By Erik Harris
NationalHSFootball.com has released its Alabama Preseason football poll, and two area football programs are seen not only in the Top 10, but the top half of the Top 10.
For the first time in four years, Hoover does not sit atop the preseason state ranking. The Bucs come in at No. 2 in the Yellowhammer State behind top-ranked Clay-Chalkville.
Going into head coach Josh Floyd’s second season at the helm, Hewitt-Trussville debuts at No. 5 in the state. Floyd finished his opening campaign with an overall record of 5-6, finishing with a first round playoff loss at Gadsden City.
NationalHSFootball’s Preseason Alabama Top 10: No. 1 Clay-Chalkville (15-0), No. 2 Hoover (12-2), No. 3 Central Phenix City (10-2), No. 4 Spanish Fort (12-2), No. 5 Hewitt-Trussville (5-6), No. 6 Prattville (11-3), No. 7 Opelika (9-2), No. 8 Carver Montgomery (9-3), No. 9 McAdory (12-1) and No. 10 St. Paul’s (15-0).
The poll features five Class 6A teams, four Class 7A schools and one representing Class 5A.
NationalHSFootball points to quarterback Zac Thomas and running back Jarrion Street as the Huskies’ key contributors.
“[Floyd] has had some young talent that is learning how he wants to work and the results started to come to roost,” wrote Dallas Jackson. “With Zac Thomas and Jarrion Street on the offensive side of the ball and linebackers Bailey McElwain and Jalen Williams, the team has a punchers chance in every game it has scheduled.”
Thomas eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the ground and through the air as a junior, accounting for 27 touchdowns. Street carried the ball 183 times for 1,165 yards and 14 scores.
Both Thomas and Street found themselves on the first annual All-Tribune Football Team. The pair also appeared on the Alabama High School Athletics Association’s first Class 7A All-State roster.
Hewitt-Trussville will host Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.) to begin the upcoming season on Aug. 21.
For the Cougars, NationalHSFootball points to the pitch-and-catch relationship between signal caller Ty Pigrome and T.J. Simmons as the team’s bright spot.
Those two, both All-Tribune and All-State selections, have grabbed the attention of college programs. Simmons is currently committed to play for Alabama while Pigrome holds an SEC offer from Missouri.
Clay-Chalkville will likely rank in the HSFB100 National poll, which the publication releases in August. The Cougars start the 2015 season in Murfreesboro, Tenn. against Blackman (Tenn.) on Aug. 22.