SYRACUSE - Two weeks ago they did it.
This week they're looking to do it again.
For the second time in the past three weeks, the Randolph Cardinals will be tasked with dispatching from the playoffs the state's top-ranked football team in Class D. But while they did it a fortnight ago, in convincing fashion over then-No. 1 Maple Grove, as the eighth-ranked squad in the state, this time around, according to the New York State Sportswriters Association's latest poll, they'll be doing it as the second-best group in New York.
Randolph’s Chris Doubek fights for extra yards during last week’s Class D Far West Regional victory over Avon.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
Rising two places from last week's poll thanks to their sound defeat of Section 5 champion Avon, 34-14, in the Far West Regional, the Cardinals, winners of their past eight games, will be looking to prove that it's them who should be sitting atop the poll when they square off against current No. 1 Tioga (10-1) of Section 4 on Friday evening at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester.
Maple Grove (9-1), the Section 6 runnerup, is No. 6 in the class while Sherman (7-2), Ellicottville (7-2) and Silver Creek (5-4) are honorable mentions.
Despite having their season cut short at the hands of Orchard Park for the second straight time at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Jamestown (8-2) climbed from No. 15 to No. 13 in Class AA and in Class C Fredonia (7-3) held steady at No. 15.
Following their performance last weekend at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association cross country championship meet, the Maple Grove Lady Red Dragons remained, as they have for much of the season, No. 1 in Class D.
But Maple Grove, now winners of three straight state titles, isn't done yet. The team is hoping to qualify for the National Finals in Portland in early December and will be in Fishkill later this month for the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional Championship.
Behind Maple Grove is No. 8 Sherman and No. 10 Silver Creek.
In Class C, the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies finished fifth at the state championship and fell from No. 2 to No. 7 in the latest rankings.
Led by Corey Wefing's fifth-place finish at Elma Meadows, Maple Grove is No. 4 in Class D boys cross country.
Finally, in boys soccer Maple Grove, which was the area team to advance the furthest in the playoffs after it captured a sectional title, is No. 10 in Class C behind its final record of 16-2-1.
Williamson, the Section 5 squad that topped the Red Dragons in the Far West Regional, is No. 4 with an unbeaten record of 17-0-2.
Randolph, which reached the sectional semifinal for Class C, is No. 15 at 15-2-0.
For the girls, just two teams remain in the poll as Allegany-Limestone (14-3-1) is No. 15 in Class C and Ellicottville (15-3-1) is No. 7 in Class D.
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A number of area runners were Sportsmanship Award honorees at the recent cross country championships at Elma Meadows.
Along with Jamestown's Olivia Zabrodsky, the girls winner for Class A, Caroline Benson of Maple Grove was selected for Class D, Michaela Tramuta of Fredonia for Class C and John Panus of Olean for Class B.