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How The News voted: Week One

By Keith McShea

Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls, and every week we tell you how The News voted. The News is one of 10 voters on the large and small school polls, which are published each Tuesday in the Scholastic Spotlight

And Week One of any season is usualllllly is the most difficult ballot to fill out. 

My ballot, usually is fairly strongly rooted in where last year's teams finished up. Here are last season's final polls as well as last year's "How The News voted post" for the final 2012 rankings

Here are our two top 10s:

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (1-0) [Our preseason ballot: 1] -- Many think they're best in the state. They have to be in this spot. Great, great, great matchup Friday night at Aquinas. 

2. St. Joe's (1-0) [5] -- Tremendous win over St. Anthony's that deserves this kind of reward. The game was not especially crisp, it was definitely a first game, and there were mistakes along with some not-so-great weather. St. Anthony's had several mistakes and while they have tremendous numbers and some obvious talent, they did not clearly look to me like a top-five-in-the-state team. Canisius' win included some sloppy play, but with Ollison they can afford games like that against overmatched teams like McQuaid.

Davis was phenomenal. I didn't realize he was so impared by injury last year, but seeing him Saturday it was like last year's Nigel Davis with turbo-boost. Quarterback McCarthy is tall and seemed quite at ease. There were several key plays from a lot of young players, most of whom were fasssst, like sophomore Justin Jones, junior Myles Young, senior Alimayu Akono, sophomore Ryan Conschafter and sophomore Darren Thompson.

St. Joe's has shown under coach Dennis Gilbert several times that it will outsmart other coaches with supposedly more talented teams with kids that play their butts off. After seeing Canisius and then St. Joe's, the gap between the schools is not as wide as I (and I'm guessing others) expected. It should be quite the season. And in case you are wondering, St. Joe's is at Canisius in Week Nine (Sat. Nov. 2).

3Jamestown (1-0) [3] -- I'm going against my usual stance here. The 55 points in a first half are too much for me to ignore. Niagara Falls is not terribly strong, but they were a second-place team in AA North last year. We just don't see a points performance like that very often in Class AA, no matter the matchup. 

4. Orchard Park (1-0) [2] -- Which brings us to OP, which heading into the weekend I thought I'd have ahead of Jamestown if both teams won, never mind the margins. That's because I'm a big believer in the Big Dog who has earned his spot high on the porch staying there until someone knocks him off. But Jamestown's performance, combined with an 18-0 win at a West Seneca West team, left me with Jamestown and its talented returning skill players ahead of OP.

5. Sweet Home (1-0) [4] -- Another Big Dog, which had a nice opening win at Iroquois. 

6. Frontier (1-0) [7] -- Big margin in big opening win over Clarence. Many people, including this guy, said, "I thought they'd win, but I'm surprised it was by that much." 

7. West Seneca East (1-0) [10] -- Nice win at the Dome. Gives you the feeling that the Trojans are more than a one-year Smigiera-Johnson-Ackerman wonder. 

8. Lockport (1-0) [8] -- Starpoint game was tough, injury to QB Bronson tougher. 

9. Grand Island (1-0) [9] -- Gritty game to win at Hamburg. 

10. West Seneca West (0-1) [NR] --18-0 loss to OP worth rewarding this spot, which could probably go to several teams.

Next: Iroquois (gave Sweet Home a pretty good run); Lancaster (quality win at Ken West), McKinley (toughed-out win over Will North); South Park (fended off Hutch-Tech), Starpoint (close one vs. Niagara County rival); Bishop Timon-St. Jude (No. 6 in preseason non-poll; Aquinas routs a lot of people); St. Francis (had win slip away in final seconds at Holy Trinity on L.I.); Williamsville North (close loss to Macks); Williamsville East (expected rout); Williamsville South (closer win than I expected); Hutch-Tech (right there with South Park). 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Alden (1-0) [1] -- Impressive start (rout of Dunkirk) for team that has lived here for a longgg time. 

2. Depew (1-0) [2] -- Impressive start (win at Olean) for team that has lived rightbehindAlden for a longgg time. 

3. Randolph (1-0) [3] -- No slow start this year (Cards started 1-2 before winning 2012 state title). 

4. St. Mary's (1-0) [7] -- 70-7. Jeesh. Hard to tell what that means exactly since we don't know smethers about Smethport (Pa.), but we know they're going to be very tough with Vallone. 

5. Cheektowaga (0-1) [4] -- Tough, close loss to a good team in Syracuse. 

6. Burgard (1-0) [6] -- Thought they might handle Bennett easier than 14-0.

7. Cleveland Hill (1-0) [7] -- Thought they might handle Maryvale easier than 14-0.

8. Fredonia (1-0) [8] -- Hard to tell exactly what 55-8 over up-from-Class-D Silver Creek means for the Hillbillies. They might be too low.

9. Eden (1-0) [NR] -- Gritty win over gritty Springville just like gritty B South is all the gritty time. 

10. Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake (1-0) [9] -- Solid win over Portville for the Red Dragon Thunder Mergers.

Next: Akron, Medina, Salamanca, Lackawanna, Bennett. 

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN | [email protected]

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