Unanimous decision

Ishpeming No. 1 in U.P. poll

Lake Linden Hubbell player William Lyons, left, and Ishpeming Hematite Gavin Sundberg in action during their game on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. (Journal photo by Trinity Carey)

MARQUETTE — With a 3-0 start and plenty of success on the state level over the past decade, it shouldn’t be surprising that Ishpeming is the only unanimous No. 1 team in the first Upper Peninsula high school football poll of the season.

Released this morning by the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, the Small Schools 11-player poll has the Hematites receiving 30 votes, including all six first-place votes.

Gwinn, also 3-0, is third behind West Iron County (3-0) among the Small Schools with 13 poll points. Iron Mountain (2-1) and St. Igance (2-1) round out the top five, while Norway (2-1) also received several votes but missed the first five.

Two other area schools made a top-five listing or at least earned votes.

Westwood (2-1) is fourth in the Large Schools 11-player poll with 13 points. Calumet (3-0) leads the way with four first-place votes and 28 points, while Escanaba (2-1) is second with the other two first-place votes and 25 points.

Gladstone (2-1) came in third just ahead of the Patriots, while Hancock (2-1) is fifth with five points.

Even 0-3 Kingsford, which has started with a brutal schedule of all highly regarded Wisconsin teams, earned one Large School vote.

In the Eight-Player poll, Superior Central (2-1) received one poll point as the Cougars missed the top five.

Pickford (3-0) got five first-place votes and the top spot and Stephenson (3-0) the other first-place vote and second.

Following them is a three-school logjam tied for third — North Central (2-1), Engadine (2-1) and Cedarville (2-1).

Rapid River (2-1) was the first team out of the top five.

UPSSA voting will continue through to the end of the regular season.

Two games this week involve area teams and ranked teams — Ishpeming at Westwood and Gwinn at Hancock. Both games are cross-divisional, nonconference games in the West PAC.

In addition, Marquette hosts Escanaba this week in a Great Northern Conference contest.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.