Every week of the football season, 10 voters rate Western New York's best teams from 1 to 10 in the large and small school polls (published in the Sidelines of each Tuesday's Scholastic Spotlight). The News has one vote in each poll. Here's how we filled out our ballot:
1. Orchard Park (2-0) [last week: 1]-- Sure, a double-digit quarter at Jamestown would have been nice. But last year OP had some league wins which weren't exactly over-the-top, and I seem to remember them doing just fine in the regionals.
2. Frontier (2-0)  - High-quality win over the team we (and the poll) had at No. 2. Was on the sidelines watching Tyger and the O-line tough their way to the win.
3. Sweet Home (2-0)  - Passed a tough, tough test in winning at GI. No matter how un-pretty it was.
4. Lancaster (1-1)  - If that field goal sails a foot or two to the left ... well, it didn't, but they're here because we think they'd beat the teams ranked below them. Call it a tribute to the super-tough AA South.
5. Iroquois (2-0) - Romped two ranked teams in small school East Aurora and Amherst, which it thumped right out of the poll. Its just-a-bit-better resume allows it to leapfrog ...
6. North Tonawanda (2-0)  - Jacks jacked up Williamsville North and Niagara Falls, which is great, it's just that those wins aren't as impressive as the ones above right now (and no, they're not as impressive as losing a close, great one at Frontier, either). Call it a non-tribute to the not-so-tough AA North.
7. Grand Island (1-1)  - Oh-so-close to beating Sweet Home. Bold prediction: Vikings stay in the top 10 at least the next five weeks.
8. St. Francis (0-2)  - Truly had a shot to beat Aquinas, but lost that shot with too many mistakes. Will a most-likely 0-3 Red Raiders team get our top 10 vote next week after they play at St. Ignatius? You bet they will.
9. Clarence (2-0) [NR] - Won handily over Hamburg and West Seneca West. That'll get you this high, but certainly no higher. How can they move up? Well look at this, Frontier visits Saturday.
10. Canisius (1-1) [NR] - Took out their frustrations from getting thumped by Ignatius (40-0) by thumping defending Harvard Cup champ McKinley (49-0). Grover Cleveland had this spot after beating McKinley, but they certainly didn't dominate the Macks like the Crusaders did; Grover has a chance to get back here when it plays Canisius at 5 p.m. Friday. And when it comes to Harvard Cup large school poll candidates, Riverside might shape up to be the best one. Williamsville South and West Seneca East are still not top 10-worthy.
1. Cleveland Hill (2-0)  - Last week we saw the top three as fairly interchangable, and again, all three were impressive. But we gave the edge to the incumbent, which beat a team that was 6-3 last year by a 57-6 score.
2. Southwestern (2-0)  - Nice win at Silver Creek, which had beaten Falconer, which is now 0-2 after losing to Gowanda, so we'll keep the Trojans here. For now.
3. Lackawanna (2-0)  - Look ma, no points allowed! Could be three straight shutouts this week as Steelers play a team that hasn't scored (Pioneer).
4. Fredonia (2-0)  - Speaking of Pioneer, it lost, 34-0, at Fredonia in Week One and, 20-0, last week at EA. So Fredonia (which has also pitched two shutouts) gets bumped up a spot.
5. East Aurora (1-1)  - Reminder: EA at Fredonia in Week Four.
6. Alden (2-0)  - Great start got better by beating Maryvale after opening with win at Depew. Next two opponents were 2-7 last year, then they play at Medina and Albion (two tough teams, but alas, unranked right now - which might make it tough for the Bulldogs to move up the charts).
7. Maple Grove (2-0) [NR] - Regained Class D favorite status by beating Randolph, 37-6, a week after Portville beat the defending champion Cardinals, 30-14.
8. Portville (2-0)  - And whaddya know: Portville at Maple Grove Friday night.
9. Burgard (1-1)  - Lost to large-school Riverside, which is a lot of people's favorite to win the Harvard Cup.
10. Cardinal O'Hara (1-1) [NR] - Thought about a lot of teams for this spot, including St. Mary's, but until they beat the Hawks, O'Hara will get the edge here. Maryvale has lost to two teams in the top six -- they Flyers play a Depew team that could end up earning votes down the road. Gowanda is off to a 2-0 start. Clymer has two blowouts in Class D, which is a far cry from two blowouts in Class DD.
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