|Reputable Union City starts off in 5 slot
|Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:00 pm
|Union City’s reputation has preceded it.
The reigning Class 1A state champion Tornadoes — despite losing 14 seniors and 17 starters off last year’s BlueCross Bowl titleist squad — were ranked fifth in the first Associated Press poll of the season Monday afternoon.
UC, which came from two touchdowns behind in the fourth quarter to win at Trigg County (Ky.) in its Week 0 opener Aug. 20, ironically finished the 2009 regular season listed at No. 5 in the AP ratings.
The Twisters’ current standing marks the 15th consecutive week Union City has been ranked in the Top 10 over a period of three seasons.
Tornado head coach Darren Bowling put little stock in his team’s listing after just one game.
“We appreciate the vote of confidence but, until we prove it, that’s all it is — a vote of confidence,” the UC skipper said after being informed of the initial rankings.
“More than anything, especially early in the year, I think the media ranks teams based on reputation and what they did the year before. We don’t have the same team as in ’09, and I’d venture to say that many of the others who are ranked now are a totally different bunch than what they were last season.
“It’ll all shake out at the end of the season when the best teams are still playing in the third and fourth rounds of the playoffs.”
Union City earned 100 total points in a vote of AP member writers and broadcasters.
South Pittsburg, which the Twisters beat 31-29 in the Class 1A championship thriller last season, is No. 1 in the first poll this year. Wayne County, which UC defeated in the semis a year ago and brawled with during a preseason scrimmage earlier this month, is third.
Lake County, 2-0 with routs of Fulton City and Fulton County, debuted at No. 6 in the first poll.
A handful of other rural West Tennessee teams were ranked in other classifications.
Crockett County (1-0), which visits Obion Central Friday and is the Rebels’ homecoming foe, is third in Class 4A. The Cavaliers received two first place votes and trail No. 1 Greeneville and Liberty, which has scored 89 points in two blowout victories.
In Class 3A, Milan is No. 2 to Alcoa. The Bulldogs have finished as state runnersup to Alcoa the last two years and appear to have a steep hill to climb again this season after the Tornadoes ran their winning streak to 30 games by beating Blount County rival and perennial large-school power Maryville.
Camden (2-0) is third in 3A, while Westview (1-1) is ranked seventh heading into this week’s 13AA showdown with Milan.
Class A has McKenzie — with a loss to Camden and a victory over Westview — listed at No. 3 behind two-time defending state champion Trousdale County and Signal Mountain.
Dresden (2-0), which plays at McKenzie in a District 13AA headliner Friday, is seventh.
The poll’s validity could be questioned by several teams mentioned.
Huntingdon, which has yet to score a point in two games against Westview and Milan, respectively, along with Greenfield (0-1) — a 34-7 loser to Dresden in its only outing — also received votes in Class A.
Longtime doormat Middleton, a 21-13 loser to Biggersville (Miss.) in Week 1, got mention in 2A.
A complete poll listing can be found on page 9.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.