By David Knox, Sports Editor
TRUSSVILLE – The Clay-Chalkville Cougars took advantage of a big win over Florence and Spanish Fort’s loss to McGill-Toolen to move to the head of Class 6A in the first regular-season Alabama Sports Writers Association football poll.
By virtue of their 53-48 win over Florence, the preseason No. 2 Cougars picked up 21 of 27 first-place votes to move past Spanish Fort. The Toros opened the season with a 24-3 loss to McGill-Toolen, the top-ranked team in Class 7A and now ranked No. 10 in the country by USA Today. Spanish Fort collected four first-place votes but dropped to No. 3 behind Blount, which got the other two first-place votes in the balloting of sports writers who cover high school sports across the state.
Meanwhile, Hewitt-Trussville’s 33-24 win at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville moved the Huskies up one spot to No. 6 in Class 7A.
The Cougars (1-0) will be in a Top 10 showdown Friday at eighth-ranked Bessemer City. The Huskies (1-0) host Florida power Manatee from Bradenton.
Pinson Valley (1-0), despite beating highly regarded McAdory 15-8, did not receive a single vote in the poll. The Indians travel to Lawson Field to face Ramsay (0-0). The Rams, who are moving up to 6A this season, played a jamboree game against Helena last week.
Here are the top two classes in this week’s poll.
- McGill-Toolen (24) (1-0) 314
- James Clemens (2) (0-0) 236
- Hoover (1) (1-0) 229
- Spain Park (1-0) 182
- Bob Jones (1-0) 155
- Hewitt-Trussville (1-0) 130
- Murphy (0-0) 93
- Central-Phenix City (0-1) 90
- Auburn (1-0) 67
- Lee-Montgomery (1-0) 19
Others receiving votes: Gadsden City (0-1) 14, Vestavia Hills (0-0) 3, Buckhorn (0-0) 2, Foley (1-0) 2, Mary G. Montgomery (1-0) 2, Jeff Davis (0-1) 1.
- Clay-Chalkville (21) (1-0) 305
- Blount (2) (1-0) 215
- Spanish Fort (4) (0-1) 205
- Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (1-0) 193
- Opelika (1-0) 174
- Oxford (1-0) 127
- Park Crossing (1-0) 110
- Saraland (1-0) 69
- Bessemer City (1-0) 45
- Benjamin Russell (0-0) 39
Others receiving votes: Florence (0-1) 27, Hartselle (1-0) 17, Hazel Green (0-0) 4, Southside-Gadsden (1-0) 3, Minor (1-0) 2, Gardendale (1-0) 1, Homewood (1-0) 1, Parker (0-0) 1, Wetumpka (1-0) 1.
The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are: Paul Beaudry (Chairman), Alabama Media Group; Will Gaines, Anniston Star; Jonathan Deal, Athens News Courier; Gary Estwick, Birmingham News; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Tommy Hicks, Citronelle Call-News; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Rob Ketcham, Cullman Times; Johnathan Bentley, Daily Mountain Eagle; Justin Graves, Decatur Daily; David Mundee, Dothan Eagle; Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant; John McWilliams, Florence TimesDaily; Jeremy Smith, Freelance (Demopolis); Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger; J.J. Hicks, Gadsden Times; Daniel Boyette, Huntsville Times; Ben Thomas, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Eric Bacharach, Opelika-Auburn News; Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter; Jason Bowen, Scottsboro Daily Sentinel; Daniel Evans, Selma Times-Journal; Baker Ellis, Shelby County Reporter; Joey Chandler, Tuscaloosa News; Cory Diaz, Wetumpka Herald. Not voting: Cathy Higgins, Alexander City Outlook; Josh Dutton, Andalusia Star-News; Andrew Garner, Atmore Advance; Lavonte Young, Talladega Daily Home.