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UC’s Bowling hopes to prove final poll legitimate

UC’s Bowling hopes to prove final poll legitimate
If Union City is indeed the eighth-best Class 1A team in the state, the Tornadoes should make it to at least the state quarterfinals.
Darren Bowling is focused only on the second part of that equation.
“I don’t have anything to do with the rankings,” said the first-year UCHS head coach whose team was listed at No. 8 in the final Associated Press prep poll of the season Monday. “All I can do is prepare our team for the playoffs, and we’re only thinking about Halls in the first round — not anything else or any other round.
“If we were to advance to the third round, I guess it would legitimately confirm we were among the eight best in the state. We’re happy for the recognition, but we’ll be even more happy if we prove the polls to be true.”
The Golden Tornadoes are one of four 9-1 teams listed behind four other teams without a loss in the last AP listings of the 2008 season. UC did not move up from last week, despite a resounding 63-22 pounding of Gleason, though the locals were just one point behind Greenback and nine behind No. 6 Friendship Christian.
In all, the Twisters — who’ll take a nine-game winning streak into their first round playoff game vs. Halls —accumulated 67 total points from 19 different media organizations to vote in this week’s process.
Reigning single-A state champion South Pittsburg maintained its stranglehold on the top spot with 14 first-place votes and 183 total points. Trousdale County was No. 2, followed by Oneida and Cascade. Oneida beat Greenback 20-6 in a battle of unbeatens in the final week of the regular season.
McKenzie (8-2), which finished third behind UC and Lake County in the final Region 7 standings and must travel to play 9-1 Manassas in Round 1 of the postseason, moved up to ninth in the rankings. Manassas is 11th.
The rural West Tennessee contingent of teams among the Top 10 in Class 2A remained the same with unbeaten Milan (10-0) still second behind Alcoa, Camden fourth and USJ No. 5. Alcoa’s lone loss among 10 games was to 4A kingpin and county rival Maryville, which has won 70 straight games and state titles in four consecutive seasons.
Milan handed both Camden and USJ their only setbacks.
In Class 3A, Jackson South Side (9-1) moved up to No. 3 from fourth, while 8-2 Haywood rose two places to eighth from 10th. Dyersburg, which was upset 24-21 by Covington, is now on the fringe of the Top 10 after falling from sixth last week.
Unbeaten Henry County remained No. 2 in Class 4A this week behind Maryville with Brighton (9-1), which beat Obion Central 34-19 in its regular season finale, stayed at No. 6.
A complete listing of this week’s 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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