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 (2-0): So far the Class 4A fourth-ranked East Limestone has met the challenge of a season full of expectations. The Indians looked solid in their first two wins and might be deeper than they first thought. Look for the Indians to be 3-0 after Friday's 4A, Region 7 game with DAR and for the second-teamers to get a lot of work in the second half.

2. Austin (1-1): Austin was impressive in an opening week win over Hartselle, but its region time and the Black Bears have ground to make up. Austin has a chance to bounce back after struggling against a strong Huntsville team last week, when a much-improved Florence visits Ogle Stadium on Friday in a Class 6A, Region 8 matchup.

3. Athens (1-1): Left opening-week loss to East Limestone behind and proved it was still a solid team with a big shutout of Muscle Shoals. Expect the Golden Eagles to be 2-0 in Class 5A, Region 8 after Friday night's game with West Point.

4. Decatur (1-1): Decatur took a sizeable leap forward in last week's rivalry and Class 5A, Region 8 win over Hartselle, but will need to be one step better facing 5A top-ranked J.O. Johnson on Thursday. The Red Raiders will have to stop the run for a chance against the speedy Jaguars, something they have struggled with the past two weeks.

5. Hartselle (0-2): After dropping its first two games, the road doesn't get any easier for the Tigers, hosting 5A No. 3 Russellville on Friday in a Region 8 game. The good news is the Hartselle always plays Russellville tough and being at home also offers a plus.

Class 1A-3A Top Five

1. Tanner (2-0): So far, so good for Tanner, who were tested last week by West Morgan and will be tested again by the Tigers of Red Bay on Friday. The Rattlers should hold up. Look for Class 2A No. 5 Tanner's record to remain unblemished after this week.

2. Hazlewood (2-0): Class 1A No. 5 Hazlewood has its usual skills and speed. And with its first two wins, the Golden Bears are proving themselves a legitimate contender to make it all the way to the state championship game this year.

3. R.A. Hubbard (1-1): Opening-week win against Addison was impressive, but losing by a point last week to Class 1A, Region 8 foe Brilliant hurt. Chiefs need a win this week over Meek to stay even in a region that was highly competitive last season.

4. Addison (1-1): Got off to a good start in the Class 2A, Region 8 race last week with a win over Hatton. The 2A No. 9 Bulldogs look primed to take another step forward Friday against Winston County.

5. Falkville (2-0): The Blue Devils are off to their best start in years. Falkville looks to remain perfect on the season against Class 2A, Region 5 foe Fultondale on Thursday in a battle of two hot offenses.

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