Bulldogs as high as No. 7 in eight rankings
National rankings aren’t exactly the biggest concern for Chris Wolfe this week as he prepares his Male High School football team for Saturday’s state championship game, but he admits the recognition is nice.
As the Bulldogs (14-0) eye their Class 6-A state final against Lafayette (12-2) in Bowling Green, Ky., they find themselves in the top 25 of eight national rankings. Their highest ranking is at No. 7 in the Massey computer ratings.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t notice them, and I’ll retweet them every once in a while,” Wolfe said. “It’s good for the program. Any time you’re nationally ranked, it’s a big honor for the players. Everybody appreciates it, but we don’t spend a lot of time talking about it.”
Here’s a look at where Male stands nationally:
* Massey computer ratings – No. 7.
* USA Today Super 25 – No. 10.
* MaxPreps Xcellent 25 – No. 11.
* High School Football America Top 25 – No. 11.
* NationalHSfootball.com 100 – No. 15.
* PrepNation.com – No. 15.
* Freeman/MaxPreps computer ratings – No. 21.
* Scout.com – No. 23.
MORE COVERAGE | Links to all eight national rankings
Male began to receive national recognition in July with a championship in the prestigious National Select 7-on-7 event in Hoover, Ala. A 42-13 victory over nationally ranked Trinity on Sept. 11 propelled the Bulldogs up the rankings.
“Trinity had beaten a really good Brentwood Academy team from Tennessee, and then we beat Trinity,” Wolfe said. “That’s what really launched us nationally.”
Trinity is currently No. 23 in the NationalHSfootball.com 100, and Brentwood Academy is No. 24.
Male could be competing for a top-five national ranking had it played a tougher schedule, according to Dallas Jackson, who compiles the NationalHSfootball.com 100. The Bulldogs beat Floyd Central of Indiana 41-0 in their season opener and have played only Kentucky opponents since then.
“Not to disrespect Kentucky, but it’s hard to build a positive reputation by only beating local teams there,” Jackson said. “And the reason they’re boosted so high is that they’re riding the validation of Trinity, which has a good out-of-state win over Brentwood, which is killing everybody in Tennessee.
“Had Male beaten a Huber Heights Wayne or Colerain from Ohio, they’d have more of an argument to be in that No. 7 or No. 8 discussion. They certainly have the talent.”
Wolfe said he would consider playing out-of-state opponents in the future, but only as a way to prepare his team for the playoffs and not as a means to rise in the national rankings.
Wolfe said Male’s 2016 schedule is set but that opportunities are available in 2017 and beyond.
“We’ve had a lot of calls this year, especially after winning that Hoover deal and raising our national profile a bit,” said Wolfe, adding that he’s received calls from teams in Nevada, Mississippi and Ohio. “We will certainly look at opportunities to improve our schedule.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
STATE FOOTBALL FINALS
At Houchens Industries/L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green
All times Eastern
* Class A – Beechwood (13-1) vs. Pikeville (12-2), 8 p.m.
* Class 6-A – Male (14-0) vs. Lafayette (12-2), 6 p.m.
* Class 5-A – Bowling Green (13-1) vs. Pulaski County (13-1), 9 p.m.
* Class 2-A – Mayfield (13-1) vs. Newport Central Catholic (9-5), 2 p.m.
* Class 3-A – Lexington Catholic (11-3) vs. Belfry (13-1), 5 p.m.
* Class 4-A – South Warren (14-0) vs. Johnson Central (12-1), 8 p.m.