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

(Through Monday's games)

The first Power 10 of the fall sports season is always challenging for a simple reason.

Lots of teams are off to nice starts, and the tough question: How much currency does being the reigning Power 10 champion carry over into the next season?

Decisions, decisions.

Without further ado, here we go:

1. St. Mary's girls volleyball. Last year's fall Power 10 champion starts atop the rankings. The Lancers opened the new slate by doing what they always seem to do – beat the top teams in Western New York en route to capturing the championship of their annual season-opening tournament. St. Mary's did it this time without the services of returning All-Western New York first-team pick Summer Slade, who's sidelined by an injury.

2. East Aurora cross country. East Aurora's girls team is ranked No. 1 in the state and the Coaches Western New York Large Schools polls. The Blue Devils have earned that spot by winning both races they've entered this season. The boys are ranked fifth in state in Class B and No. 2 in WNY. As per usual, EA looks scary good.

3. Clarence boys soccer. The defending Section VI Class AA champions are off to a flawless start. That not only includes a victory over second-ranked large school Williamsville North but also a win over traditional Western New York and Monsignor Martin power St. Joe's. The Red Devils are ranked fifth in the state.

4. Grand Island girls soccer. The unbeaten Vikings may be ranked behind the team it beat in the Western New York Coaches' Large Schools Poll, but reigning Section VI Class A champion Grand Island gets the nod in this spot for handing defending Class AA champion Clarence its lone loss of the season back on Aug. 31.

5. East Aurora boys soccer. Ranked first in the state in Class A but No. 3 in the WNY poll behind a pair of AA schools, the Blue Devils are off to a flawless start that includes an overtime victory over two-time defending Monsignor Martin champion Canisius.

6. Canisius football. Co-News No. 1 Large School suffered a tough loss at Pennsylvania power Bishop McDevitt in a game it led 21-7 entering the fourth quarter. But that's still a fine showing against a team that's averaged nearly 13 wins a season the past five years playing in a state where the caliber of high school football is considered by many a couple notches higher than it is in New York.

7. Lancaster football. Co-News No. 1 has overwhelmed its first two foes of the season by a considerable margin, putting up a total of 102 points. Legends face biggest test of young season at home Friday night as Class AA runner-up Orchard Park visits Foyle/Kling Field in a rematch of last year's Section VI final.

8. Lockport boys volleyball. They are the Lions, hear them roar. Last year's Section VI large school runner-up is on fire, having captured the season-opening Clarence Tournament and placing second at last week's prestigious Eden Can-Am Invitational. At the Can Am, Lockport dropped a close three-set match in the final to defending state champion Penfield.

9. Clarence girls soccer. Loss to Grand Island is only blemish for a team that bounced back from that defeat by beating Ohio regional finalist Mayfield. Clarence also owns win over sixth-ranked Williamsville North and last year's state Catholic runner-up Nardin.

10. Iroquois field hockey. Last year's state semifinalists are the only ECIC III team with a 3-0 mark after beating ECIC I-member Clarence via shootout. Lady Chiefs are ranked No. 1 in Western New York.

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

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