MUSCLE SHOALS — Scott Basden calls Muscle Shoals new No. 1 ranking in the Class 5A football poll “just a number.”
It is, however, a significant event for the Trojans, who according to the Alabama high school football historical website ahsfhs.org, it’s only the third time in school history that Muscle Shoals has achieved the No. 1 ranking.
Hartselle, the team Muscle
Shoals replaced at the top of the rankings, is also this week’s opponent and the defending Class 5A champion.
The two teams have been ranked 1-2 since the preseason before Hartselle had its 19-game winning streak snapped by Decatur in a non-region game last week. The Tigers are No. 4 this week.
Basden downplayed the ranking.
“Honestly, it doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “Our goal all along is to be ranked No. 1 on December 6 when the championship game is over. (Being No. 1) doesn’t win a game for you. We have to keep playing. It’s just a number.”
Per Muscle Shoals policy, players are not allowed to speak to the media during the week before games and were unavailable for comment.
Muscle Shoals (5-0) has allowed only nine points in five games this season and only three points in its three region wins.
Basden said building Muscle Shoals into a winning program has been the result of support in all facets — players, coaches, administration and community.
“You have to have a vision and identify goals,” he said. “We’ve done that here and everybody has bought into it,” he said. “We have a long way to go; we’re not where we want to be. Our goals are to win a region championship and a state championship. Being ranked No. 1 puts a bigger bull’s eye on you.”
He also said Hartselle is still the team to beat.
“They are still the defending state champion,” he said. “Nobody has beaten them in 5A.”