BROOKE'S HIGH FIVE
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 (9-1): Class 5A fifth-ranked Decatur finished the regular season with a win over rival Austin last week, extending its winning streak to nine games. The Red Raiders reward for winning the 5A, Region 8 championship is hosting Gardendale in the first round of the state playoffs Friday.
2. Austin (4-6): Class 6A Austin finished its season by outplaying Decatur statistically, but not on the scoreboard. Decatur beat Austin 10-7 in the regular-season finale. One of the most talented teams in the area, the Black Bears came up just short of a playoff berth.
3. Hartselle (4-6): All eyes in Hartselle are focused on local rival Cullman. The Tigers get a second shot at the sixth-ranked Bearcats this week in the first round of the 5A playoffs after losing to them in the regular season.
4. East Limestone (7-3): The Indians lost three of their last four games but have a chance to right the ship and make a run in the 4A playoffs. East Limestone still has something to prove as it travels to Tarrant on Friday. The Indians are unranked after rising as high as No. 3 about midway through the season.
5. Priceville (6-4): The 4A Bulldogs play their first football playoff game this week on the road at St. Clair County. Priceville won three of its last four games to earn the fourth seed in 4A, Region 7, making the postseason for the first time since the school reopened in 2001.
Class 1A-3A Top Five
1. Hazlewood (10-0): The undefeated Golden Bears will have to remain perfect four more weeks to make it to Legion Field for the 1A finals, and they’ve given no reason to doubt their chances. Hazlewood is ranked No. 4 in the state and has beaten 1A opponents this season a combined 330-52.
2. Speake (9-1): If the Bobcats continue to play solid football, they will have a chance to make history. Ranked ninth in 1A, Speake will host a first-round playoff game for the second straight year after a 30-year drought of hosting in the opening round of postseason. The Bobcats never have won a second-round playoff game, but will have an opportunity if they can beat Donoho on Friday.
3. Addison (8-2): Hosting a first-round playoff game is nothing new for the 2A Bulldogs. Ranked No. 10, tradition-rich Addison will host Ranburne in the first round of the playoffs.
4. West Morgan (6-4): The 2A Rebels need to remain focused coming off one of their most impressive wins of the year, beating 4A East Limestone last week. West Morgan will travel to Woodland in the first round of the playoffs Friday with another tough task — facing the Region 6 champions.
5. Elkmont (5-5): The 3A Red Devils beat a solid 2A Tanner team last week to return to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Elkmont gets a trip to Sardis in the first round.
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