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Final Buffalo News high school football polls for 2017

Brackets indicate first-place votes
*–Indicates tie in voting

Large Schools
Rank School (Class) Record Points LW
1. West Seneca West* [5] (A) 13-0 94 3
1. Lancaster* [4] (AA) 12-1 94 1
3. Canisius [1] 8-4 78 2
4. South Park (A) 9-1 71 5
5. Williamsville North (AA) 9-1 61 4
6. Iroquois (A) 6-3 44 6
7. St. Joe’s 7-5 35 9
8. West Seneca East (A) 5-4 28 7
9. Grand Island (A) 6-2 15 10
10. Starpoint (A) 6-2 10 NR
Others getting votes: Jamestown (AA) 9, Niagara Falls (AA) 5, St. Francis 4, Clarence (AA) 1, Orchard Park (AA) 1.

Pollsters: Mark Adair (WNY Football Weekly), Sean Bruso (Lancaster assistant coach), Sibby Constantino (Trench Trophy), Rick Coburn (Trench Trophy), Dick Gallagher (WNY High School Sports), Tom Langworthy (Jamestown coach), John Lewis (Connolly Cup), Rich Robbins (Canisius coach), Miguel Rodriguez (Buffalo News), Dennis Sarow (Connolly Cup).

Small Schools
Rank School (Class) Record Points LW
1. Cheektowaga [10] (B) 10-2 100 1
2. Maryvale* (B) 8-2 82 2
2. Cleveland Hill* (C) 10-2 82 3*
4. Maple Grove (D) 11-2 76 8
5. Franklinville/Ellicottville (D) 9-1 50 3*
6. Dunkirk (B) 7-2 43 6
7. Lackawanna (B) 7-2 40 5
8. Southwestern (C) 7-3 36 7
9. Newfane (B) 6-2 26 9
10. Albion (B) 6-2 12 10
Others getting votes: Clymer/Sherman/Panama (D) 1, Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton (B) 1, Wilson (C) 1.

Pollsters: Adair, Bruso, Constantino, Gallagher, Lewis, Rodriguez, Sarow, Angelo Sciandra (Retired Cardinal O'Hara coach), Ed Sciera (Trench Trophy), Jay Sirianni (Southwestern).

Buffalo News final football poll winners (1981-2017)

For the second time since Buffalo News records dating back to 1981, there is a tie for the No. 1 honor in the final large schools poll. Canisius and Jamestown shared the title in 2013.

It’s fitting, as there was never a unanimous vote for the top spot through the first nine weeks of the season.

The most votes cast for a first-place team was eight for Canisius following Week One and Lancaster following Week Seven. The Crusaders and Legends each received at least two first-place votes the first nine polls. Lancaster was No. 1 for five weeks, Canisius three and they were tied in Week Two.

West Seneca West only received one first-place vote the entire season (following a 35-8 Week Five win against Lackawanna) but got the most in the final poll with five. This is the first time the Indians end the year as No. 1. Lancaster was first once before, in 1988.

West Seneca West, Lancaster, Canisius, South Park, Williamsville North and Iroquois had a spot on each ballot.

Pollsters fluctuated most on where to place St. Joe’s. Two had the Marauders as high as five, and three left them off altogether.

Seven teams from the first large schools poll remained in the final one. Iroquois, West Seneca East and Grand Island replaced McKinley, St. Francis and Williamsville South.

There are only four teams from last year’s final large schools poll: Lancaster, Canisius, St. Joe’s and Starpoint.

Cheektowaga finished on top of the small schools poll for the second time in three years. The Warriors started the season No. 1 and held the top spot in seven of the first nine weeks. Maryvale was first following Week Five and Six.

First-place votes were mostly split between Cheektowaga, Maryvale and Dunkirk throughout the regular season, but the Warriors became the unanimous selection the rest of the way following a 28-21 Week Seven win at the rival Flyers for the Class B-1 crown.

Maryvale, Class C champ Cleveland Hill and Class D champ Maple Grove were voted in the Nos. 2, 3 or 4 positions by every pollster. The Flyers received five second-place votes, the Eagles three and Red Dragons two. Cleve Hill received six third-place votes as opposed to Maryvale’s two.

Maple Grove made the biggest jump following Week Nine, going from eight to four. It beat Franklinville/Ellicottville at New Era Field to avenge a Week Three loss and then went on to a second consecutive state championship-game appearance.

Cheektowaga, Maryvale, Cleveland Hill, Maple Grove, Franklinville/Ellicottville, Dunkirk, Southwestern and Newfane were on every pollster’s ballot. Lackawanna was as high as fifth in three polls and was left off of one. Albion was in eight of 10 polls.

Seven of the 10 teams in the first poll ended up in the final one. Lackawanna, Newfane and Albion replaced Medina, Alden and Olean.

Unlike the large schools poll, eight of the 10 small schools are the same from last year’s final poll.

Polls throughout the 2017 season

Final News' High School Football Polls for 2016

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