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2008 Preseason ASWA Poll


ASWA Preseason football poll

Cordova, Sweet Water unanimous picks in ASWA Poll 
PAUL BEAUDRY
For T
he ASWA
Both Sweet Water and Cordova ended the 2007 football season with perfect seasons and state championships.

They begin the 2008 season where they left off alone at the top.

Both the Class 1A and 3A undefeated champions from last season were unanimous choices to start the year at No. 1 in their respective classes in the Alabama Sports Writers Association preseason poll.

Sweet Water, which has won three Class 1A titles in the last four years under coach Stacy Luker, was voted No. 1 on all 28 ASWA ballots, ahead of last year's runner-up Talladega County Central in second.

Cordova changed coaches shortly after the season as Scott Basden took over at Muscle Shoals and was replaced by assistant Pete Bush. The change didn't matter to voters as the Blue Devils still swept the balloting ahead of runner-up Colbert County.

Three other defending champions will also begin the year ranked No. 1 in their classes. Two-time Class 6A champion Prattville was picked first on 26 of 28 ballots, while second-place Hoover and third-place Tuscaloosa County picked up one vote each.

Leroy, the Class 2A champion in three of the last four years under coach Danny Powell, was named first on 27 of the 28 ballots with Class 3A runner-up Clay Co. grabbing the other after moving down a class this season.

Bessemer Academy changed coaches due to economic reasons and several key players transferred out or graduated. But even without Mark Freeman and four AISA Class AAA titles in the last six years, voters felt the Rebels of Josh Wright were best, picking up 24 votes with Fort Dale Academy and Southern Academy picking up the other two.

Deshler was first on 27 of 28 ballots in Class 4A, in a quest for its first state title since 1999. The one true battle came in Class 5A as Eufaula picked up 15 first-place votes and edged out last season's runner-up Briarwood Christian, 285-236. The Lions had four first-place votes, while No. 4 Russellville had four, No. 7 Wenonah had five, 10th-ranked and reigning Class 4A champion Central-Tuscaloosa, which moved up for this season, and unranked Erwin had one each.

The first-place voters in six of the seven classifications were within 13 points of each other, as Cordova and Sweet Water both received 336 points, while Leroy and Deshler had 333, Prattville had 330 and Bessemer Academy had 323.

Practice for AHSAA schools began on Monday, while the first game will be held the weekend of Aug. 28-30. AHSAA playoffs begin on Nov. 7, ending with the Super Six at Legion Field in Birmingham from Dec. 4-6. The AISA regular season begins for some schools the weekend of Aug. 21-23 and the rest on Aug. 28-30 with the finals on Nov. 21 at Troy University's Movie Gallery Stadium.

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

 
Class 6A                                    
Rank    School             2007.    Pts.
1. Prattville (26)             (15-0)    330
2. Hoover (1)                 (6-6)      236
3. Tuscaloosa Co. (1)    (11-1)    232
4. McGill-Toolen            (13-2)    167
5. Gadsden City            (10-2)    150
6. Daphne                     (10-2)    132
7. Oxford                      (3-7)      69
8. Florence                    (8-3)      57
9. Vestavia Hills            (12-2)    53
10. Hueytown                (12-2)    46
 
           
Others receiving votes: Opelika 38; Pelham 28; Mountain Brook 16; Austin 12; Central-Phenix City 10; Spain Park 9; Wetumpka 6; Foley 5; Jess Lanier 4; Decatur 3.
 
Class 5A                        
Rank    School             2007     Pts.
1. Eufaula (15)               (9-3)      285
2. Briarwood Chr.(4)       (14-1)    236
3. Cullman                     (13-1)    181
4. Russellville (2)           (10-2)    178
5. McAdory                   (10-1)    153
6. St. Paul's                  (14-1)    115
7. Wenonah (5)             (8-2)      88
8. Henderson-Troy         (12-1)    68
9. Chelsea                     (8-4)      62
10. Central-Tusc. (1)      (15-0)    61
Others receiving votes: Demopolis 53; Erwin (1) 52; J.O. Johnson 43; Vigor 24; Carver-Montgomery 10..
 
Class 4A                        
Rank    School             2007     Pts.
1. Deshler (27)               (12-3)    333
2. Thomasville (1)          (11-3)    238
3. North Jackson           (11-1)    209
4. UMS-Wright               (6-7)      163
5. Brooks                      (12-2)    150
6. Handley                    (11-2)    127
7. Clarke Co.                 (12-1)    80
8. Lincoln                      (9-4)      73
9. Andalusia                  (11-3)    72
10. Elmore Co.              (9-3)      46
Others receiving votes: Guntersville 43; Fairview 24; Fayette Co. 14; Calera 10; Cleburne Co. 8; Bibb Co. 3; Hokes Bluff 2; Cherokee Co. 1; Oak Grove 1; Hillcrest-Evergreen 1
 
Class 3A                        
Rank    School             2007     Pts.
1. Cordova (28)             (15-0)    336
2. Colbert Co.               (12-2)    249
3. Trinity                        (8-4)      168
4. T.R. Miller                  (5-6)      156
5. Pike Co.                    (12-1)    147
6. West Morgan             (6-5)      146
7. Leeds                        (8-5)      123
8. Good Hope                (7-4)      71
9. Sardis                       (8-4)      68
tie Winfield                   (10-2)    68
Others receiving votes: Slocomb 21; Geneva 15; Wicksburg 10; Elkmont 9; Piedmont 9; Tarrant 8; Colbert Heights 1; Gordo 1.
 
Class 2A                        
Rank    School             2007     Pts.
1. Leroy (27)                  (14-1)    333
2. Clay Co. (1)               (14-1)    254
3. Addison                    (8-3)      191
4. Red Bay                    (13-1)    187
5. Fyffe                        (14-1)    145
6. Houston Acad.          (7-3)      106
7. Houston Co.             (7-4)      94
8. American Chr.            (11-3)    70
9. Fultondale                 (7-4)      55
10. West End-Walnut Grove(7-4)      54
Others receiving votes: Pickens Co. 46; Tanner 20; Cottonwood 18; Lanett 16; Sulligent 6; St. Jude 2; Southern Choctaw 1; Sand Rock 1; Excel 1.
 
Class 1A                                    
Rank    School             2007     Pts.
1. Sweet Water (28)       (14-0)    336
2. Talladega Co.-Central (14-1)    223
3. Brantley                    (10-2)    200
4. Gaston                      (8-4)      198
5. Hazlewood                (12-1)    157
6. Ariton                        (6-5)      101
7. Wadley                     (11-2)    90
8. Loachapoka             (9-2)      73
9. Shoals Chr.               (7-6)      60
10. Providence Chr.       (7-4)      49
tie  Maplesville             (12-1)    49
 
Others receiving votes: Ragland 18; Speake 12; Linden 12; Cedar Bluff 7; R.A. Hubbard 3; Appalachian 1, J.U. Blacksher 1.
 
AISA                 
Rank    School             2007     Pts.
1. Bessemer Acad. (24) (13-0)    323
2. Fort Dale Acad. (2)     (8-3)      249
3. Southern Acad. (2)     (11-1)    209
4. Morgan Acad.            (3-7)      200
5. Macon-East Acad.     (8-3)      159
6. Edgewood Acad.       (3-7)      130
7. South Choctaw Acad.(13-0)    115
8. Pike Liberal Arts        (4-6)      88
9. Crenshaw Chr.           (10-1)    74
10. Glenwood School     (9-1)      32
Others receiving votes: Lee-Scott Acad. 8; Shelby Acad. 6; Chambers Acad. 6; Patrician Acad. 2; Meadowview Chr. 1; Sparta Acad. 1.
 
The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are:

Ross Wood, Chairman, The Clarke Co. Democrat
Paul Beaudry, Co-Chairman, Freelance (Birmingham)
Nick Birdsong, Anniston Star
Jeff Sentell, Birmingham News
Rob Rice, Blount Countian
Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald
Justin Graves, Cullman Times
Brooke Milam, Decatur Daily
David Mundee, Dothan Eagle
Andy Brown, Eufaula Tribune
Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant
Gregg Dewalt, Florence Times-Daily
Scot Beard, Franklin Co. Times
Dennis Victory, Freelance (Birmingham)
Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger
Kim Craft, Gadsden Times
Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
Mike Easterling, Huntsville Times
Mike Herndon, Mobile Register
Stacy Long. Montgomery Advertiser
Wesley Lyle, Montgomery Advertiser
Charles Prince, North Jefferson News
Tom Peavy, Opelika-Auburn News
Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter
Will Heath, Talladega Daily-Home
Matt Nascone, Troy Messenger
Griffin Pritchard, Wetumpka Herald
Aaron Suttles, Tuscaloosa News
 

Not voting:
Lew Gilliland, Fort Payne Times-Journal
George Jones, Selma Times-Journal
Mike Pruitt, Sports Preview











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