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.
Well, except for this week.
Clay is on vacation.
So sit back and read J. Mike’s thoughts instead.
JMB’s thoughts: I took this week to re-evaluate a familiar name to the high school football world: Charlotte’s Independence High. The Patriots just completed their fifth shutout of the year in six games. My goodness. I don’t care what the circumstances, that’s almost impossible to do. And with that, Independence jumped the other Charlotte-area schools and is second on my 4A list. I checked out what our friends at the Charlotte Observer thought, as I always do before voting. They have the Patriots third but one of their three writer had them first overall. So I feel good about my move.
What’s been odd for me to observe is the lack of respect Wake Forest gets from other voters (they either don’t check our area poll or don’t think much of it). The team returns with almost its entire group intact from last year’s 4AA title game. Yet many outside of Wake County are telling us inside Wake County that Middle Creek is the better team. Only time will tell.
I had no changes in 3A. I dropped out Monore in 2A and replaced it with Ashe County – a team with two wins against 4A teams and is the only team to beat Watauga. I dropped Swain County in 1A after it lost to Robbinsville, and removed Alleghany County (which lost to Ashe) by swapping in North Stanly.
|1. New Bern (6)||Richmond County|
|2. Mallard Creek (4)||Independence|
|3. Richmond County (5)||Butler|
|4. Butler||Mallard Creek|
|6. Independence||Wake Forest|
|7. Mooresville||New Bern|
|8. West Forsyth||Mooresville|
|9. Middle Creek||West Forsyth|
|10. JH Rose||JH Rose|
|1. Southern Durham (11)||Southern Durham|
|2. Crest (4)||Crest|
|4. Northern Guilford||Northern Guilford|
|10. Asheville||Southern Guilford|
|1. Southwest Onslow (13)||Southwest Onslow|
|2. East Lincoln (1)||East Lincoln|
|5. Farmville Central||Reidsville|
|T6. Newton-Conover (1)||Northeastern|
|7. Clinton||Farmville Central|
|10. Washington||Ashe County|
|1. Wallace-Rose Hill (15)||Wallace-Rose Hill|
|2. James Kenan||Mt. Airy|
|3. Mt. Airy||James Kenan|
|6. Plymouth||Swain County|
|7. West Montgomery||West Montgomery|
|9. Swain County||North Stanly|
|10. Walkertown||Mitchell County|