Local high school football teams received recognition in the Associated Press preseason poll taken among sports writers across the state. The highest-ranked local team was Adamsville, who topped the Class 2A poll with three first-place votes.
The Cardinals are one of three local teams in the poll with Trinity Christian Academy coming in at No. 5, and McKenzie starting the season ranked No. 7. All three teams are in Region 6-2A.
“Honestly I’d prefer people not know who we are, because we typically play better as the hunter,” said Adamsville head coach Brandon Gray. “But I appreciate the voters knowing who we are and what we’ve done in the past.
“But that’s in the past, and being No. 1 won’t matter Friday when the ball is kicked. It’s nice to start No. 1, but our goal has always been to finish No. 1.”
Peabody is ranked No. 2 in the Class 1A poll behind defending 1A champion Union City. The Tornadoes received 10 first-place votes. Peabody, who won state in 2A last year, received five votes for the top spot.
“When I first came to Trenton three years ago, I wanted to do whatever I needed to do to help Peabody football become a recognizable name across the state,” said Peabody head coach Shane Jacobs. “So I appreciate the fact they think we’re the second-best team in the state going in.
“Now we just want to try to live up to that and exceed it.”
Both the Tornadoes and Golden Tide are in Region 7-1A, which is also the region with Dresden, who was voted No. 4 in the poll.
Huntingdon, from Region 6-1A, came in at No. 8.
Milan received a vote for No. 1 in Class 3A and finished ranked No. 5 in the poll. The Bulldogs are just ahead of Camden, ranked No. 6.
Dyersburg is No. 10, while Liberty and Westview made it into the ”receiving votes” category, essentially starting the season as the Nos. 11 and 12 teams in the state.
Crockett County starts the season ranked No. 7 in Class 4A after receiving a first-place vote, and North Side is right behind the Cavaliers in a tie for No. 8 with Marshall County.
Lexington was the first team listed in the receiving votes list as the No. 11 team in the state, and Hardin County was two spots behind the Tigers.
Henry County received a first-place vote and is the No. 7 team in Class 5A.
The other top-ranked teams in the state were Maryville in 6A, Knoxville West in 5A, Knoxville Fulton in 4A, Christ Presbyterian Academy in 3A and Ensworth in the combined Division II poll with A and AA teams ranked together. Knoxville Webb was the highest-ranked Division II-A team at No. 7.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751