No extra work needed as Dresden takes over No. 1 ranking
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 12:34 pm
By KEVIN WEAKS
Dresden spent nine weeks working its way up to the No. 2 spot in the Associated Press Class 2A prep football rankings.
The Lions did not have to do anything to take one more step up.
Dresden made more history for its program on Monday when it was voted the No. 1 team in the state’s 2A poll.
“I think this will be a good thing for the players to see,” Dresden first-year head coach Keith Hodge said. “It shows that their hard work has been noticed by people outside our area. It shows that they’re being respected and that what they’re doing is paying off.
“I don’t really look at the rankings, but I’m sure our players probably do. And, it’s big for the community. Everybody can see that the hard work our players put in every week has not gone unnoticed. It’s good for the program because it puts our name out there.”
The Lions replace Boyd Buchanan of Chattanooga, which dropped a 26-16 decision to Maplewood on Friday night.
The Buccaneers had been the only team remaining in Dresden’s way after the Lions had climbed up the poll throughout the season.
Dresden took a 9-0 record into its open date, while Boyd Buchanan was 8-0 before this past weekend’s loss.
Dresden’s rise to the top was hardly unanimous, though. While the Lions received 11 first-place votes and totaled 177 points, Grace Christian picked up four votes for the top spot and 163 points. The Buccaneers received one first-place vote, as did Hampton, and Friendship Christian picked up two votes for No. 1.
After the final regular season games this week, the Lions will begin their quest for the real No. 1 ranking — the one that includes a gold football trophy on the field at Tucker Stadium in Cookeville the first weekend in December.
“We want it when it matters the most,” Hodge said. “If we’re the number one team at the end of the season, that means we’ve done everything right.”
Both teams have tough tests in their final regular season games as Dresden visits Huntingdon, ranked fifth in 1A, while the Bucs take on a Copper Basin team that checks in at ninth in the 1A poll.
“They’ll be the best team we’ve seen all year,” Hodge said of the Mustangs. “They just had a bad week against West Carroll. They’re solid in the backfield and unreal up front. Their offensive line fires off the ball and creates gaping holes for their backs. This will be a huge test and will show us where we stack up going into the playoffs.”
Dresden’s move up one spot from No. 2 to No. 1 — and Boyd Buchanan’s subsequent fall from the top spot to No. 3 — marked the biggest moves in a 2A pool that saw plenty of movement.
Grace Christian moved up a spot behind Dresden to No. 2, while defending state champion Friendship Christian stayed put at fourth.
Adamsville and Oneida flip-flopped, Adamsville now fifth and Oneida sixth, while Hampton remained the No. 7 team and Westwood dropped a spot to No. 10.
Two teams crashed the poll this week with Silverdale Baptist Academy the No. 8 team and ever-improving Trenton checking in at No. 9. After dropping three of their first five games under first-year head man Joe Gaddis, the Golden Tide has been on a roll and will likely be a tough out when the postseason begins.
In 1A, the rural West Tennessee is well-represented again. In addition to Huntingdon, West Carroll is sixth and Union City is 10th as the poll remained unchanged from the previous week.
The western division of Tennessee lights up all the polls with a pair of No. 2 teams.
Jackson Northside is ranked second in Class 5A, while Covington is the No. 2 team in 4A.
Henry County is ranked sixth in 5A, Lexington is fifth and Dyersburg is eighth in 4A, South Gibson remained fifth while Milan fell two spots to No. 8 in the 3A poll, and University School of Jackson is seventh in the Division II poll. Published in The WCP 10.23.12