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Icing on perfect SF cake is debut in Top 10

Icing on perfect SF cake is debut in Top 10
South Fulton has another reason to celebrate.
Basking in the glory of a 6-0 start for just the fourth time in the program’s modern era, the Red Devils have cracked the Associated Press Top 10 Class A state rankings.
SF’s remarkable rags-to-riches turnaround under rookie head coach Kelly Spivey has landed the Redmen at No. 10 in the latest AP poll.
The Devils received 25 total points from a statewide panel, edging fellow Obion County entry and Region 7-1A co-leader Union City (5-1) by four points for the final spot in this week’s rankings. Another region brethren of the Big Red and Tornadoes — 5-1 McKenzie — is listed at No. 9 this week after being eighth a week ago.
South Fulton and UC will meet Friday for the outright region lead on the Devils’ turf.
The ranking is SF’s first since it won its first four games of the 2004 campaign. In that season — in which the Redmen reached as high as No. 8 — the Devils then lost their final six games to finish 4-6.
South Fulton’s current standing matches that of the 1999 squad, which finished 10-2, and of back-to-back seasons in 1978 and 79, those clubs finishing 8-3 and 11-1, respectively.
Spivey, who has resurrected a program that had won just a single game each of the last two seasons, said the poll recognition will likely send an already-buzzing community into a higher level of frenzy.
“I’m proud for our team and for our town and our community, too,” the coach said this morning. “We’ve gotten so much support from Day 1, and for them to get to experience this is a nice reward.
“The kids have worked hard and, a lot of times, you don’t see that pay off so quickly. With us, it has, and we’ve gotten a lot of positive attention and publicity. Everybody around here is excited.”
Like most coaches, however, Spivey personally doesn’t put a lot of stock in such rankings.
He did say, though, that he has discussed the pitfalls that sometimes accompany such recognition.
“We’ve talked about it, and I cautioned them about getting caught up in such things,” the Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year for Week 4 claimed. “It’s not about who’s ranked or how many people are going to be at the game, it’s about staying focused on building what we’ve done to this point and getting better.”
Perennial single-A kingpins South Pittsburg and Trousdale County retained the top two spots in this week’s AP listing.
In Class 2A, rural West Tennessee is represented by Milan at No. 2, with Camden rising three spots from last week to sixth. USJ, which lost a 42-35 shootout to Milan in Week 6 to account for its first loss, nonetheless remained at No. 7.
Jackson South Side (sixth) and Dyersburg (No. 10) — both with 5-1 records — carry the regional banner in triple-A. The Trojans, who were ranked earlier in the season before dropping out with a loss to Haywood, re-entered the elite group after thrashing Region 7 frontrunner Ripley 35-0 last week.
Crockett County, which trashed Obion Central 63-21 last week to improve to 5-1, just missed out on entering the rankings and is 11th.
Henry County and Brighton, unbeatens in Class 4A who’ll meet Friday for Region 7 supremacy, will go into that showdown ranked second and fourth, respectively.
A complete listing of the rankings can be found on page 7.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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