Bulldogs start season at No. 7 in Class 3A

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 26, 2001

Sports Editor

It’s funny what a trip to the Class 3A quarterfinals will do for a football team.

After receiving a slight consideration from the Alabama Sports Writers Association in the 2000 preseason state football rankings, the Pike County Bulldogs will open this year as the Class 3A No. 7 team in the state according to polls released on Wednesday by the ASWA.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Last year the Bulldogs played one of the toughest schedules in the state and finished with an 8-5 record. Pike County fell to Washington County 12-6 in the quarterfinal game of the state playoffs last year in Chatom.

Bulldogs’ head coach Wayne Grant, who returned to Brundidge in 1999, has had to replace players at the fullback and tailback positions, but sophomore quarterback Chris Nickson, who took over for senior Marquez Foster late last season, returns as does a majority of the offensive and defensive line. The Bulldogs’ defense allowed only an average of 12.3 points per contest last season.

PCHS received 34 votes, one ahead over preseason No. 8 Tarrant who received 33. The team that ended the Bulldogs’ 2000 season, Washington County is ranked third in Class 3A by the ASWA. Montgomery Academy and Lanett were the only two teams from the Bulldogs’ area to also receive votes.

The Goshen Eagles stayed in the Class 2A top ten for most of the season last year, but fell to Leroy in the second game of the state playoffs 14-7. Goshen finished the year 10-2 and missed out being ranked in the preseason Class 2A poll by one vote. Goshen and Lineville both received 19 votes with Crossville receiving 20 and the No. 10 ranking. Leroy is ranked third and area foe Straughn comes in at seventh. Straughn won over Goshen 20-14 in the Eagles only regular season loss and a game that determined the area championship. Highland Home and Georgiana also received votes from Goshen’s area.

Although not as dominating a team as in recent years, the Brantley Bulldogs still garnered enough respect from the state media to be ranked No. 10 in this year’s preseason Class 1A poll. Luverne finished the 2000 season 7-5 and received six votes for the Class 3A poll.

T.R. Miller continues its domination of Class 4A, opening the season at No. 1 after winning the state championship last season.

But they’re not alone. All six 2000 AHSAA state champions, as well as last year’s AISA Class 3A champ Morgan Academy, open at No. 1. Hoover tops 6A with nine first place votes, Homewood is first in 5A, while

Aliceville (3A), Clay County (2A) and Hazlewood (1A) are ranked first in the other classifications.

Wilcox-Central is ranked tenth in Class 5A and another Charles Henderson area opponent,

Hillcrest-Evergreen, also received votes for the Class 5A poll.