Power 10: Miguel Rodriguez ranks the best of the scholastic fall season - The Buffalo News

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Power 10: Miguel Rodriguez ranks the best of the scholastic fall season

(Through Tuesday's games)

1. St. Mary's girls volleyball. The Lancers are the undisputed No. 1 team in Western New York after having defeated top-ranked large school Williamsville East in straight sets Tuesday night. St. Mary's, which also won its own season-opening tournament that featured several of the area's top teams -- including event runner-up and town neighbor Lancaster, is also unbeaten in Monsignor Martin play.

2. East Aurora cross country. Perhaps it's a preview of what's to come at the state meet in November? The Blue Devils thrived at the Wayne Invitational last Saturday, the same course that will host states and thus attracted an elite crop of teams from throughout the state. The girls team is now 3 for 3 – three tournaments, three victories by winning its race. Boys place second in their race.

3. Grand Island girls soccer. Unbeaten Vikings move to the top of Coaches' Western New York Large Schools' poll after being ranked behind the team it defeated last week. Coach Dave Bowman notches milestone 200th triumph.

4. Clarence boys soccer. The Red Devils drop a spot after nonleague loss to private school and unbeaten Cathedral Prep of Erie, Pa., and a tie in league play against Lancaster. But good teams that aren't afraid to schedule tough nonleague games usually get the benefit of the doubt with this corner, which is why …

5. East Aurora boys soccer. The Blue Devils rank slightly behind Clarence (but not by much). EA, which still has tough nonleague games against St. Joe's and St. Francis on its schedule, did what it needed to do and handled the teams it faced last week to keep its flawless record intact.

6. Canisius football. The scoreboard operator at New Era Field could receive another workout Friday night. Crusaders head into rivalry game versus St. Joe's coming off a school-record 78-point outburst. Marauders, meanwhile, put up 56 points in a nine-point loss to Aquinas. For those doing the math, yes, 121 points were scored in a single game at the home of the Buffalo Bills last Friday.

7. Lancaster football. Nine blocked punts and four blocked kicks by Legends' special teams unit during the 14 games of the Eric Rupp coaching era. Impressive, much like the team's performance during the second half of Friday's 43-20 victory over Orchard Park.

8. Lockport boys volleyball. Lions ranked first among Western New York large schools via unanimous vote, unbeaten in Niagara Frontier League play and were the only area team to reach semifinals of top bracket during runner-up finish at Eden's prestigious Can-Am Tournament to a reigning state champion. Enough said.

9. Sacred Heart girls golf. Nardin came close, but the Sharks of Sacred Heart triumphed by four strokes to extend their Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association winning streak to 50 matches in a row.

10. Lafayette boys soccer. The Mighty Violets defeat longtime nemesis I-Prep/Grover for the first time in eight years, handing the Presidents their first D'Youville Cup loss since 2015.

High honors

-- Franklinville/Ellicottville football. The Titans look like the team to beat in Class D after handing last year's state runner-up Maple Grove its first loss to a Western New York team since 2013.

-- Maple Grove cross country. The boys and girls win their respective divisions at the Wayne Invitational. Is that a sign of things to come down the road from the reigning Section VI champions?

-- Niagara Wheatfield boys golf. The streak continues as 8-0 Falcons have now won 53 straight against Niagara Frontier League competition.

-- West Seneca West football. Indians win another big division game on the road in taking down previous unbeaten Iroquois.

-- Williamsville East football. First win of the Mike Torrillo coaching era happens in dramatic comeback fashion as Flames foil grand opening of rival Williamsville South's renovated athletic facility.

Honorable mention: Allegany-Limestone boys soccer, Allegany-Limestone girls soccer, Canisius volleyball, Clarence cross country, Clarence girls golf, Clarence girls soccer, Clarence girls volleyball, Clarence swimming, East Aurora/Holland boys golf, Eden boys volleyball, Eden girls volleyball, Fredonia swimming, I-Prep boys soccer, Iroquois field hockey, Lackawanna boys soccer, Lancaster boys soccer, Lancaster girls volleyball, Maple Grove boys soccer, Maple Grove girls soccer, Newfane boys soccer, Newfane cross country, Newfane football, Newfane girls soccer, Niagara Wheatfield girls soccer, North Tonawanda boys soccer, North Tonawanda girls soccer, Orchard Park boys golf, Orchard Park cross country, Orchard Park girls volleyball, Orchard Park swimming, Orchard Park tennis, Pioneer girls soccer, Portville girls volleyball, St. Francis golf, St. Joe's soccer, South Park football, Southwestern boys soccer, Starpoint football, Sweet Home football, West Seneca West cross country, Williamsville East girls soccer, Williamsville East girls volleyball, Williamsville North boys soccer, Williamsville North field hockey, Williamsville North girls soccer, Williamsville North tennis.

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