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Wayne County still on top

By By Austin Bishop / EMG regional sports director
Sept. 2, 2003
Despite not receiving the most first-place votes, Wayne County High School has stretched its lead over No. 2 South Panola in The Associated Press' Top 20 poll.
Wayne County tallied 173 total poll points from the 19 sports writers and sportscasters voting in this week's poll, including eight first-place votes, down two from the preseason poll when just 17 voters took part.
South Panola led the way with 10 first-place votes and tallied 164 points, nine behind the War Eagles. Wayne was just eight ahead in the preseason poll.
WCHS head coach Marcus Boyles says it doesn't surprise him that his War Eagles have to prove themselves to the voters week in and week out.
In order to do that the War Eagles, the 2002 5A champions, will have to beat a 5A power when Madison Central pays a visit to Waynesboro on Friday night. Madison thumped Mendenhall 49-6 last week.
While Madison Central beat a traditional powerhouse in its season opener, Boyles said his War Eagles met a stout challenge themselves.
Boyles said he recognizes that his team is facing a series of challenges to open the season.
The top three stayed the same in both the Top 20 and The Little 10, with Taylorsville maintaining a healthy 19-point lead among the state's smaller schools.
Southaven, which garnered the other first-place vote, is third in the Top 20. After that, things were shaken up a little bit.
Oak Grove, West Jones and West Point each moved up two places to No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 respectively.
Vicksburg, last week's No. 4, tumbled to No. 20 after a 33-18 loss to Southaven, while last week's No. 5, Starkville, fell to No. 11 after losing 12-7 to Louisville.
That win did wonders for Louisville, which went from being mentioned among others receiving votes in the preseason poll, all the way to No. 8 this week.
But the most amazing jump came from the Maroon Tide of Picayune, who obviously impressed the voters with their 30-0 thumping of Moss Point. Picayune did not receive a single vote in the preseason poll, but is No. 7 this week.
Climbing from No. 19 to No. 9 is Warren Central, while Greene County moved from No. 13 to No. 10.
In a couple of other interesting movements in the poll, Columbus used its 13-0 loss to Wayne County to climb from No. 18 to No. 16, while Clinton jumped into the poll at No. 17 after beating Meridian 14-7.
In the small poll, Ackerman held on to the No. 2 spot behind Taylorsville, while Puckett holds steady at No. 3, just one poll point ahead of Eupora which climbed from No. 6 to No. 4.