Thompson remains No. 1, Pelham jumps into top 10

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Throughout the 2020 football season, the Thompson Warriors have held steady in the state’s high school football rankings and a few others have jumped in and out of the top 10, but on Tuesday, Oct. 13, a new local team entered the top 10.

The Pelham Panthers, who are now the No. 9 team in Class 6A, were ranked inside the top 10 for the first time this season after spending time receiving votes the last few weeks, putting them on the outside looking in.

But after a 7-1 start to the season and winning their first region championship since 2006 and third in school history with a victory against Benjamin Russell on Oct. 8, the Panthers have cemented themselves as a threat this season.

Still with some young talent, Pelham has been led by a strong offensive attack, featuring running backs Dylan Peterson and Gabe Gamble, quarterback Will Lankford, and other athletes such as Darius Copeland.

Now the Panthers are one region win away against Chilton County from finishing region play undefeated and two wins away from finishing the regular season at 9-1.

With the one seed theirs out of the region, the players and coaching staff are excited, but they all know there is much more to accomplish to make this the successful season they had hoped for to start the season.

But the Thompson Warriors still remain the hot topic across the state as the dominant No. 1 team in the highest classification.Competing in Class 7A, Region 3, the Warriors have yet to have a blemish on their record with an 8-0 start heading into a matchup with Oak Mountain on Oct. 16.

The offense, led by junior quarterback Conner Harrell and other athletes like J.B. Mitchell, Tre Roberson, Sam Reynolds, Ryan Peppins and more, has been lights out. They’ve scored 31 or more in every game and are averaging 43 points per game.

But it was the defense that got all the hype coming into the season, and that unit is starting to form into shape as the state’s best, which was expected.

The last three weeks, Thompson has given up nine combined points with two shutouts and has held five of its eight opponents to nine points or less. That side of the ball is giving up just 14.1 points per game.

Including the matchup against Oak Mountain, the Warriors still have a difficult path ahead with the Eagles the No. 1 team in the standings and No. 2 Hoover on the schedule the week after.

Thompson controls its own destiny. Win both, and the Warriors will repeat as region champions.

Closing out the top 10 in the 7A classification was Auburn (No. 3), Hewitt-Trussville (No. 4), Theodore (No. 5), Daphne (No. 6), Central-Phenix City (No. 7), Austin (No. 8), Fairhope (No. 9) and James Clemens (No. 10).

The Eagles were just outside of the top 10 with 18 points in the votine, which was two points behind NO. 10 James Clemens.

In 6A, the Briarwood Lions also received two points in the voting with their 6-2 start to the season.

Other No. 1teams in the standing include Oxford, Pleasant Grove, American Christian, Fyffe, Brantley and Glenwood.

See the entire rankings in the story below:

CLASS 7A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Thompson (23); 8-0; 276
  2. Hoover; 8-0; 204
  3. Auburn; 7-0; 187
  4. Hewitt-Trussville; 6-2; 154
  5. Theodore; 6-1; 126
  6. Daphne; 6-1; 108
  7. Central-Phenix City; 5-3; 98
  8. Austin; 6-1; 72
  9. Fairhope; 4-2; 41
  10. James Clemens; 6-2; 20

Others receiving votes: Oak Mountain (6-1) 18, Prattville (5-3) 7.

CLASS 6A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Oxford (23); 6-1; 276
  2. Mountain Brook; 5-1; 196
  3. Clay-Chalkville; 7-0; 187
  4. Pinson Valley; 5-2; 157
  5. Opelika; 5-2; 134
  6. Saraland; 6-2; 105
  7. Spanish Fort; 5-2; 85
  8. McGill-Toolen; 5-1; 80
  9. Pelham; 7-1; 37
  10. Blount; 5-3; 13

Others receiving votes: Cullman (6-1) 11, Athens (5-2) 8, Eufaula (6-2) 7, Muscle Shoals (5-2) 7, Fort Payne (5-2) 3, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (6-1) 3, Briarwood (6-2) 2.

CLASS 5A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Pleasant Grove (15); 6-1; 247
  2. St. Paul’s (5); 7-0; 214
  3. Ramsay (3); 7-0; 199
  4. Central-Clay Co.; 7-1; 157
  5. Guntersville; 6-0; 135
  6. Alexandria; 7-0; 122
  7. Pike Road; 8-0; 89
  8. Faith-Mobile; 6-1; 69
  9. Demopolis; 7-0; 46
  10. Fairview; 6-1; 16

Others receiving votes: Sylacauga (6-1) 7, East Limestone (6-1) 4, Leeds (7-1) 3, UMS-Wright (4-3) 2, Russellville (6-1) 1.

CLASS 4A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. American Chr. (21); 7-0; 270
  2. Madison Aca. (2); 6-0; 204
  3. Mobile Chr.; 6-0; 181
  4. Gordo; 6-1; 161
  5. Handley; 5-0; 116
  6. Etowah; 5-2; 105
  7. Jacksonville; 5-3; 75
  8. Madison Co.; 6-2; 55
  9. Bibb Co.; 6-2; 45
  10. Good Hope; 7-1; 37

Others receiving votes: Williamson (6-2) 20, West Limestone (6-1) 17, Alabama Chr. (6-1) 12, Central-Florence (7-1) 5, Oneonta (5-1) 4, Northside (6-1) 3, Priceville (5-2) 1.

CLASS 3A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Fyffe (22); 7-0; 273
  2. Walter Wellborn; 7-0; 202
  3. Flomaton (1); 7-0; 174
  4. Ohatchee; 6-1; 165
  5. Piedmont; 6-1; 142
  6. Montgomery Aca.; 7-0; 109
  7. Thomasville; 7-0; 90
  8. T.R. Miller; 6-2; 74
  9. Catholic-Montgomery; 6-2; 33
  10. Opp; 7-1; 30

Others receiving votes: Trinity (6-1) 12, East Lawrence (6-1) 4, Winfield (7-1) 2, Lauderdale Co. (7-1) 1.

CLASS 2A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Randolph Co. (14); 7-0; 246
  2. Mars Hill Bible (7); 6-1; 221
  3. Red Bay (2); 6-0; 185
  4. Leroy; 6-1; 158
  5. Lanett; 6-2; 127
  6. G.W. Long; 6-0; 126
  7. Spring Garden; 6-1; 79
  8. Falkville; 7-0; 73
  9. Clarke Co.; 6-1; 61
  10. North Sand Mountain; 6-1; 22

Others receiving votes: B.B. Comer (6-1) 5, Abbeville (6-1) 3, Geneva Co. (6-1) 2, Colbert Co. (6-1) 1, Elba (5-3) 1, Westbrook Chr. (6-1) 1.

CLASS 1A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Brantley (22); 7-0; 273
  2. Linden (1); 6-0; 209
  3. Maplesville; 6-1; 184
  4. Sweet Water; 4-2; 151
  5. Notasulga; 5-1; 129
  6. Decatur Heritage; 6-2; 110
  7. Florala; 7-0; 99
  8. Valley Head; 7-1; 63
  9. Pickens Co.; 5-2; 40
  10. Berry; 6-1; 26

Others receiving votes: Winterboro (7-1) 14, Millry (6-1) 13.

AISA

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Glenwood (23); 7-0; 276
  2. Bessemer Aca.; 5-1; 206
  3. Escambia Aca.; 6-1; 184
  4. Jackson Aca.; 8-0; 151
  5. Patrician; 6-1; 124
  6. Chambers Aca.; 6-1; 110
  7. Pike Liberal Arts; 5-1; 97
  8. Abbeville Chr.; 6-1; 60
  9. Edgewood; 5-2; 54
  10. Macon-East; 6-2; 37

Others receiving votes: Morgan Aca. (5-2) 6, Crenshaw Chr. (5-2) 4, Sparta (4-2) 2.