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Chambers, Lanett ranked in ASWA preseason football poll

In the first Alabama Sports Writers Association high school football poll, two Chambers County teams were ranked in the top 10 of their respective classes.

Lanett leads the way, as the Panthers are rated as the No. 2 team in 2A. Lanett graduated its starting quarterback for the second straight season and most of its skill players that started in 2020 but it brings back 21 seniors, the most that coach Clifford Story has ever had in his Lanett tenure.

Lanett brings back running back D’Quez Madden that finished with more than 1,000 yards in 2020 while averaging just eight carries a game. The team also brings back a stacked offensive and defensive line that will have at least two players play college football.

Defending 2A state champion Chambers Academy enters the season as the No. 5 team in the AISA. This season will be the first time in three years that the Rebels will replace their starting quarterback, along with four of their five starting linemen from 2020.

Though Chambers graduated several key pieces off the 2020 team, the Rebels are extremely experienced heading into 2021, returning their starting running back in Jordan Benbrook, who ran for 1,265 yards and 21 touchdowns, and the top three receivers from 2020, which combined for 2,484 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Below is the full preseason rankings heading into the 2021 season that starts on Aug. 19/20:

CLASS 7A

Team (first-place); 2020 W-L; Pts

1. Thompson (23); 14-0; 276

2. Hoover; 11-2; 191

3. Auburn; 11-2; 188

4. Hewitt-Trussville; 9-3; 171

5. Central-Phenix City; 8-5; 140

6. Theodore; 10-2; 112

7. Daphne; 10-2; 77

8. Austin; 8-3; 58

9. James Clemens; 8-3; 45

10. Enterprise; 7-4; 36

Others receiving votes: Oak Mountain (7-5) 17.

CLASS 6A

Team (first-place); 2020 W-L; Pts

1. Pinson Valley (21); 12-2; 268

2. Spanish Fort; 11-4; 207

3. Clay-Chalkville (2); 11-2; 192

4. Opelika; 9-3; 140

5. Briarwood; 9-3; 139

6. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa; 9-3; 102

7. McGill-Toolen; 7-3; 91

8. Mountain Brook; 11-2; 57

9. Eufaula; 9-3; 41

10. Oxford; 11-2; 23

Others receiving votes: Hartselle (7-4) 20, Helena (7-5) 10, Saraland (11-3) 9, Carver-Montgomery (7-4) 6, Homewood (7-5) 3, Pelham (8-3) 2, Fort Payne (7-4) 1.

CLASS 5A

Team (first-place); 2020 W-L; Pts

1. St. Paul’s (23); 15-0; 276

2. Faith-Mobile; 11-2; 182

3. Pleasant Grove; 11-3; 161

4. Pike Road; 11-1; 152

5. Guntersville; 10-1; 133

6. Central-Clay Co.; 11-2; 102

7. Leeds; 9-3; 99

8. UMS-Wright; 8-5; 82

9. Alexandria; 11-2; 31

10. Russellville; 10-3; 28

Others receiving votes: Andalusia (7-4) 25, Tallassee (3-7) 22, Center Point (7-4) 12, East Limestone (6-4) 4, Fairview (10-2) 1, Sylacauga (7-3) 1.

CLASS 4A

Team (first-place); 2020 W-L; Pts

1. Gordo (16); 13-2; 246

2. Handley (7); 12-1; 203

3. Madison Aca.; 10-1; 196

4. American Chr.; 13-1; 157

5. Williamson; 7-4; 122

6. Jacksonville; 7-4; 68

7. West Limestone; 11-2; 66

8. Mobile Chr.; 9-2; 60

9. Vigor; 5-5; 58

10. Etowah; 9-4; 48

Others receiving votes: Jackson (6-5) 18, St. James (7-4) 16, Anniston (4-7) 13, Montevallo (6-5) 13, Deshler (6-5) 11, Madison Co. (8-3) 7, Bibb Co. (10-3) 6, Brooks (6-5) 2, Good Hope (10-2) 1.

CLASS 3A

Team (first-place); 2020 W-L; Pts

1. Fyffe (21); 15-0; 270

2. Piedmont (2); 12-2; 206

3. Catholic-Montgomery; 12-2; 177

4. Hillcrest-Evergreen; 6-5; 121

5. Montgomery Aca.; 13-1; 118

6. Slocomb; 10-2; 81

7. Plainview; 10-2; 80

8. Ohatchee; 11-2; 68

9. Flomaton; 8-3; 58

10. Opp; 8-4; 55

Others receiving votes: Bayside Aca. (8-3) 28, Thomasville (10-2) 20, Reeltown (5-5) 12, Dadeville (6-4) 5, T.R. Miller (9-3) 5, Daleville (1-9) 3, Oakman (7-4) 2, Excel (2-8) 1, Southside-Selma (6-5) 1.

CLASS 2A

Team (first-place); 2020 W-L; Pts

1. Mars Hill Bible (17); 13-2; 255

2. Lanett (6); 10-3; 223

3. Abbeville; 12-2; 169

4. Clarke Co.; 8-3; 158

5. North Sand Mountain; 11-2; 131

6. Geneva Co.; 8-4; 105

7. Spring Garden; 12-2; 74

8. Elba; 6-4; 62

9. Westbrook Chr.; 10-2; 53

10. Falkville; 8-3; 43

Others receiving votes: Red Bay (9-2) 33, West End-Walnut Grove (4-6) 3, B.B. Comer (9-2) 1, J.U. Blacksher (3-7) 1.

CLASS 1A

Team (first-place); 2020 W-L; Pts

1. Brantley (19); 13-1; 261

2. Sweet Water (1); 8-3; 192

3. Pickens Co. (1); 11-4; 186

4. Linden (1); 14-0; 162

5. Maplesville (1); 10-2; 143

6. Decatur Heritage; 9-3; 130

7. Millry; 8-3; 86

8. McKenzie; 8-3; 52

9. Cedar Bluff; 6-5; 38

10. Loachapoka; 5-6; 33

Others receiving votes: Berry (11-2) 23, Florala (8-3) 4, Winterboro (9-2) 1.

AISA

Team (first-place); 2020 W-L; Pts

1. Pike Liberal Arts (23); 10-2; 276

2. Glenwood; 10-1; 198

3. Escambia Aca.; 10-2; 186

4. Autauga Aca.; 2-7; 160

5. Chambers Aca.; 12-1; 141

6. Bessemer Aca.; 8-3; 111

7. Tuscaloosa Aca.; 2-7; 86

8. Macon-East; 8-5; 66

9. Patrician; 8-2; 42

10. Morgan Aca.; 8-3; 27

Others receiving votes: Crenshaw Chr. (10-3) 8, Sparta (6-4) 8, Abbeville Chr. (10-3) 1, Monroe Aca. (6-5) 1.