Fort Dale, Luverne crack Top 10 polls

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fort Dale Academy's reputation as being a consistent participant in the playoffs and a convincing 41-12 season-opening victory over Sparta Academy led to the Eagles breaking into the Alabama Sports Writers Association AISA poll at number 10 this week.

The Eagles jumped into No. 10 heading into their area matchup with No. 1-ranked and defending AAA champion Bessemer Academy.

Lowndes Academy, which was preseason ranked No. 9 in the AISA poll, fell out of the poll after Hooper Academy held off the Rebels' comeback attempt.

Luverne jumped into the Class 2A poll this week after rolling to an easy 35-12 victory over Opp. Luverne opens region play this week at home against Marbury.

UMS-Wright (1-0) and R.A. Hubbard of

Courtland (1-0) each moved to No. 1 in their respective classifications this week.

In Class 4A, Deshler fell 32-16 to second-ranked Class 5A Russellville in the season opener and dropped to fourth this week behind UMS-Wright, defending state champ Demopolis (1-0) and Alexandria (1-0).

In Class 1A, where defending state champ Sweet Water began the season No. 1, Hubbard climbed to the top after coach Stacy Luker’s Bulldogs lost a close 20-13 decision to ninth-ranked Class 4A Thomasville.

Sweet Water also fell to fourth despite receiving five first-place votes from the 24 who cast ballots. Eight of the pollsters did not vote due to power outages following Hurricane Katrina’s assault on the state Monday and Tuesday. Behind Hubbard are Wadley (1-0) and American Christian (1-0).

The other leaders remained the same — with Hoover beating Nease, Fla., 50-29 on national television (ESPN) last Saturday before a crowd of over 10,000 in the stadium and millions in their living rooms. The game became the most-watched game in Alabama prep history — with ESPN expecting to broadcast into 95 million households.