Daily News Journal: Devils unranked in preseason Class 4-A poll

By Tom Kreager for The Daily News Journal

Two Midstate football programs were ranked first in their respective classification in the Associated Press’ initial football polls on Monday .

CPA was voted the top team in Class 3A, thanks in large part to defeating Alcoa in the state title contest a year ago. Alcoa is ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll.

Ensworth, which finished as state runner-up in Division II-AA to rival MBA, begins the season ranked No. 1 in the DII poll. Brentwood Academy is second, followed by MBA. BGA is the only other Midstate team ranked in DII, coming in at No. 9.

Three Rutherford County schools were all ranked in Class 6A. Oakland, which finished 12-2 a year ago, was the highest of the trio. The Patriots were ranked third. Riverdale was ranked fourth and Blackman was ranked sixth.

The ranking was a surprise to Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott, who is entering his 10th season at the school: “I have no reason to believe we are a top-10 team at this point.”

This season the TSSAA created what has been coined the “Super 6” where the top 32 enrollments in the state compete in Class 6A. Each team advances to the state playoffs, reducing the number of schools in the state’s highest classification.

“That puts it in perspective,” Aydelott said. “There were too many to choose from.”

Ravenwood, which finished 6A runner-up in 2014, was the only other Midstate team ranked in the 6A poll. The Raptors were fifth.

Maryville, which won its second consecutive 6A championship in December, received every first-place ballot. No other classification had an unanimous top-ranked team.

Blackman coach David Watson said preseason polls are often a reflection of past success: “I think anytime you put out a poll this early it is based on past tradition and based on expectations. For us to be ranked that high is just a product of the past.”

Other Midstate teams which enjoyed success last season had that carry over into this year’s preseason poll.

Hillsboro, which finished runner-up in 5A, is ranked third in the the 5A preseason poll. Defending champ Knoxville West is No. 1, followed by Rhea County. The Midstate is also represented by Independence (No. 6), Henry County (7) and Hendersonville (8) in the 5A poll.

Pearl-Cohn, which reached the 4A semifinals a year ago, is ranked fourth in the 4A poll, while Marshall County comes in at No. 8.

Nashville Christian, a state semifinalist in 1A last season, enters this season ranked No. 3 in the poll. Defending champ Union City is No. 1. Columbia Academy checks in at No. 7.

Tennessee preseason football prep polls

The Associated Press’ Preseason Top 10 teams in each of Tennessee’s six Division I non-financial aid classifications and in the combined Division II financial aid classification as selected by Tennessee AP-member sportswriters and broadcasters. With first-place votes in parentheses and total points based on 10 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 10th-place vote:

Class 6A

1. Maryville (16) 160

2. Whitehaven 136

3. Oakland 106

4. Riverdale 94

5. Ravenwood 84

6. Blackman 79

7. Science Hill 68

8. White Station 34

9. Kingsport Dobyns Bennett 22

10. Arlington 17

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11, Smyrna 13.

Class 5A

1. Knoxville West (8) 119

2. Rhea County (2) 97

3. Hillsboro (2) 90

4. Oak Ridge 88

5. Ooltewah 86

6. Independence (2) 71

7. Henry County (1) 63

8. Hendersonville 59

9. Sevier County 43

10. Morristown West (1) 35

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11, LaVergne 32. 12, Shelbyville 18. 13, Beech 15. 14, South Doyle 14.

Class 4A

1. Knoxville Fulton (14) 140

2. Greeneville 97

3. Knoxville Catholic 92

4. Pearl-Cohn 77

5. Memphis East 65

6. Ridgeway 60

7. Crockett County (1) 48

8. Marshall County 30

(tie) Jackson North Side 30

10. East Hamilton 28

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11, Lexington 27. 12, Livingston Academy 24. 13, Hardin County 21. 14, Spring Hill 20. 15, Lipscomb Academy 12.

Class 3A

1. CPA (5) 136

2. Alcoa (9) 134

3. CAK 104

4. Notre Dame 101

5. Milan (1) 86

6. Camden 56

7. Elizabethton 44

8. Fairview 24

9. McMinn Central 23

10. Dyersburg 22

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11, Liberty Magnet 16. 12, Westview 14. 13, Upperman 12.

Class 2A

1. Adamsville (3) 127

2. Trezevant (7) 119

3. Marion County (4) 111

4. Grace Christian (1) 95

5. Trinity Christian Academy 55

6. Boyd Buchanan 52

7. McKenzie 50

8. Tyner Academy 43

9. Meigs County 37

10. Gatlinburg-Pittman 33

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11, Hickman County 19. 12, Waverly 16. 13, Westmoreland 15. 14, Hampton 13.

Class 1A

1. Union City (10) 137

2. Peabody (5) 127

3. Nashville Christian School 86

4. Dresden 77

5. Coalfield 66

6. Whitwell 61

7. Columbia Academy 55

8. Huntingdon 39

9. South Pittsburg 36

10. Greenback 30

(tie) Wayne County 30

Others receiving 12 or more points: 12, Trousdale County 22. 13, Oneida 18.

Division II

1. Ensworth (5) 109

2. Brentwood Academy (5) 103

3. MBA (3) 102

4. McCallie 82

(tie) MUS 82

6. Baylor 58

7. Knoxville Webb 46

8. CBHS 34

9. BGA 24

10. St. George’s 22

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11, Father Ryan 16. 12, ECS 12.

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