Parkview Baptist and White Castle are the top-ranked teams in Class 3A and 1A, respectively, in the initial Louisiana Sports Writers Association Football Polls.
Both squads are defending state champions.
Dutchtown is tied for third with West Jefferson in Class 5A. West Monroe, the 2010 runner-up, sits atop the 5A poll and defending champion Acadiana is second.
The same holds true in Class 4A as defending champion Franklinton is second and runner-up Edna Karr is top-ranked.
The rest of the top 5 in Class 3A begins with No. 2 St. Charles Catholic, Patterson, Amite and Notre Dame of Crowley. Independence and East Feliciana are ranked No. 7 and 8, respectively.
Evangel is the top-ranked team in Class 2A. John Curtis is second and University is sixth. Episcopal is the first team outside the Top 10, and Redemptorist is the third team.
Kentwood is No. 7 in Class 1A.
“It’s nice for our fans and players that we’re respected enough to be the top-ranked team,” Parkview’s Kenny Guillot said. “We’re flattered by the ranking. Hopefully, we’ll stay there awhile. But the poll we’re most interested in comes at the end of the season.”
Parkview (12-2 last season) has five defensive starters returning, including Class 3A Defensive MVP Tom Bove (6-0, 270 pounds). Parkview is down to two returning offensive starters as quarterback Brennan Bozeman and fullback Brandon Johnson are injured.
Parkview defeated Episcopal 13-7 in the South Baton Rouge Jamboree. Cole Wilson passed 40 yards to Seth Shah, and Brody Burkhalter had a 3-yard scoring run for the Eagles.
“We were able to run our two-minute offense and get a score, and our defense played well,” said Guillot, who also guided Parkview to the 2007 state title. “We didn’t execute on offense as well as we would have liked. The kids played hard. We’ve got a tough game this week at Class 5A Mandeville.”
White Castle (12-3 last season) returns six offensive and six defensive starters. Key returnees include all-state running back Tyre Bracken (3,200 yards rushing, 40 touchdowns), defensive backs Isaac O’Bear and Terrance Taylor and tackle Gerad Carlin.
“We want another state title,” said sixth-year White Castle coach Ferrante Dominique. “We have good talent and good attitudes here in White Castle. We’re working on getting the right chemistry going. We believe all things are possible. We’re working hard.
“This ranking is nice. We have 13 players back from last year and added 22 more.”
Dutchtown entertains Lutcher, the fourth-ranked team in Class 4A, in its opener Friday.
Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said his team doesn’t deserve such a high ranking after its 8-7 loss in the final minute to St. Amant in the LeBlanc’s Food Stores Ascension Parish Jamboree.
“The voters of the poll didn’t come and watch our jamboree,” Saia said. “The effort was there, but we’re not a very good football team now. We didn’t block or tackle.
“I think we’re going to be a good football team, but we’re not there yet. Lutcher is a very talented team. We’ll do the best we can.”
Dutchtown (12-1 last season) is led defensively by safety Landon Collins and defensive end Darrien Batiste. Mason Nickens had a 33-yard scoring pass to Shelby Christy in the jamboree.
Zachary (20 votes) is three spots outside the Top 10 in Class 5A and Woodlawn is next.