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2011 Preseason Top Ten

    

Leroy hopes history repeats after
closest ASWA poll margin since 2006

 By PAUL BEAUDRY
For The ASWA

 The last time Leroy changed football coaches, the voters of the Alabama Sports Writers Association had such little faith in the Bears that they dropped them to No. 3 in the Class 2A preseason poll.

Now that Danny Powell has moved to Class 4A Jackson and Johnny Wright has taken over the Alabama High School Athletic Association defending Class 2A champions, how did the ASWA voters respond in the 2011 preseason poll?

With the closest preseason vote in any class since the last time the Bears changed coaches.

American Christian received more first-place votes in Class 2A, but Leroy came out on top by a 340-339 margin among the 33 voters in the weekly poll.

“Some coaches want to wait for the end of the season to talk about that. I think it’s something to be proud of and fight to keep that,” said Wright, who takes over the Bears after stops at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Dora and Sheffield. “It gives us more motivation, but we shouldn’t need one here. We don’t accept losing.”

In 2006, Southern Choctaw opened the Class 2A season ranked No. 1 with a 228-227 lead over Lineville with Leroy just behind at 225.

The Bears are one of five defending state champions who will start the season at No. 1 in their class – two of whom were unanimous picks at No. 1, Leeds in Class 3A and Thomasville in Class 4A. Sweet Water also starts the 2011 Class 1A season on top, while Daphne is No. 1 in Class 6A with Hoover ranked second – the only 1-2 preseason start that mirrored a 2010 title-game finish.

Briarwood Christian, runner-up in Class 5A to Spanish Fort a year ago, moves into the poll’s top spot with Birmingham-area rival Hueytown ranked No. 2 and the defending champion Toros ranked third.

Monroe Academy, which finished second to Fort Dale Academy in Class AAA, was a solid choice to take the top spot in the AISA.

AHSAA competition begins the weekend of Aug. 25-27; most AISA schools also start that week, but some may elect to pick up an 11th game and play Aug. 19 or 20.

The complete poll, including all schools receiving votes and the panel of voters is listed below, with first-place votes and the 2010 record in parentheses.

 
Class 6A
1. Daphne (24) (15-0)             366
2. Hoover (2) (14-1)                 277
3. Prattville (7) (8-4)                250
4. Spain Park (6-6)                  228
5. Davidson (12-2)                  169
6. Clay-Chalkville (9-4)          136
7. Mountain Brook (11-3)       119
8. Auburn (8-2)                        86
9. Oxford (7-5)                          75
10. Central-Phenix City (9-2)             31
Others receiving votes: Gadsden City (9-4) 28, Stanhope Elmore (10-3) 27, Tuscaloosa Co. (8-3) 27, Wetumpka (10-2) 17, Foley (8-4) 15, Vestavia Hills (9-3) 13, Decatur (9-2) 7, Florence (4-6) 6, Fairhope (7-5) 2, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (9-2) 2.
 
Class 5A
1. Briarwood Chr. (17) (13-2)              347
2. Hueytown (13) (11-2)         330
3. Spanish Fort (3) (13-2)      235
4. Hartselle (12-2)                   219
5. Vigor (8-5)                            173
6. Eufaula (9-3)                       124
7. Chelsea (8-3)                      107
8. Walker (10-2)                       96
9. Muscle Shoals (8-3)           84
10. St. Paul’s (10-2)                65        
Others receiving votes: Fort Payne (12-1) 44, Russellville (11-2) 16, Pinson Valley (5-6) 14, McAdory (11-3) 12, Demopolis (8-4) 6, Fairfield (7-4) 3, Etowah (6-5) 2, Greenville (7-4) 2, Tallassee (9-2) 2.
 
Class 4A
1. Thomasville (33) (15-0)      396
2. Jackson (10-2)                    234
3. Dadeville                              (12-1)   231
4. North Jackson (13-1)         209
5. Deshler  (12-3)                    182
6. Bibb Co. (12-2)                    164      
7. Andalusia (9-2)                   140
8. UMS-Wright (6-5)                75
9. Anniston (10-3)                   69        
10. Escambia Co. (9-4)          62        
 
Others receiving votes: Oneonta (8-4) 54, Cleburne Co. (9-3) 20, Straughn (10-2) 19, Fairview (10-2) 9, Guntersville (7-4) 6, Cherokee Co. (5-6) 5, Fayette Co. (10-3) 4, Dora (3-8) 1, Hillcrest-Evergreen (7-4) 1.
 
Class 3A
1. Leeds (33) (15-0)                396
2. Piedmont (12-2)                  274
3. Hamilton (14-1)                   256      
4. Handley (10-2)                    255
5. Gordo (12-2)                        193

6. Washington Co. (9-3)        130
7. T.R. Miller (8-4)                    86
8. Madison Acad. (10-3)         58
9. Plainview (8-4)                    44
10. Bayside Acad. (9-4)          41
Others receiving votes: Daleville (8-3) 40, Lauderdale Co. (10-2) 37, Trinity (11-2) 31, Clay Co. (8-4) 25, Glencoe (10-2) 6, Sardis (4-6) 6, Cordova (10-2) 2, Hanceville (4-6) 1.
 
Class 2A
1. Leroy (16) (14-1)                 340      
2. American Chr. (17) (12-2) 339
3. Elba (11-2)                           247
4. Reeltown (13-2)                  228      
5. Millry (5-6)                            171
6. Cottonwood (12-1)              134
7. Fyffe (9-2)                            132
8. Tanner (11-1)                      66        
9. Lineville (10-4)                    48        
10. Sulligent (10-3)                 43        
Others receiving votes: Houston Acad. (8-3) 40, Colbert Hts. (8-3) 36, Fultondale (4-6) 29, Westminster Chr. (10-2) 8, Red Bay (5-6) 6, Southern Choctaw (9-3) 6, Woodland (9-3) 6, Westbrook Chr. (10-1) 2.
 
Class 1A
1. Sweet Water (32) (12-3)     393
2. Linden (1) (12-2)                 287
3. R.A. Hubbard (13-2)           264
4. Parrish (10-4)                      207
5. Cedar Bluff (9-3)                 179      
6. Lynn (11-2)                          162              
7. Collinsville (9-2)                  119
8. Brantley (8-3)                       89        
9. Maplesville (12-1)               51
10. Ragland (9-3)                    50        
Others receiving votes: Addison (10-3) 32, Appalachian (8-3) 30, Hackleburg (8-3) 6, Pickens Co. (7-5) 6, McKenzie (10-1) 2, Winterboro (7-3) 2, Gaston (5-6) 1, St. Jude (11-2) 1.
 
AISA
1. Monroe Acad. (29) (12-1)  381
2. Pike Liberal (9-3)                276
3. Fort Dale Acad. (2) (10-3)  259
4. Edgewood Acad. (12-2)     238
5. Bessemer Acad. (1) (11-1)              186
6. Glenwood (6-5)                   175
7. Patrician (7-3)                      116
8. Lowndes Acad. (8-4)          74
9. Springwood (1) (10-3)        57
10. Clarke Prep (10-2)            54
Others receiving votes: Restoration Acad. (8-4) 32, Macon-East (4-6) 17, Coosa Valley Acad. (11-2) 9, Autauga Acad. (7-6) 4, Southern Acad. (4-7) 2, Sumter Acad. (10-3) 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; Robert Ladnier, Baldwin Register; Jeff Sentell, Birmingham News; Adam Robinson, Brewton Standard; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Stan Veitch, 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; Gregg Dewalt, Florence TimesDaily; Lew Gilliland, Fort Payne Times-Journal; Scot Beard, Franklin County Times; Wesley Lyle, Freelance (Montgomery); Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger; Kim Craft, Gadsden Times; Mike Easterling, Huntsville Times; Josh Bean, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Jonathan Deal, Moulton Advertiser; Robert Carter, North Jefferson News; Jason Galloway, Opelika-Auburn News; Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter; Lavonte Young, Talladega Daily Home; Alex Scarborough, Tuscaloosa News; Griffin Pritchard, Wetumpka Herald. 




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