Each week, The News & Observer high school sports writers D. Clay Best and J. Mike Blake will be sharing their AP football ballots online with a few thoughts on each.
Best is the sports editor for three community newspapers owned by The N&O – the Garner-Cleveland Record, the Clayton News-Star and The (Smithfield) Herald. Blake is the sports editor of two – The Cary News and Southwest Wake News.
This week, the guys have Wake Forest and Richmond Countymuch higher than the rest of the state.
Clay’s thoughts: Scotland County is now on the outside looking in. Home losses can’t be excused in the land of top 10s, especially when you see what other top 10 worthy teams can pull off on the road. Exhibit A in that case: Richmond County which goes all the way up to No. 1 after its win over Butler in Charlotte. Is Richmond the best team in the state? Maybe, but not likely. Still you can’t not have them No. 1 after that win. In 2A I can’t penalize a 2A team (Monroe) too much for losing to a top 10 4A team (Charlotte Catholic) by a touchdown. Losing by 16 (as Reidsville did against Northern Guilford) is a little different. Princeton was ranked higher than Kenan in last week’s 1A poll, but lower in my poll. The Bulldogs are playing the underdog card this week as they get ready to host Kenan so that’s reflected in my poll. The chance to change all that comes Friday at 7:30.
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JMB’s thoughts: I had very few changes this week. The most notable is, of course, moving Richmond County from unranked to No. 1. Beating Butler in Charlotte is a better win than anybody else has. I would feel a little bit better about putting the Raiders No. 1 if they weren’t allowing so many points, but an undefeated record is an undefeated record. Middle Creek got bumped out to make room for Richmond. My 3A teams are exactly the same as last week. There was minor shuffling in 2A to go with the inclusion of Owen. In 1A, Murphy – whose top RB just tore his knee – is out after a loss and in goes Mitchell County.
|1. Mallard Creek (4)||Richmond County||Richmond County|
|2. New Bern (9)||Butler||Butler|
|3. Butler||Mallard Creek||Wake Forest|
|4. Dudley||Dudley||Mallard Creek|
|5. Richmond (5)||Independence||Dudley|
|6. Independence||Wake Forest||Independence|
|7. Mooresville||New Bern||New Bern|
|8. West Forsyth||Mooresville||Mooresville|
|9. Scotland||West Forsyth||Middle Creek|
|10. Middle Creek||JH Rose||Charlotte Catholic|
|1. Southern Durham (13)||Southern Durham||Southern Durham|
|2. Crest (5)||Crest||Crest|
|3. Havelock||Havelock||Northern Guilford|
|4. Northern Guilford||Northern Guilford||Havelock|
|5. Concord||Concord||Southern Guilford|
|10. Asheville||Southern Guilford||Asheville|
|1. Southwest Onslow (15)||Southwest Onslow||Southwest Onslow|
|2. East Lincoln (1)||East Lincoln||Monroe|
|3. Northeastern (1)||Franklin||Northeastern|
|4. Shelby||Shelby||East Lincoln|
|5. Farmville Central||Reidsville||Washington|
|T6. Newton-Conover (1)||Monroe||Reidsville|
|T6. Franklin||Northeastern||Farmville Central|
|8. Clinton||Farmville Central||Franklin|
|1. Wallace-Rose Hill (17)||Wallace-Rose Hill||Wallace-Rose Hill|
|2. Princeton||Swain County||James Kenan|
|3. James Kenan||Mt. Airy||Mt. Airy|
|4. Mt. Ariy||James Kenan||Princeton|
|5. Robbinsville||Princeton||Swain County|
|6. Swain County||Robbinsville||Plymouth|
|7. Plymouth||West Montgomery||Robbinsville|
|8. West Montgomery||Plymouth||Whiteville|
|9. Murphy||Alleghany County||East Surry|
|10. Tarboro||Mitchell County||West Montgomery|