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 (1-0) -- Jeff Tundo returns opening kickoff for a touchdown. OP grad Jon Corto wreaking havoc on special teams for the hometown Bills. One week and it's already a special season.
2. Lancaster (1-0) - The next five spots were pretty tough to gauge, but the Redskins are up this high thanks to a very impressive road win over a team that was 6-3 last year.
3. Sweet Home (1-0) - In reality, overcoming four turnovers to beat a larger team in Class AA's West Seneca West shows grit. But when it comes to filling out polls, it creates just enough doubt that Lancaster just past you.
4. North Tonawanda (1-0) - Another thumping put on a Class AA team, but it was Williamsville North, which went 1-7 last year. And until it's proven otherwise, AA South gets an edge over AA North ...
5. Frontier (1-0) - ... except if the AA South team's road win over a similar lower-division AA North team isn't as impressive (28-7 at Niagara Falls, which was 2-7 last year).
6. Iroquois (1-0) - Made the trip from Elma and thumped EA good. But EA is still in Class B, and we're not sure if the Blue Devils are as good as last year.
7. St. Francis (0-1) - Red Raiders lost to Holy Trinity, 13-7, two years ago with a team not nearly as talented as this year's. Last season, the Raiders beat Holy Trinity, 26-14, on Long Island. We sure didn't think they were gonna lose to them in Fabor-and-Tasker's senior year. They're at 7 for now, which might be generous.
8. Grand Island (1-0) - Very nice start (28-0 at Lew-Port). Probably better than Sweet Home's start. The Vikings-Panthers game at Gene Masters Field Saturday should be a very good one.
9. Amherst (1-0) - Win over a Kenmore East team expected to contend would have been even more impressive if the didn't give up 22 points in the fourth quarter. But you can probably chalk that up to a growing team not used to having that kind of big lead.
10. Grover Cleveland (1-0) - Just like McKinley deserved a spot in the preseason poll for having a 30-game win streak, the Presidents deserve a spot for ending it. Canisius, Clarence and Riverside may be anxiously awaiting a chance to crack the top 10; we're waiting for them to show us a little bit more.
1. Cleveland Hill (1-0) - We saw the top three as fairly interchangable, but winning at a crosstown rival, a team that competed in Class A last year, puts the Golden Eagles in our top spot.
2. Southwestern (1-0) - New class (C), same Trojans, beating up on an old Class B buddy (Springville, 28-6).
3. Lackawanna (1-0) - Are the Steelers back? A couple more wins like their shutout at Albion and they'll likely climb a couple of spots.
4. East Aurora (0-1) - Anyone else lower than this wanna play Iroquois and see what would happen?
5. Fredonia (1-0) - Gotta wait until Week Four for EA at Fredonia.
6. Burgard (1-0) - From 1-8 last year to beating last year's No. 1. What a start for the Bulldogs.
7. Alden (1-0) - Great start with the win at Depew. Bulldogs' home opener guest is angry Maryvale.
8. Portville (1-0) - Like last year, a great start by beating Randolph, which earns them our only Class D spot in the top 10.
9. Silver Creek (1-0) - You've earned a top 10 spot if you beat Falconer, last year's Section VI Class C runner-up and 2006's state Class C runner-up.
10. Maryvale (0-1) - If we put Cleveland Hill atop the poll, then the team that only lost, 6-0, gets some credit -- just enough to keep Maple Grove, Medina, Cardinal O'Hara and St. Mary's looking at the back of the Flyers' uniforms.
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