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Yellowhammer State High School Football Preview: AISA

In the final installment of our high school football preview, Yellowhammer News breaks down the key teams in AISA. The Alabama Independent School Association has been the corporate gathering of many private Alabama schools since 1970. While its main goal is to provide an avenue for state private schools to excel in academics, the association also provides its schools with a league to play in. While often looked over as the “small teams,” football in AISA is just as rigorous and thrilling as any other.

While there are technically three classes in AISA – A, AA, and AAA – the Alabama Sportswriters Association has grouped all schools together for their rankings. Here are the Top 10 teams in AISA going into 2017:

  1. Autauga Academy
  2. Bessemer Academy
  3. Escambia Academy
  4. Monroe Academy
  5. Glenwood
  6. South Choctaw Academy
  7. Chambers Academy
  8. Abbeville Christian
  9. Pike Liberal Arts
  10. Lee-Scott

Autauga Academy and Bessemer Academy won their respective 2016 championships in AA and AAA. There is no doubt that they should be at the top of the list. Monroe and Escambia were both runner-ups last season, solidifying their spots at numbers three and four. Escambia Academy took Autauga all the way to the end in a close 28-21 championship game. However, Monroe found themselves swept away by Bessemer’s stellar offense in a heartbreaking 28-7 loss.

The 2017 season started early for several AISA teams. Autauga, Bessemer, and Escambia all took place in Montgomery’s Crampton Bowl on August 11 and 12. Bessemer Academy put the hammer to Tennessee’s Evangelical Christian School in a 42-18 pounding. Autauga Academy pulled away from the Valwood School from Georgia in a 38-29 victory. Escambia also came out with a win, sending First Baptist back to South Carolina with a 38-10 headache.

These early successes are huge momentum boosters heading into the season. As regional play starts up, many of the top teams appear to be primed for another great season. However, with the championship on the line, regional play may prove to be a bit more challenging. Which independent schools will end up on top? We’ll just have to wait and see!

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