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September 16, 2011
By: John Raffel

AP's first poll shortchanges Ithaca and Morley Stanwood football teams


I'm looking at the Associated Press' first Michigan state poll and with two major exceptions, it seems to be OK. I've got a problem, though, with Ithaca being ranked No. 2 behind Muskegon Catholic Central in Division 6.

SPORTS:

SCHOOLS:

TEAMS:

 

John Raffel

Sports Scene

I'm looking at the Associated Press' first Michigan state poll and with two major exceptions, it seems to be OK.

I've got a problem, though, with Ithaca being ranked No. 2 behind Muskegon Catholic Central in Division 6.

I'm maybe a traditionalist, but the defending champs should be No. 1 until someone knocks them off. Maybe the Yellowjackets won't go 14-0 again. But until someone beats them, they should be No. 1 in any poll.

Rockford is No. 5 at Division 1. Lowell is No. 2 in Division 2 behind Farmington Hills Harrison. Because Harrison won the state title last year, they deserve that top ranking for now.

(Which is why, again, I think Ithaca should be No. 1.) Bay City Western, at 3-0 is ranked No. 6 in Division 2.)

Okemos and East Lansing are also up there.

In Division 3, Mount Pleasant is No. 1 and Dewitt No. 3. East Grand Rapids has won it five straight years but the Pioneers are 2-1 so I've got no problem they're not No. 1.

In Division 5, we have Lansing Catholic at No. 1. Since LC was knocked out of  the playoffs in the  first round last season, you could argue against this. But coach Jim Ahern's team is a legitimate state title contender. Portland is third and Alma is eighth.

Back in Division 6, Sanford Meridian is eighth. But in Division 6, I have a real problem.

Morley Stanwood has only one vote.

ONE VOTE?

Are you kidding me? Who's voting in this?

Morley Stanwood has been 9-0 the last two regular seasons. Last year, the Mohawks went to the third round with an 11-0 record and lost in overtime to Menominee. It was a game the Mohawks should have won.

This season, preseason forecasts indicated this may be their best team yet. Right now, the Mohawks are 3-0.

And they get one 10th place vote in the AP poll? Once again, are you kidding me?

Oh well, it is the first poll and perhaps things will sort themselves out later.

The Mohawks shellacked a good Chippewa Hills team so it's not like they have a cake schedule. In fact, this week, the Mohawks play at Reed City against another team that's 3-0.

Reed City coach Monty Price realizes he'll have his hands full.

“We're going to have to do everything right,” said Price. “They're a very solid ball team and very well coached. They've been on top of the league the last couple of years for a reason. We're going to have to put it together and play almost perfect. But we're going to give them everything we've got.”

The key is defense,” said Reed City senior running back and linebacker Nate Kailing. “If they don't score, we're going to win because we always score.”

OTHER GAMES

By the way, Saginaw Nouvel is second and Pewamo-Westphalia third at No. 5. Both are well-deserved. Montabella is 11th and is 3-0 so, why not?

New Lothrop at 3-0 is third in Division 8.

By the way, this Friday night, along with Reed City and Morley Stanwood, keep an eye on Saginaw, 2-1 at BC Western 3-0; Ithaca, 3-0, at Breckenridge, 2-1; Clare 2-1 at Farwell, 1-2; and DeWitt, 3-0, at Haslett, 1-2

Plus, there's Chesaning, 1-2, at Hemlock 3-0 and Manistee, 2-1, at Central Montcalm, 3-0, plus many, many others.