From Staff Reports
1) Oak Hill (23) — After a trip to the playoffs last season and with the return of Jalen Jones, our panel is expecting big things out of the Red Devils.
2) Woodrow Wilson (21) — The Flying Eagles have to replace a big chunk of the offense from last year’s playoff squad, but they still have talent.
3) Greenbrier East (13) — The Spartans put down the foundation last year during Ray Lee’s first year on the sidelines. Now they’ll look to improve on their three-win total from 2012.
4) Princton (12) — The Tigers experienced some major struggles during Randy Peek’s first year as head coach, but they had little time to adjust to the late coaching change.
5) Shady Spring (5) — The Tigers failed to win a AAA game last year. With Adam Weeks and Houstin Syvertson gone, the struggles could continue.
1) Bluefield (25) — The Beavers have been a playoff team in nine of the last 10 years, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t be there again, even without Montell Leggett.
2) Nicholas County (19) — The Grizzlies won a playoff game for the first time in school history last year and have most of that squad back.
3) Summers County (16) — The Bobcats have a new coach in Nate Tanner, but they have many of the same players that took them to the playoffs in 2012.
4) Wyoming East (9) — The Warriors finished 7-3 last year but bowed out in the opening round of the playoffs. They’re hoping to go a step further this fall.
5) Westside (5) — The Renegades suffered a big blow with the loss of Justin Cogar to injury, but new coach Larry Cook still has some pieces in place.
1) Greenbrier West (25) — The Cavaliers finished 10-2 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs last year, and they have one of the area’s best players back in Malik Boatwright.
2) Valley (18) – The Greyhounds have been to the postseason in three of the last four years. With Raeshawn Breckenridge back at quarterback, the expect to be there again.
3) Meadow Bridge (17) — When Jake Parker has the ball in his hands, he’s going to rack up offense. The Wildcats hope to ride him back into the postseason.
4) Montcalm (6) — After the first winning season in over two decades last year, the Generals are hoping to take yet another step.
5) Midland Trail (5) — The Patriots snapped a 26-game losing streak by winning two games last year, but they’ll have to replace Jake Grimmett.
About the poll: Our panel of five voters — Cam Huffman (sports editor), Gary Fauber (assistant sports editor), Dan Stillwell (sports writer), J. Daniel Rollins (sports writer) and Rusty Udy (sports clerk) — ranked the top five area teams in each class based on preseason expectations. Teams received five points for a first-place vote, four for a second-place vote and on down to one for a fifth-place vote. The vote totals are listed in parentheses.