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 Sidelines section of the Scholastic Spotlight.
And here our versions of this week's top 10s:
1. Canisius (7-2) [last week: 1] -- Fifth shutout of the year. No points in four home games. No touchdowns surrendered by first-team offense all season. No touchdowns surrendered to Aquinas, Walsh Jesuit, Cardinal Mooney and St. Joe's. Hello. Defense wins championships.
2. Jamestown (9-0)  -- I sure was wrong about last week. I said it shouldn't be a rout. 69-14. Whoops. Canisius belongs in front because of what they have done against a far better level of competition. There's only one way that this will be settled, poll-wise, and that's if there is a Far West Regional matchup with Aquinas.
3. Sweet Home (9-0)  -- This program is ridiculous.
And now, the poll, to me, falls off a cliff. The top three are easy. The rest is a mind-bender. For example ...
4. Kenmore West (6-3)  -- This may be the first time in the history of any football poll since the beginning of time in which a team loses by 55 and moves UP on someone's ballot.
How does this happen? Last week I had Orchard Park fourth and Ken West fifth. Frontier obviously won a great one over OP. But they lost to Kenmore West this year. Yes, Ken West got throttled down in Jamestown. That will give many pollsters an excuse to drop them. I think that's bogus. If Frontier went down to Jamestown, I would foresee a similar not-so-pretty situation.
5. Frontier (7-2) [NR] -- The hot-and-cold Falcons won their first four (hot), lost at Ken West (cold), won at Lancaster (hot), lost to Hamburg (cold), went OT to beat Lockport at home (still cold, so cold I dropped them out da ballot), then beat OP (hot). They haven't had to play Jamestown until now. As I've said before, this is why we do this every week. It's a hot week for Frontier. So they're here.
6. Orchard Park (6-3)  -- Close loss at Frontier keeps them tucked behind them, and ahead of the same teams I had OP ahead of last week.
7. St. Joe's (6-3)  -- I dropped St. Joe's the last few weeks based on scores: A relatively close win over St. Mary's was the big one; a workmanlike win over Timon followed. I voted that way not knowing -- my bad (chest tap) -- that Rod Payne was out for the year. He's such a good player -- a great player -- that it clearly leaves the Maurauders a lesser team.
8. Williamsville North (6-3)  -- What a run for the Spartans. Unreal. Great to see runs like this. This year's feel-good story to The Ralph (hard to get any more feel-good than Springville's last year, of course).
9. Grand Island (7-2)  -- I was wrong again saying that it looked like GI and Sweet Home were headed for another meeting. Vikings lose in OT to North, so they deserve to be right behind them.
10. St. Francis (4-5) [NR] -- LOOK OUT for the Red Raiders. I seriously considered them for No. 4 in this somewhat wacky poll after a major rout at Timon (41-9!) in a regular season finale that meant a great deal for both. That followed a much more thorough win against St. Mary's (28-0) than St. Joe's had.
Attention whiners who want to whine about St. Francis having five losses (I think we do this exercise for private-school Haterade drinkers every year). St. Francis lost at Holy Trinity of L.I. in the final minute in Week One, was routed at Cathedral Prep (so was St. Joe's), lost to Canisius, lost to St. Joe's (by a touchdown when Rod Payne was in the lineup) and lost at Aquinas (so did Canisius, Joe's lost to Aquinas at home).
The more I type, the more I think I should have had them higher ... like I said, this week's poll, after the top three, was a mindblower.
Next? South Park, Bishop Timon-St. Jude, West Seneca East, McKinley, Hamburg, Lancaster, Williamsville South, Lockport, Kenmore East. If not in that order, something very close to it.
1. Alden (9-0)  -- Ahh, the small schools. Much more straightforward here. These Bulldogs looked quite good in beating the Bulldogs of Burgard.
2. Randolph (9-0)  -- Can't wait to see these guys at The Ralph.
3. Burgard (7-2)  -- Keeping them here because they are one nasty team, and as a nod to No. 1.
4. Fredonia (9-0)  -- 72 points. SEVENTY-TWO. Wow.
5. Cleveland Hill (9-0)  -- That number that I just put up IN ALL CAPS and which Fredonia put up on Akron, led me to move Fredonia past Cleve Hill. All season I have said that Fredonia deserved to be right behind Cleve Hill, and that's where I've had them. Now, 72 points against a team that played Cleve Hill tough in league play (Akron lost, 28-13, at Cleve Hill in Week Two), will get you bumped up.
6. Depew (7-2)  -- Man did the Wildcats have the number of the ...
7. Eden (5-4)  -- ... Raiders. Depew beat Eden by a combined 84-33 in two games following Friday's 39-17 win..
8. Cheektowaga (6-2)  -- Depew beat Eden, which beat Cheektowaga, which was pretty darn good.
9. St. Mary's (4-4)  -- Still keeping them in here. Don't see others deserving it more.
10. Akron (6-3)  -- It was a shootout with Fredonia for a while. A long while. Like St. Mary's, I just like these last two over the likes of ...
The quasi-bubble: Maple Grove, Bennett, Lackawanna, Pioneer.
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taggedFootball | High school football | How The News voted