News from the Tennessee Valley Sports


Daily Sports Writer Brooke Milam ranks the area’s top five teams in both Class 4A-6A and 1A-3A:

Class 4A-6A Top Five

1. East Limestone (1-0): Beating Class 5A defending state champion Athens in its opener was a big step for East Limestone. This week might be even more important, when the Indians begin the region schedule with Priceville. The Indians will have to come down from the high of a rivalry win to take care of business with the Bulldogs.

2. Austin (1-0): The Black Bears’ defense held Hartselle to only seven points in last week’s win. Class 6A Austin faces a big test in Huntsville this week with a chance to get a leg up on the rest of the region. If the Black Bears can get a win over the highly touted Crimson Panthers, they are for real.

3. Hartselle (0-1): Even in a loss to Austin last week, Hartselle looks to be on track for a good season. Strong on the ground, the Tigers will be looking to run the ball on a Decatur defense that gave up 198 yards rushing in a loss to Huntsville last week.

4. Athens (0-1): The Golden Eagles came within a blocked extra point of forcing overtime with county rival East Limestone. Looking to bounce back this week, they are still solid and shouldn’t have much trouble when they travel to Muscle
Shoals this week. Look for Athens to gain back some confidence.

5. Decatur (0-1): Decatur gets rival Hartselle this week, with both teams trying to avoid digging a two-loss hole to begin the season. Early struggles defined the Red Raiders’ season last year, but a unified bunch this season is determined not to let that happen again.

Class 1A-3A Top Five

1. Tanner (1-0): The Rattlers proved themselves in an opening-week win over Clements. The only debate with Tanner right now is which is better — its offense or its defense?

2. Hazlewood (1-0): Any doubts about Hazlewood’s potential were silenced in a win over Class 4A power Tarrant last week. The Golden Bears got off to a slow start last season, but if they can stay injury-free, they should be a force.

3. R.A. Hubbard (1-0): It could be a tight Class 1A, Region 8 race again this year, and the Chiefs will be right in the mix.
Brilliant is first on the list of region opponents for R.A. Hubbard.

4. Speake (1-0): Speake took care of county foe Hatton last week, but this week’s region matchup with Hazlewood is one both teams have been anticipating since the Bobcats’ first-ever win over the Golden Bears last season. Speake hopes to prove it was no fluke.

5. Addison (0-1): The Bulldogs didn’t roll up their usual extreme point total in a 27-21 loss to R.A. Hubbard last week. Still, Addison has tradition to lean upon, and the Bulldogs begin their quest for a 2A, Region 8 championship this week, traveling to Hatton on Friday.

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