The first Associated Press state high school football rankings came out earlier this week. The news was not good for Cumberland County. With potential to have teams ranked in either the 4-A or 3-A polls, not one team from the county got a mention, not even in the teams receiving votes category. Our best candidates for ranking were the 3-0 teams, Gray’s Creek in 3-A and Jack Britt and Seventy-First in 4-A. Not a vote for any of them.
There were some Cape Fear region teams mentioned. In 4-A, Richmond Senior, coached by former Terry Sanford and Cape Fear coach Bryan Till, is No. 3 and got two first-place votes.
Former Jack Britt coach Richard Bailey has his Scotland team ranked sixth. Lee County, which has already handed losses to E.E. Smith and Douglas Byrd, is No. 6 in the 3-A poll.
Clinton, which had its game with Cape Fear canceled the first week of the season, is No. 8 in 2-A.
Rankings of course mean absolutely nothing when it comes to determining state playoff berths or state champions, but they are a valuable barometer of how the rest of the state feels about the status of football in your area.
We’ll keep watching as the weeks pass and see if any of our teams get some love.
The record: 18-5
I had my best week of the young season, going 7-1 to improve the total for the year to 18-5, 78.2 percent.
Now let’s brace for a scary batch of projections for this Friday the 13th.
Douglas Byrd at Westover - This is one of those dreaded coin flip games. I’ll give Westover a slight edge because they’re playing at home.
Westover 18, Douglas Byrd 16.
Terry Sanford at E.E. Smith - Coming off a loss to Jack Britt and an open date, look for Terry Sanford to make a point in this annual battle of old city rivals.
Terry Sanford 28, E.E. Smith 12.
Gray’s Creek at South View - Another coin flip game. I’m leaning toward South View for a couple of reasons. The Tigers have played a tougher schedule than the Bears and I think their offense is more balanced. Home field also counts for something in this annual Battle for the Bridge.
South View 20, Gray’s Creek 18.
Overhills at Pine Forest - I know Overhills is unbeaten, but I have a hard time seeing Pine Forest lose three in a row. This is the Trojans’ first Patriot Athletic Conference game, so I expect D.J. Jones back in the lineup after being held out as a precaution for the last two weeks.
Pine Forest 20, Overhills 13.
Southern Durham at Seventy-First - This is Seventy-First’s final non conference game before an open date and the start of Sandhills Athletic Conference play at Pinecrest. It’s important for the Falcons not to get complacent after a 3-0 start to the season.
Seventy-First 21, Southern Durham 14.
Open dates - Cape Fear, Jack Britt.
Other games: Trinity Christian 30, Harrells Christian 8; Grace Christian 20, Fayetteville Christian 12.