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ROAD TO THE BLUE MAP: Pair or local teams enter season in top 10

The 2017 AHSAA football season is right around the corner, and a pair of Covington County team’s landed in the Alabama Sports Writers Association preseason Top 10 polls.

The Andalusia Bulldogs and the Opp Bobcats both had strong seasons in 2016 and return key players that place them the in preseason top 10 in their classifications.

In Class 4A, the Andalusia Bulldogs find themselves as the No. 2 ranked team in the state.

Andalusia is coming off a 12-2 season that ended with a loss to Handley in the state semi-final game.

After winning the 2016 Class 4A state championship, Handley (13-2) enters 2017 with the No. 1 ranking.

These are the complete rankings for Class 4A.

1. Handley (13-2)

2. Andalusia (12-2)

3. Madison Academy (11-4)

4. UMS-Wright (9-3)

5. Rogers (12-1)

6. Leeds (8-4)

7. St. James (10-2)

8. Hokes Bluff (9-5)

9. Cordova (9-3)

10. Fayette County (5-7)

Others receiving votes: Tallasee (9-4), Cherokee County (10-3), Wilson (8-3), Madison County (6-5), Thomasville (9-3), Bibb County (8-4), Dale County (7-4), North Jackson (6-5), Munford (6-5), West Blocton (6-5) and Haleyville (9-2)

In Class 3A, the Opp Bobcats are coming off a solid season and pick up the No. 6 ranking coming into 2017.

Piedmont rolled through with a perfect season on their way to a Class 3A state championship in 2016, and enter 2017 as the ASWA’s No. 1 team in Class 3A.

These are the complete rankings for Class 3A.

1. Piedmont (15-0)

2. Mobile Christian (13-2)

3. Gordo (13-1)

4. Ohatchee (12-2)

5. Montevallo (10-2)

6. Opp (9-2)

7. Oakman (8-5)

8. Pike County (9-3)

9. Weaver (9-4)

10. Randolph County (10-3)

Others receiving votes: Clarke County (4-6), Hillcrest-Evergreen (5-7), Lauderdale County (7-5), T.R. Miller (8-3), Fultondale (8-3), Bayside Academy (8-5), Plainview (6-5), Wicksburg (8-4), Lexington (8-4) and Straughn (4-6).