Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls, and here's how we filled out our final ballot.
1. Orchard Park (13-0) [last poll: 1] -- Clear choice.
2. St. Francis (8-3)  -- Just as clear.
3. St. Joe's (8-3)  -- Make it three. I have no idea why they only have 79 points. They should have 80. The top three should be unanimous. Almost.
4. Jamestown (8-2)  -- Two losses to OP, not too bad. We had put Sweet Home up after its win at The Ralph, but with OP showing how good it was we flipped them back.
5. Sweet Home (10-1)  -- And yes, the end to Aquinas had something to do with moving Jamestown up. Looking at the season, Jamestown deserved the spot and is a more complete team.
6. Williamsville South (9-1)  -- Only loss to No. 4. And if QB Trent Ferguson doesn't go out in the second half, who knows.
7. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (7-3)  -- Big loss to St. Francis doesn't affect what was an excellent year.
8. Canisius (4-7) [NR] -- Don't even start with the 4-7 nonsense. Two losses to Joe's, one loss to St. Francis, one to Timon, Aquinas, one to Cathedral Prep (Pa.), one to Walsh Jesuit. If Timmis doesn't get hurt in the semifinal, maybe they beat Joe's? They finished strong, to say the least. They would beat the teams below them.
9. North Tonawanda (7-2)  -- Slid down with Canisius' move up, as were ...
10. Kenmore West (7-2)  -- ... the Blue Devils, which left Bennett as our No. 11.
1. Alden (10-1)  -- Final state ranking of No. 2 behind Hornell is very, very deserved.
2. Southwestern (11-2)  -- The way they played in the postseason, I'd have -- big Southwestern word here -- "faith" that they'd find a way to beat the teams below them here. The loss in the final was big, but that was a terrific Dobbs Ferry team.
3. Depew (8-2)  -- Slide down one as Trojans move up, which is the same for ...
4. Cheektowaga (7-2)  -- ... the Warriors (one-TD semifinal loss to Depew -- without Marquel Jackson) and ...
5. Maple Grove (9-1)  -- ... the Red Dragons, whose loss to state champion Letchworth doesn't look too bad at all.
6. Fredonia (8-1)  -- Hillbillies get a bump. They lost in OT in the sectional semis to a team that made the state final.
7. Pioneer (8-1)  -- Two spots down due to two C teams moving up (Southwestern and Fredonia).
8. Frewsburg (7-3)  -- Same here.
9. Cleveland Hill (8-2)  -- Golden Eagles stay put ...
10. Lackawanna (6-3)  -- ... as do the Steelers.
The mythical No. 11 remains Randolph. I maintain that Chautauqua Lake can NOT be voted for simply for winning the DD title. You have to think they would beat the teams you are giving them a spot over. I like the Thunderbirds, think the are a quality team, think they've had a great season. But I can't put them past Randolph.
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