Providence Christian School vs New Brockton

 In this Aug. 24, 2018 photo, Providence Christian School quarterback Collins McClintock (14) tries to escape from New Brockton defender Kyan Horne (15) during a game at Providence.

After historic seasons a year ago, three high school football teams in the Dothan Eagle coverage area open 2019 with a rare preseason state ranking, joining two perennial powers used to the poll.

Providence Christian, fresh off a school record 12 wins, plus Headland and Abbeville, two teams coming off 10-win seasons for the first time in two decades or longer, join tradition-rich Pike County and Elba as coverage teams in the preseason Alabama Sports Writers Association state poll.

Four other Dothan Eagle coverage teams received votes in the poll, but didn’t make the top 10 – Eufaula, Daleville, New Brockton and Lakeside School.

Providence Christian, a state semifinalist a year ago, opens the Class 3A rankings at No. 6. The Eagles, under Kenny Keith, return six starters on both offense and defense, including all-state running back Wise Gordon and senior quarterback Collins McClintock.

The No. 6 ranking is the highest in the program’s 14-year history, three spots above the previous high, and is only the second preseason ranking. The Eagles were ranked No. 10 to start 2008.

Headland, in the third year under head coach Danny Raines, begins the year at No. 10 in Class 4A. The Rams, who last year won 10 games for the first time since 1988, are ranked in the preseason for the fifth time in the 60 years of the ASWA poll, but the first time since 1989.

Headland, whose roster is dominated by 23 seniors and 25 juniors, returns four starters on both offense and defense . The 4A rankings were dominated by nearby Region 1 teams UMS-Wright, Hillcrest of Evergreen and Andalusia, who were ranked as the top three teams in the poll.

Abbeville checks in at No. 6 in the Class 2A poll, the same ranking it ended at in last year’s final regular season poll. The Yellow Jackets, who last year won 10 games for the first time since 1994, are ranked in the preseason for just the second time, matching 2012 when it was also ranked No. 6.

Robin Tyra’s team lost standout twins Daquon and Jaquon Kincey from last year, but return five starters on offense and seven on defense. Included among the returners are senior all-state offensive lineman Zayne Peterman and veterans Nathan Hall (senior defensive back/linebacker), Martavious Glanton (junior running back/safety), Rico Dozier (junior running back/linebacker) and Devin Smith (junior OL/DL).

While those three teams enjoy rare preseason accolades, Pike County and Elba, as normal, hold down a top 10 ranking. Pike County, 10-2 last year, is No. 5 in Class 3A, while Elba, 8-3 in 2018, is No. 7 in Class 1A.

Pike County, owners of five state titles since 1989, is ranked in the ASWA preseason poll for the 22nd time dating back to 1985 and the fifth time in last six years. This year Bulldog team under Fred Holland returns five starters on both offense and defense, including all-state running back Rayshawn Reynolds plus talented linebacker Isiah Wheeler.

Elba, which has won four state titles, is ranked in the ASWA preseason poll for the 19th time since 1984 and the fifth straight season. The Tigers, in Pate Harrison’s second year, have to replace UAB signees Richmon Singletary and Alex Wright, but return seven starters on offense and six on defense from last year.

Among the returners for the Tigers are all-state linebacker Demion Robertson plus talented offensive lineman Omarion Terry and sophomore linebacker Chrystile Caldwell.

The state rankings were dominated at the top by defending state champions. All but one class No. 1 won a state crown a year ago. Those teams are Central of Phenix City (Class 7A), Pinson Valley (6A), UMS-Wright (4A), Flomaton (3A), Fyffe (2A), Mars Hill Bible (1A) and Autauga Academy (AISA).

The lone non-state champion at No. 1 is in Class 5A, which had an unusual vote.

Briarwood Christian, which lost in the second round of the playoffs to Vigor last year, was at the top despite getting only four first place votes from the 26 members – including less than two other teams.

The Lions ascended to No. 1 behind 11 second-place votes and nine third-place votes to edge Ramsay, which had 12 first-place votes, but was left off two voters’ list and was also hurt by ninth and seventh place votes. Central of Clay County, the defending champ, had seven firsts, but was not on seven voters’ ballots, landing at No. 5 in the poll.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association preseason high school football rankings with first-place votes, last year’s record and total poll points:

 

CLASS 7A

Team (first-place), 2018 W-L, Pts

1. Central-Phenix City (26), 14-0, 312

2. Hoover, 9-4, 227

3. McGill-Toolen, 9-3, 201

4. Thompson, 11-2, 183

5. Hewitt-Trussville, 8-4, 165

6. Auburn, 10-2, 98

7. Mountain Brook, 9-3, 88

8. Theodore, 8-3, 83

9. Lee-Montgomery, 8-5, 66

10. Fairhope, 7-4, 23

Others receiving votes: James Clemens (7-4) 13, Bob Jones (6-5) 9, Austin (7-4) 8, Prattville (7-4) 6.

 

CLASS 6A

Team (first-place), 2018 W-L, Pts

1. Pinson Valley (17), 13-1, 282

2. Saraland (9), 13-2, 251

3. Muscle Shoals, 9-3, 172

4. Clay-Chalkville, 12-2, 158

5. Hueytown, 9-3, 150

6. Wetumpka, 11-3, 148

7. Oxford, 10-3, 95

8. Spanish Fort, 11-2, 67

9. Blount, 5-5, 57

10. Jackson-Olin, 10-1, 44

Others receiving votes: McAdory (10-2) 20, Opelika (7-5) 9, Eufaula (5-6) 8, St. Paul's (7-4) 7, Homewood (10-3) 6, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (6-6) 3, Helena (4-6) 2, Stanhope Elmore (6-5) 2, Russell Co. (2-8) 1.

 

CLASS 5A

Team (first-place), 2018 W-L, Pts

1. Briarwood (4), 9-3, 233

2. Ramsay (12), 11-2, 221

3. Jasper (2), 11-2, 206

4. Madison Aca. (1), 10-2, 143

5. Central-Clay Co. (7), 12-3, 139

6. Demopolis, 10-3, 134

7. Mortimer Jordan, 12-2, 127

8. Vigor, 13-2, 110

9. Etowah, 12-1, 61

10. Russellville, 9-2, 44

Others receiving votes: Center Point (6-6) 36, Alexandria (6-5) 15, Hamilton (4-6) 6, Sardis (3-7) 3, East Limestone (9-3) 2, Scottsboro (4-6) 1, Sylacauga (7-4) 1.

 

CLASS 4A

Team (first-place), 2018 W-L, Pts

1. UMS-Wright (25), 14-0, 309

2. Hillcrest-Evergreen (1), 8-5, 215

3. Andalusia, 9-5, 185

4. Hokes Bluff, 11-2, 177

5. American Chr., 12-1, 151

6. Catholic-Montgomery, 8-4, 96

7. Jacksonville, 11-1, 91

8. Montevallo, 9-2, 87

9. Deshler, 9-6, 86

10. Headland, 10-2, 36

Others receiving votes: North Jackson (11-1) 30, Holtville (7-4) 9, Leeds (3-7) 6, Brooks (8-3) 4.

 

CLASS 3A

Team (first-place), 2018 W-L, Pts

1. Flomaton (24), 12-3, 306

2. Piedmont (1), 12-3, 193

3. Gordo (1), 10-3, 179

4. Randolph Co., 12-2, 168

5. Pike Co., 10-3, 136

6. Providence Chr., 12-2, 121

7. Mobile Chr., 9-2, 118

8. Saks, 10-2, 104

9. Geraldine, 9-3, 56

10. Midfield, 9-2, 28

Others receiving votes: Fultondale (9-2) 19, St. James (10-2) 18, Winfield (11-1) 11, Pisgah (4-7) 8, Prattville Chr. (4-6) 5, Thomasville (9-3) 5, Oakman (5-6) 2, T.R. Miller (6-5) 2, Excel (4-6) 1, Walter Wellborn (5-5) 1, Westminster-Huntsville (11-1) 1.

 

CLASS 2A

Team (first-place), 2018 W-L, Pts

1. Fyffe (26), 15-0, 312

2. Leroy, 9-4, 206

3. Addison, 10-3, 183

4. Luverne, 13-2, 174

5. Ohatchee, 11-1, 98

6. Abbeville, 10-2, 85

7. Aliceville, 11-3, 77

8. Collinsville, 10-2, 66

9. Reeltown, 8-3, 55

10. Colbert Co., 8-4, 51

Others receiving votes: Cottage Hill (10-2) 45, Thorsby (9-2) 41, North Sand Mountain (8-3) 24, Daleville (6-5) 23, LaFayette (7-4) 17, Red Bay (9-3) 9, Highland Home (12-2) 8, Westbrook Chr. (7-4) 3, Cedar Bluff (7-4) 2, New Brockton (6-5) 2 , J.U. Blacksher (4-6) 1.

 

CLASS 1A

Team (first-place), 2018 W-L, Pts

1. Mars Hill Bible (20), 14-1, 287

2. Maplesville (4), 12-2, 203

3. Sweet Water (1), 6-5, 176

4. Brantley, 7-4, 168

5. Lanett (1), 10-2, 149

6. Spring Garden, 11-2, 108

7. Elba, 8-3, 80

8. Linden, 13-1, 68

9. Pickens Co., 9-5, 50

10. South Lamar, 12-1, 47

Others receiving votes: Marengo (10-2) 43, Georgiana (10-2) 36, Millry (5-6) 21, Falkville (11-1) 19, Marion Co. (7-4) 9, R.A. Hubbard (8-3) 7, Notasulga (4-7) 4, Decatur Heritage (7-4) 3, St. Luke's (11-2) 2, Donoho (9-3) 1, Winterboro (7-4) 1.

 

AISA

Team (first-place), 2018 W-L, Pts

1. Autauga Aca. (23), 13-1, 303

2. Monroe Aca. (2), 13-0, 237

3. Escambia Aca., 10-3, 195

4. Glenwood, 5-7, 179

5. Wilcox Aca., 8-4, 151

6. Chambers Aca. (1), 13-0, 138

7. Morgan Aca., 9-3, 98

8. Macon-East, 9-3, 76

9. Bessemer Aca., 9-4, 48

10. Lee-Scott, 0-11, 23

Others receiving votes: Edgewood (8-4) 19, Tuscaloosa Aca. (6-4) 10, Clarke Prep (4-8) 2, Jackson Aca. (6-5) 2, Lakeside (5-5) 1.

 

 

VOTING PANEL

Alec Etheredge Shelby Co. Reporter

Andrew Garner, Atmore Advance

Ben Thomas, AL.com

Caleb Turrentine, Wetumpka Herald

Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger

Craig Thomas, Florence TimesDaily

David Elwell, Decatur Daily

David Mundee, Dothan Eagle

Edwin Stanton, Tuscaloosa News

J.J. Hicks, Gadsden Times

Jake Winfrey, Cullman Times

Jason Bowen, Jackson Co. Sentinel

Joe Medley, Anniston Star

Jordan Hill, Opelika-Auburn News

Josh Bean, AL.com

Josh Boutwell, Southeast Sun

Josh Dutton, Andalusia Star-News

Kyle Parmley, Starnes Publishing

LaVonte Young, Talladega Daily Home

Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant

Lizi Arbogast, Alexander City Outlook

Matthew Puckett, Journal Record

Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat

Shannon J. Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter

Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Co. Herald

Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser

Recommended for you

Load comments