SYRACUSE - It took more than a month, but Fredonia finally climbed to No. 1 in the state for Class B in the most recent New York State Sportswriters Association poll.
The Hillbillies, who began the season at No. 20 due to their making a Far West Regional appearance the year before, rose to No. 5 a week later, and then for the past two weeks had maintained their hold on No. 2 behind Section 5's Wellsville.
Now, it's Fredonia's turn at the top.
On the way to the No. 1 spot, Fredonia, which will likely earn a top seed for its class at the Section 6 baseball seeding meeting this afternoon, won a school-record-tying 17 straight games to start the season, and was one of just two Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 teams to finish with a league record above .500.
Pine Valley, which won the Section 6 Class D crown and advanced to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association state baseball tournament a year ago, has enjoyed similar success thus far this year. The Panthers sport a 9-4 record and are ranked No. 11 in the class.
Close behind in Class D are North Collins, at No. 17 behind its 10-6 mark, and Brocton, at No. 20 thanks to a 7-4 record overall.
Other squads ranked from Section 6 include, in Class AA, No. 2 and unbeaten Clarence (14-0), No. 14 Lancaster (10-4); in Class A, No. 5 Lake Shore (11-2), No. 9 Grand Island (10-4) and No. 12 Hamburg (11-6); and behind Fredonia in Class B is East Aurora at No. 17 with a 10-3 record.
For the softball rankings, which are current through May 12, Forestville leads the way amongst a number of area teams with a No. 5 ranking in Class D. The Lady Hornets, who have won two straight sectional titles and embarking on the quest for a third this week, are 10-1, and recently earned the top seed for the sectional playoffs.
Behind Forestville is No. 10 Brocton (9-3) and No. 13 North Collins (11-2).
Like Forestville, Frewsburg has won the past two sectional titles in Class C. The Bears, at No. 16, are the lone group from Section 6 to make the Class C state rankings.
Fredonia, a No. 2 seed in the upcoming playoffs, is No. 23 for Class B, just behind No. 19 Olean (10-3).
In Class AA, Clarence (16-1) is No. 3, Niagara Falls (13-1) is No. 20 and Niagara Wheatfield (11-5) is No. 30. Jamestown, if it can get by Orchard Park in the Section 6 prequarterfinals, will travel to take on Clarence on May 24.
Hamburg (10-3) leads the way for Class A at No. 10 while Williamsville East (10-4), Iroquois (10-3) and Starpoint (17-3) follow at Nos. 16, 17 and 19, respectively.