Hornets, Lions ranked in preseason

For the first time since making the move to Class 5A, the Chelsea Hornets are ranked in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll to start the season, coming in at No. 8.

“We’ll take it. We’ve just got to go play,” Chelsea head coach Wade Waldrop said. “It really doesn’t mean anything right now. I think it’s good, but a lot of that is based on last year, not this year.”

The Hornets return a most of their starters from last year’s 8-4 team that went to the second round of the playoffs.

Briarwood, last year’s runner-up in Class 5A, opens the season at No. 2. Unlike Chelsea, the Lions will bring only a handful of starters back this fall. They received four first-place votes, while Eufaula is No. 1 with 15 top votes.

In Class 6A, last year’s runner-up, Spain Park, is among those receiving votes with nine points. Pelham is two spots out of the Top 10 with 28 points. Both teams will compete in Region 6 this year against No. 2 Hoover and No. 9 Vestavia. Two-time defending state champion Prattville is No. 1 with 26 first-place votes.

Calera moves from 3A to 4A this year and received 10 points in the poll, sitting four spots away from the Top 10.