Thompson remains No. 1 in latest poll, 4 others receive votes

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

Following their 51-14 thumping of Oak Mountain, the Thompson Warriors remained the top-ranked team in the 7A classification when the latest ASWA high school football poll was released on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Thompson is now off to a 4-0 start for the second time in the last three years under head coach Mark Freeman and has put together one of the best offensive performances in school history through the first four games of the 2019 season.

Thanks to the running ability of Jarrett Crocket and Jojo Gaiters, the efficiency of quarterback Sawyer Pate, the talent at receiver with Mike Pettway, Sam Reynolds, J.B. Mitchell and Tre Roberson, and an offensive line that continues to get better, Thompson is averaging 45.3 points per game.

It’s a team that has scored 40, 42, 48 and 51 points in their first four games, seemingly getting better each week, while the defense has also shown up and is giving up just 17.8 points per game to this point in the season.

However, while the Warriors have been dominant thus far, there is nothing easy about the remainder of their schedule with half of the top 10 being made up of their region.

With four other teams aside from them ranked inside the top 10 from Class 7A, Region 3 and Thompson still having matchups left against three of those four, it will be a difficult trek.

Following a homecoming matchup with Tuscaloosa County on Friday, Sept. 20, a bye week and a matchup with Spain Park, the Warriors will close out region play with No. 5 Mountain Brook, No. 10 Vestavia Hills and No. 8 Hewitt-Trussville.

The Warriors have beaten Hoover, which shows they can beat anybody in the state, but that’s going to be a long three-week stretch that will determine the region champion.

Thompson was the only team from Shelby County to find a spot inside the top 10, but four others are starting to get more attention thanks to impressive starts.

In the 6A classification, the Chelsea Hornets and Helena Huskies both received votes for a spot in the top 10, while Briarwood did in Class 5A and Montevallo in Class 4A.

Chelsea is possibly the hottest team in the county next to Thompson thanks to three consecutive wins as they now sit at 3-1 overall and 2-0 in region play.

Their three straight wins has given the Hornets one more win through four weeks than they had all of last year.

The Helena Huskies have also shown some impressive resilience against a difficult schedule to start the season. Now 2-1 overall and 1-0 in region play, the Huskies dominated McAdory to open the season, saw a comeback fall just short against No. 4 Hueytown and pulled off a thrilling come from behind victory over the Homewood Patriots.

Following their matchup with Minor on Friday, Sept. 20, Helena will only have one game left against a winning team, and it will be the Chelsea Hornets.

Briarwood got off to a slow 0-2 start this season, but the Lions’ losses were to a clearly improved Chelsea team by three points and No. 10 Pleasant Grove by 12 in a game that was one a possession difference until the very end.

The Lions bounced back with a 38-20 win over Woodlawn, which might have been a smaller margin of victory than expected, but they were up 38-6 and could have won that game by more. The offense’s improvement moving forward will be key.

In Class 4A, the Montevallo Bulldogs started the season inside the top 10, but fell out after a season-opening loss to Marbury. The Bulldogs, however, have bounced back with three consecutive wins, scoring 48-plus points in each and 56 or more in two of those three victories.

Their big showdown with American Christian on Friday, Sept. 20, will likely determine the region champion, but either way, this team has shown its offense is back and not going anywhere anytime soon.

Complete ASWA rankings:

CLASS 7A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Thompson (21); 4-0; 295
  2. McGill-Toolen (4); 3-0; 238
  3. Central-Phenix City (1); 3-1; 209
  4. Hoover; 3-1; 193
  5. Mountain Brook; 4-0; 137
  6. Theodore; 4-0; 113
  7. Lee-Montgomery; 4-0; 106
  8. Hewitt-Trussville; 3-1; 88
  9. Austin; 4-0; 61
  10. Vestavia Hills; 3-0; 33

Others receiving votes: James Clemens (2-2) 3, Auburn (2-2) 2, Sparkman (3-0) 2, Murphy (3-1) 1, Prattville (2-1) 1.

CLASS 6A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Saraland (22); 4-0; 300
  2. Pinson Valley (4); 3-1; 242
  3. Muscle Shoals; 4-0; 212
  4. Hueytown; 3-0; 172
  5. Oxford; 4-0; 143
  6. Opelika; 4-0; 128
  7. Clay-Chalkville; 3-1; 98
  8. Carver-Montgomery; 4-0; 69
  9. Blount; 3-1; 30
  10. Bessemer City; 3-0; 24

Others receiving votes: Fort Payne (4-0) 16, Wetumpka (2-2) 16, St. Paul’s (3-1) 15, Gardendale (4-0) 12, Helena (2-1) 3, Chelsea (3-1) 2.

CLASS 5A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Jasper (22); 3-0; 298
  2. Central-Clay Co. (2); 3-0; 228
  3. Ramsay (2); 3-1; 209
  4. Etowah; 4-0; 188
  5. Russellville; 3-0; 143
  6. Demopolis; 3-1; 97
  7. Madison Aca.; 3-1; 96
  8. Bibb Co.; 4-0; 87
  9. Center Point; 3-1; 42
  10. Pleasant Grove; 3-1; 34

Others receiving votes: Alexandria (2-0) 19, Sylacauga (4-0) 17, Vigor (2-1) 10, Jackson (3-0) 6, Briarwood (1-2) 5, Citronelle (4-0) 2, Faith-Mobile (3-0) 1.

CLASS 4A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. UMS-Wright (26); 3-0; 312
  2. American Chr.; 3-0; 230
  3. Catholic-Montgomery; 4-0; 208
  4. Jacksonville; 3-1; 154
  5. Good Hope; 4-0; 128
  6. Hokes Bluff; 2-1; 106
  7. Andalusia; 2-2; 91
  8. Brooks; 3-1; 75
  9. Escambia Co.; 3-0; 54

10 (tie). Headland; 3-1; 28

10 (tie). Oneonta; 2-1; 28

Others receiving votes: Montevallo (3-1) 14, Hillcrest-Evergreen (2-2) 13, Anniston (2-1) 8, Trinity (2-2) 8, Williamson (2-1) 7, Deshler (2-2) 6, Handley (2-1) 5, Priceville (2-1) 3, Lincoln (2-1) 2, Fairview (3-1) 1, Talladega (2-1) 1.

CLASS 3A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Flomaton (20); 3-0; 294
  2. Piedmont (5); 3-0; 241
  3. Gordo (1); 4-0; 211
  4. Pike Co.; 3-0; 176
  5. Providence Chr.; 4-0; 159
  6. Midfield; 3-0; 113
  7. Randolph Co.; 2-1; 92
  8. St. James; 4-0; 91
  9. Geraldine; 3-1; 50
  10. Walter Wellborn; 4-0; 26

Others receiving votes: T.R. Miller (3-0) 22, Susan Moore (4-0) 3, Mobile Chr. (1-2) 2, Pike Road (4-0) 1, Thomasville (2-1) 1.

CLASS 2A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Fyffe (26); 3-0; 312
  2. Luverne; 3-0; 228
  3. Ohatchee; 3-0; 183
  4. Abbeville; 3-0; 159
  5. Leroy; 2-1; 129
  6. Reeltown; 4-0; 127
  7. Colbert Co.; 4-0; 105
  8. Aliceville; 2-1; 55
  9. Collinsville; 3-1; 54
  10. Red Bay; 4-0; 38

Others receiving votes: Addison (2-2) 33, Cottage Hill (3-0) 23, G.W. Long (3-0) 11, Goshen (3-0) 7, Highland Home (2-1) 6, Cedar Bluff (3-0) 4, Westbrook Chr. (4-0) 4, Ranburne (3-0) 3, Daleville (3-1) 1.

CLASS 1A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Mars Hill Bible (18); 3-0; 288
  2. Maplesville (7); 3-0; 249
  3. Sweet Water (1); 3-0; 201
  4. Brantley; 3-0; 176
  5. Lanett; 4-0; 162
  6. Pickens Co.; 3-0; 116
  7. South Lamar; 3-0; 98
  8. Spring Garden; 2-1; 64
  9. Decatur Heritage; 4-0; 55
  10. Linden; 2-2; 25

Others receiving votes: Elba (3-1) 15, Millry (2-1) 13, Marion Co. (4-0) 9, Donoho (3-0) 4, R.A. Hubbard (3-1) 4, Isabella (3-0) 3.

AISA

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Autauga Aca. (18); 1-1; 283
  2. Wilcox Aca. (6); 4-0; 239
  3. Chambers Aca. (2); 4-0; 217
  4. Bessemer Aca.; 3-2; 146
  5. Macon-East; 2-0; 145
  6. Edgewood; 4-0; 142
  7. Glenwood; 4-1; 90
  8. Crenshaw Chr.; 3-0; 76
  9. Southern Aca.; 3-0; 68
  10. Tuscaloosa Aca.; 3-1; 45

Others receiving votes: Escambia Aca. (1-2) 12, Monroe Aca. (2-2) 10, South Choctaw Aca. (2-2) 7, Lowndes Aca. (2-1) 2.