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OBSERVER SWEET 16 | CHARLOTTE-AREA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RANKINGS

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Shutout propels Vance in Sweet 16 poll

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

A few days after a shocking shutout of Independence, Vance High's football team makes a big jump in this week's Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 football poll.

The Cougars beat Independence 35-0 Thursday, handing the Patriots their first shutout defeat in 188 games and 13 years. A panel of Observer sportswriters voted and the Cougars moved up four spots this week to No. 10. Vance (3-0) will play No.1 Butler (2-0) at home Saturday night.

Independence (2-1) fell six spots to No. 14.

Also on the move is Rock Hill Northwestern. Unranked in preseason, the Trojans were No. 16 two weeks ago and No. 11 last week. This week, they continue their climb, up to No.9, ahead of Friday's showdown game with Byrnes, which is ranked among the top five of several national polls.

New to the poll this week is Charlotte Country Day, which upset Charlotte Catholic 31-28 Friday. Country Day is in at No.16. Catholic dropped three spots to No.8 and the Cougars must recover quickly. Catholic (2-1) will play Gastonia's Ashbrook High at home Friday. The Green Wave (2-0) has beaten Olympic 45-42 and Shelby 24-10.

Rk. School (First place votes) Class Rec. Pts. Prev. 1. Butler (3) 4A 2-0 48 1 2. Rock Hill South Pointe 4A 3-0 45 2 3. Porter Ridge 4A 3-0 41 3 4. Mallard Creek 4A 2-1 40 4 5. Crest 3A 3-0 33 T6 6. A.L. Brown 3A 3-0 32 T6 7. West Rowan 3A 3-0 27 9 8. Charlotte Catholic 3A 2-1 25 5 9. Rock Hill Northwestern 4A 3-0 24 11 10. Vance 4A 3-0 22 14 11. South Point 3A 3-0 21 10 12. Concord 3A 3-0 20 T11 13. Statesville 3A 3-0 12 13 14. Independence 4A 2-1 9 8 15. Albemarle 1A 3-0 6 15 16. Charlotte Country Day IND 2-0 2 NR Dropped out: Burns (3A, 1-2). Also receiving votes: Providence Day (IND, 2-1). Note: The Sweet 16 is a ranking of the 132 schools in the Observer’s coverage area in North and South Carolina. It is a not a power poll but does consider a team’s strength of roster, its strength of classification and does not consider how ranked teams would fare against each other unless they play. To be eligible for inclusion, schools must belong to a recognized state association and field multiple sports teams. They cannot allow student-athletes to repeat a grade and maintain athletic eligiblity after that student enters ninth grade. This is commonly referred to as “re-classing.” To be eligible for inclusion, a schools’ student-athletes will have eight consecutive semesters of eligibility after starting ninth grade. Visit http://bit.ly/QgbKKb for a list of eligible teams.

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