favorites, Marion County had the tightest race, with a 297-285 advantage over Linden, the team it defeated in the Class 1A championship game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in December. 

It was not the tightest margin however. Leeds, which finished 10-3 in advancing to the quarterfinals last season but forfeited its 10 wins in March due to an ineligible player, held a 297-293 lead over Deshler. The Tigers were also a quarterfinalist in Class 4A last year, but dropped to Class 3A this season. The team that beat Deshler – Oneonta – will start the season ranked No. 1 in 4A after finishing runner-up to Jackson in the championship game. 

The only unanimous choice for No. 1 among the state’s sports writers was Hoover. The Bucs advanced to the Class 6A title game for the 11th time in 12 seasons, but fell to Prattville, 35-34, in the third title-game meeting in four seasons between the two schools.

The complete poll, including all schools receiving votes and the panel of voters is listed, with first-place votes and the 2011 record in parentheses. 

Class 6A 

1. Hoover (31) (13-2) 372

2. Clay-Chalkville (1-9) 247

 3. Auburn (8-2) 189

 4. McGill-Toolen (11-2) 181

 5. Spain Park (5-6) 155

 6. Daphne (10-2) 102

 7. Oxford (12-2) 82

 8. Carver-Montgomery (7-4) 80

 9t. Vestavia Hills (7-5) 77

 9t. Northridge (10-2) 77

Others receiving votes: Prattville (12-2) 47, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (12-1) 41, Gadsden City (6-5) 33, Hueytown- (13-1) 24, Mountain Brook (12-1) 21, Austin (7-4) 15, Fairhope (10-3) 8, Bob Jones (10-2) 7, Davidson (7-4) 4, Central-Phenix City (11-3) 2, Huntsville (8-4) 2, Florence (7-3) 1. 

Class 5A

 1. Hartselle (19) (15-0) 316

 2. Muscle Shoals (5) (11-2) 262

 3. Pinson Valley (3) (9-3) 245

 4. St. Paul’s (2) (11-2) 217

 5. Homewood (1) (5-5) 194

 6. Jackson (15-0) 188

 7. Vigor (1) (12-3) 70

 8. Eufaula (10-2) 60

 9. Briarwood Chr. (12-2) 46

 10. Center Point (11-2) 44        

Others receiving votes: Cullman (8-4) 34, Spanish Fort (9-4) 24, Fort Payne (10-2) 24, Demopolis (6-5) 16, Etowah (10-2) 9, Valley (9-3) 7, Athens (4-7) 6, Walker (6-5) 3, Greenville (11-1) 1, Russellville (5-6) 1. 

Class 4A

 1. Oneonta (20) (12-3) 327

 2. Handley (5) (15-0) 250

 3. Dadeville (2) (12-1) 234

 4. UMS-Wright (1)   (9-5) 184

 5. N. Jackson (1) (11-1) 174

 6. Thomasville (2) (10-2) 73

 7. Bibb Co. (12-1) 84

 8. Central-Clay Co. 74

 9. Anniston (9-5) 73

 10. Beauregard (10-2) 42

 Others receiving votes: Andalusia (10-1) 33, Sardis (9-2) 24, Brooks (8-3) 20, Rogers (11-3) 16, Fairview (7-4) 10, Madison County (4-6) 10, Charles Henderson (6-6) 9, Calera (4-6) 8, Tallassee (4-7) 6, Guntersville (8-3) 5, J.O. Johnson (0-10) 5, Hillcrest-Ever-green (5-5) 4, St. James Catholic (8-3) 2. 

Class 3A

 1. Leeds (11) (0-13) 297

 2. Deshler (13) (11-2) 293

 3. Piedmont (1) (12-1) 242

 4. Madison Acad. (6) (12-3) 233

 5. Bayside Acad. (11-1) 129

 6. Abbeville (9-2) 121

 7. Midfield (6-5) 112

 8. Lauderdale Co. (11-2) 105

 9. T.R. Miller (9-3) 78

 10. Hamilton (8-3) 37

Others receiving votes: Fayette Co.(9-4) 25, Gordo (9-3) 25, Hanceville (10-1) 23, American Chr.-** (12-2) 16, Elkmont (7-5) 8, Straughn-* (6-5) 7, Trinity (6-5) 5, Excel (3-7) 3, Greene Co.-* (7-4) 3, Geraldine (5-6) 2, Mon-tevallo (4-6) 2, Opp (6-5) 1. 

 Class 2A

 1. Elba (22) (15-0) 339  

 2. Fultondale (4) (10-3) 272

 3. Tanner (1) (14-1) 252

 4. Sweet Water (2) (10-4) 196     

 5. Washington Co. (2) (9-3) 188

 6. Reeltown (8-4) 123

 7. Fyffe (11-1) 105

 8. Vincent (9-3) 56

 9. Sheffield (9-3) 55 

 10. G.W. Long (9-2) 48 

Others receiving votes: Oakman (8-4) 39, N. Sand Mountain (9-2) 32, Flomaton (11-2) 18, Woodland (8-5) 13, Walter Wellborn (9-3) 9, LaFayette (7-4) 6, Sand Rock (6-5) 6, Leroy (8-5) 4, Montgomery Acad. (3-7) 3, Southern Choctaw (8-3) 2, Lu-verne (7-4) 1. 

 Class 1A

 1. Marion Co. (19) (14-1) 297

 2. Linden (6) (13-2) 285

 3. Maplesville (2) (12-1) 219

 4. Ragland (1) (13-1) 213

 5. Brantley (1) (10-2) 192

 6. Pickens Co. (11-2) 179   

 7. R.A. Hubbard (2) (7-4) 121

 8. Cedar Bluff (6-6) 106

 9. Lynn (9-3) 38

 10. Berry (10-2) 28

Others receiving votes: Addison (9-2) 27, Collinsville (11-2) 17, Geneva Co. (6-6) 15, St. Jude (9-2) 7, Pleasant Home (8-4) 6, Winterboro (10-2) 6, Parrish (4-6) 5, Hackleburg (7-4) 3. 

The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are: Paul Beaudry, Chairman, Alabama Media Group; Andrew Garner, Andalusia Star-News; Jonathan Deal, Athens News Courier; Nick Birdsong, Anniston Star; Jeff Sentell, Birmingham News; Adam Robinson, Brewton Standard; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Rob Ketcham, Cullman Times; Jonathon Bentley, Daily Mountain Eagle; Jason Bowen, Daily Sentinel; Justin Graves, Decatur Daily; David Mundee, Dothan Eagle; Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant; Newton Peters, Florala News; Gregg Dewalt, Florence TimesDaily; Lew Gilliland, Fort Payne Times-Journal; Dennis Victory, Freelance (Birmingham); Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger; Kim Craft, Gadsden Times; Davis Potter, Hamilton Record; Mike Easterling, Huntsville Times; Josh Bean, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Robert Carter, North Jefferson News; Jason Galloway, Opelika-Auburn News; Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter; Lavonte Young, Talladega Daily Home; Andrew Carroll, Tuscaloosa News; Griffin Pritchard, Wetumpka Herald.  

Chris McCarthy contributed to this story. 

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