- Cullman, Alabama

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August 6, 2013

ASWA: Cullman, Addison make preseason football poll; Hanceville receives votes

BIRMINGHAM — For the seventh time in the last 12 seasons, Hoover will open the high school football season as the No. 1 team in its class.

For the first time in school history, so will McAdory.

The two Birmingham-area schools open the Alabama Sports Writers Association preseason poll atop the two largest classes in a vote of the state’s high school sports writers, released late Tuesday evening.

The Bucs, who beat Opelika 31-0 in the Class 6A championship game at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium to close the 2012 season, were the lone unanimous pick among the poll’s seven classes – one for each division of the Alabama High School Athletic Association and an all-encompassing division for the Alabama Independent Schools Association. All 34 writers participating in this year’s poll chose the Bucs over runner-up Clay-Chalkville, which lost to Hoover in last season’s North semifinal.

The Yellow Jackets, on the other hand, had the tightest margin with a 348-321 edge over Spanish Fort – which topped McAdory in last season’s Class 5A championship, 45-14. McAdory picked up 17 first-place votes to 12 for the Toros with the rest scattered between Homewood, Benjamin Russell and Jackson.

Cullman, which was put out by McAdory in the third round of last year’s playoffs, came in at No. 9 in the Class 5A poll. The only other team from The Times’ coverage area to crack its respective top 10 was Addison, which was all the way up at No. 6 in Class 1A. Hanceville received a few votes at the 3A level.

In the remaining four AHSAA classes, state champions were tabbed to repeat their 2012 accomplishments with Class 1A Brantley, 2A Tanner, 3A Madison Academy and 4A UMS-Wright all chosen to pick up where they left off. Madison Academy and Tanner received 33 of a possible 34 first-place votes, while UMS had 28 and Brantley had 26.

In all, 10 of the 12 teams reaching an AHSAA title game in 2012 appear in the top-two in their classes to start this season.

The AISA also held form as last season’s Class AA champion Edgewood Academy will open the 2013 campaign as the team to beat, picking up 31 first-place votes.

The season opens on August 29 for AHSAA member schools and a week earlier for many AISA programs.

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