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My AP ballot, and a playoffs forecast

October 17, 2011 - Troy Banning
The second-to-last Associated Press prep football poll was released today and there were very few changes. The top teams continue to show why they were voted there in the first place, although there were a few slight modifications in some of the polls.

West Des Moines Valley stayed ahead of Cedar Falls at the top of the Class 4A rankings for a second straight week even though the two programs split the first-place votes. Anyway, here's a look at how I voted this week.

Class 4A 1. Cedar Falls; 2. West Des Moines Valley; 3. Linn-Mar; 4. Southeast Polk; 5. Bettendorf; 6. Ankeny; 7. West Des Moines Valley; 8. Iowa City High; 9. North Scott; 10. Des Moines Lincoln.

Class 3A 1. Clear Lake; 2. ADM Adel; 3. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley; 4. Webster City; 5. Solon; 6. Sioux City Heelan; 7. West Delaware; 8. Maquoketa; 9. Norwalk; 10. Grinnell.

Class 2A 1. Iowa City Regina; 2. West Marshall; 3. Mediapolis; 4. Spirit Lake; 5. PCM Monroe; 6. Carroll Kuemper; 7. South Winneshiek; 8. Dyersville Beckman; 9. South Central Calhoun; 10. Fort Dodge St. Edmond.

Class 1A 1. Emmetsburg; 2. Council Bluffs St. Albert; 3. Logan-Magnolia; 4. Aplington-Parkersburg; 5. Woodward-Granger; 6. Lawton-Bronson; 7. Panorama; 8. Alburnett; 9. St. Ansgar; 10. West Lyon.

Class A 1. LeMars Gehlen; 2. Lisbon; 3. West Hancock; 4. Postville; 5. North Tama; 6. Mason City Newman; 7. Lone Tree; 8. Bedford; 9. WACO Wayland; 10. Madrid.

Class 8-Man 1. Armstrong-Ringsted; 2. Northeast Hamilton; 3. Fremont-Mills; 4. East Mills; 5. West Bend-Mallard; 6. Newell-Fonda; 7. Clarksville; 8. Preston; 9. Adair-Casey; 10. Remsen-Union.

Playoffs Update We know that Webster City and Northeast Hamilton are in the postseason, but where and who will they face?

If the playoffs began today, Webster City (7-1) — the No. 2 seed out of District 3 — would face Waverly-Shell Rock (6-2) — the No. 3 seed out of District 4 — at Lynx Field on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Geesh, that sounds familiar doesn't it? The same two teams met in the first round of the playoffs a year ago and it's a game that the Lynx would just as soon forget.

The positive to facing Waverly-Shell Rock again could be that motivation though. Most of Webster City's players were on the field last November for that 37-6 beating, and that can't sit too well with any of them.

There are drawbacks though. Not only did the two teams meet last year, but they were also district partners in 2008 and 2009. In other words, the Go-Hawks are quite familiar with Webster City's single-wing offense and so the learning curve to prepare for it won't be so steep.

W-SR won its first six games and was ranked as high as No. 6 in the 3A poll, but the Go-Hawks have since lost back-to-back games to West Delaware and Decorah.

As the No. 1 seed out of District 3 in 8-man, Northeast Hamilton (8-0) is in line to potentially take on West Central of Maynard (4-4) — the No. 4 seed out of District 4 — in a first-round game in Blairsburg.

And don't forget about South Hamilton (3-5). The Hawks still have a chance to enter the 1A postseason if they can beat Eagle Grove on Friday.

South Hamilton's reward should it win? Only a first-round playoff date with fifth-ranked Aplington-Parkersburg (7-1) in Parkersburg.



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