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 (3-0): An improved East Lawrence team will have to play over its head to keep up with the Indians. But Class 4A fourth-ranked East Limestone will have to keep from looking ahead to games with Tanner and North Jackson to put away the Eagles.

2. Decatur (2-1): Fresh off an upset of previously undefeated and then-No.1 J.O. Johnson, if the Red Raiders are not overconfident and stay focused on rival Athens this week, they’ll have a shot at knocking off the defending 5A state champions.

3. Athens (2-1): The Golden Eagles have two wins to show for the last two weeks but will have to raise their level of play this week against Decatur. Ogle Stadium has been a tough place for Athens. Decatur has owned the series in its home stadium.

4. Austin (1-2): Once again, consistency is key for the Black Bears, who have the talent to be a contender. If Austin can play a complete game this week at Sparkman, it will get its name back in to a crowded playoff picture in Class 6A, Region 8.

5. Hartselle (0-3): The Tigers got a strong showing from their defense last week in a Class 5A, Region 8 loss to Russellville. If the offense can show signs of life, the Tigers should turn things around this week against Muscle Shoals. Class 1A-3A Top Five

1. Hazlewood (3-0): Who boasts the area’s best defense? The Golden Bears still have not given up a point in 12 quarters of play. Defense wins championships, and the Class 1A team from Town Creek has its eyes on the prize.

2. Addison (2-1): Yes, the Bulldogs lost to R.A. Hubbard late in the opening game. But since then, Addison has bounced back with two wins and remains a favorite in the Class 2A, Region 8 race.

3. Tanner (2-1): A one-point loss to the Red Bay Tigers last week has put the Rattlers’ Class 2A, Region 8 title plans on hold. Tanner will have to win out now and still has Addison on the schedule, but don’t count the Rattlers out.

4. R.A. Hubbard (2-1): Last week’s Class 1A, Region 8 win over Phillips-Bear Creek put the Chiefs in a good position for a playoff berth. But R.A. Hubbard standards have the Chiefs looking for home-field advantage for the playoffs, and a win this week over Speake would set the Chiefs up nicely.

5. West Morgan (1-2): After playing Tanner close, the Rebels beat up on Phil Campbell. But West Morgan has Red Bay this week, the team that beat Tanner by a point last week.

The tangled Class 2A, Region 8 picture could get even more twisted if the Rebels pull off a win against Red Bay, which is entirely possible.

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