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. Decatur (8-1): You can throw the records out in this week’s city rivalry game with Class 6A Austin. It will be the Black Bears’ final game this season, while 5A No. 6 Decatur tries to keep its eight-game winning streak alive.

2. East Limestone (7-2): A win over Class 2A West Morgan this week would give the 4A Indians a perfect nonregion record for the year.

East Limestone needs a solid effort this week to propel itself into the playoffs, traveling in the first round.

3. Austin (4-5): Out of playoff contention, the Class 6A Black Bears can salvage a disappointing season by beating their crosstown rival Friday.

Austin finished its season with a flourish last year with a win in the season finale rivalry and this year’s Black Bears are just as motivated.

4. Hartselle (4-5): It does not get any easier this week for the Class 5A Tigers, facing 6A Huntsville, which is coming off of its first loss of the season.

The Crimson Panthers will be looking to get back on track, while Hartselle needs momentum going into next week’s first-round playoff game at Cullman.

5. Athens (3-6): There will be no postseason for the defending state champion Golden Eagles, who are the fifth best team in Class 5A, Region 8, making this week’s game against 6A Sparkman even more important.

Athens needs to go out with a win to cap the season on a positive note.

Class 1A-3A Top Five

1. Hazlewood (9-0): Can the Golden Bears put the finishing touches on a perfect regular season? Class 1A No. 4 Hazlewood’s defense has been one of the toughest in the state this year, and its offense has been scorching opponents, too. This week’s game with Parrish is important for momentum, but the Golden Bears are getting primed for a playoff run.

2. Speake (8-1): Class 1A No. 10 Speake could better last season’s regular-season record if it can avenge last year’s loss to 3A Danville this week. The Hawks put up 54 points in scoring their first win of the season last week, and Speake has been posting some of the state’s top numbers in 1A.

3. Addison (7-2): After wrapping up a home-field, first-round playoff game, the Bulldogs host Class 1A Lynn for its regular-season finale in a game that they should win. Class 2A Addison is a steady presence in the playoffs, and after piecing together another solid regular season, should make some noise yet again in the postseason.

4. Tanner (6-3): In a battle of Limestone County schools, Class 3A Elkmont should give the 2A Rattlers a stiff test heading into the playoffs. Both teams have qualified for the postseason, but will not be overlooking this matchup, which has become a season-finale tradition.

5. West Morgan (5-4): The Rebels will stroll into the playoffs having played some stiff competition, including this week’s game against Class 4A East Limestone. The contest was high-scoring last year, with the two teams combining for 76 points as East Limestone took the win.

Both squads are priding themselves on their offense again this season.

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