By Keith McShea
Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls, and every week we tell you how The News voted. The News is one of 10 voters on the large and small school polls, which are published each Tuesday in the Sidelines section of the Scholastic Spotlight.
Here are our two top 10s:
1. St. Joe's (3-0) [Last week: 1] -- I'm keeping them here despite Canisius' impressive win. Having St. Joe's here would translate into me thinking they'll do significantly better against Aquinas than Canisius did (3-0 loss in Rochester last week), especially since they are at home ... and I would not disagree with that. We'll certainly see on Saturday. Great, great, great, great matchup.
2. Canisius (2-1)  -- Strong, impressive win over Walsh Jesuit. Friday night trip to St. Francis part of a great weekend.
3. Jamestown (3-0)  -- These guys are very good. Sisson is very good. They just might be the best, but we've got a whole season to try and figure it out, and I'm very secure with them here right now. To me there remains a clear top three of elite teams in WNY. Hosting Lancaster in a great matchup Friday night.
4. Frontier (3-0)  -- Deserve a significant bump (past Sweet Home) for its rout of the Lions in Lockport.
5. Sweet Home (3-0)  -- Crusing along against overmatched A North opponents, and their history requires me to keep them here, despite some differences in how the Panthers won at Iroquois in Week One and the big victory in Elma Friday night by ...
6. West Seneca East (3-0)  -- ... the Trojans, who sure are looking a lot like last year's Trojans.
7. Lancaster (3-0)  -- Took care of business on a crazy day with Niagara Falls. Scheduled for 3 at Falls, ended up being played at 7 at Lancaster due to field issues. Big-time road trip Friday at Jamestown.
8. South Park (2-1)  -- This is a testament to how good Jamestown is. And to how talented the Sparks are. Very, very dangerous on offense and some hard-hitters on defense. I think most non-elite teams would find them very, very difficult to stop. In two weeks, as long as WSE and the Sparks don't get upended, we get to see them go at it in Trojan Territory.
9. Lockport (2-1)  -- A win at OP and against a healthy Starpoint is good enough for me. Lots of riff-raff that are contenders for these last two spots, but we'll get to them later.
10. Orchard Park (2-1)  -- Call me sentimental or something, but when it comes to a decent crew of teams vying for this spot, I'm going with these guys. Yes, they beat Clarence in a wow-that-was-closer-than-I-thought game. But they get the benefit of the doubt, until they don't. Speaking of: Will South plays at OP in a great nonleaguer on Saturday, part of a LOADED weekend.
Next teams in: We've got it at two: Williamsville South (3-0) and St. Francis (1-2 with a close loss to LI's Holy Trinity and a big loss to Erie, Pa. power Cathedral Prep). We'll learn about these two this weekend.
Another paragraph for another tier: Grand Island (3-0) has three solid A North wins; McKinley (3-0) has a close win over North, which puts it behind South.
Another paragraph for yet another tier: Hutch-Tech (1-2) with a Hamburg win and two close losses to South Park and (heartbreaker!) at Alden; Kenmore West (1-2 following decent losses to Lancaster and Jamestown and first win against WSW); Kenmore East (3-0, great start but on paper the start is behind GI's).
1. Alden (3-0)  -- Two ways to look at it: These Bulldogs are not the Bulldogs of years past. They nearly lost at Eden (which last week lost to East Aurora), and they nearly lost at home to Hutch-Tech (1-2).
Other way: Well, they didn't lose. They came up with awesome finishes when they needed to. For me, that's enough to keep them No. 1. They're here until someone takes it from them. Hmmmm......
2. Depew (3-0)  -- The Wildcats sure hope they're that someone. Alden at Depew, Friday at 7. I love my job.
3. Randolph (3-0)  -- State champions looking good. Great matchup with Maple Grove. I have a feeling the Cardinals will be just fine. Which is part of the reason I'm keeping them here over the ...
4. St. Mary's (3-0)  -- ... Lancers, who recorded a fine win over Timon Saturday.
5. Burgard (3-0)  -- Bulldogs record shutout at 2-0 Lew-Port Friday; and they won at Albion two weeks ago by 48-0 score ...
6. Cheektowaga (2-1)  -- ... Cheektowaga beat Albion at home Friday, 28-14, thus the switcheroo of these two. Week Six Saturday: Burgard at Cheektowaga.
7. Cleveland Hill (3-0)  -- Other voters have Golden Eagles higher, but ...
8. Fredonia (3-0)  -- ... I think the Hillbillies are right there with them when it comes to Class C and need to be voted appropriately.
9. Medina (3-0) [NR] -- Gotta like the numbers the Mustangs are putting up, including 40-20 rout of Akron. BIG game for them against Burgard Saturday, 4 p.m. at All High (nice timing, schedule makers: I'll be heading over over from nearby St. Joe's).
10. Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake (3-0)  -- Staple of the small school poll. I just have a feeling that Randolph is top-small school caliber and MG/CL is a step behind. We'll find out Friday.
Next: Lackawanna, 3-0 but not against great competition -- which is what they'll get Friday with Cleve Hill visiting in yet another huge game this weekend.
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