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Hodges wins poll

AHOSKIE – The 2005 version of the Pigskin Prognosticators was vastly different.

That was until the end.

When he came down to the end, the familiar names were atop the final standings.

Gattis Hodges, the voice of the Bears on 98.3 FM WDLZ, was the one who soared to the top. Last year Hodges finished second on the Pigskin Poll, but this year he surpassed last year’s winning mark and took the number one spot.

This season Hodges finished 132-38 on a season he closed out with an 8-2 mark.

Following Hodges was retired Northampton County High School – West and Lawrence Academy coach Mike Dail. He finished with a 6-4 mark in the final week to establish a total record of 128-42.

Last year Dail finished third.

Coming home in third this season was a newcomer to the Pigskin Prognosticators. Mike Williams, a co-editor of ncisaa.com and veteran prognosticator on that website turned in a 127-43 mark to finish just behind Dail. He was 6-4 in the final week.

In fourth place this year was retired Bertie High School Athletic Director and football coach Ron Cooke. The current real estate appraiser with Triple A and Associates registered a 9-1 record in week 17 to secure an overall mark of 124-46.

Two perennial favorites in the Pigskin Poll tied for fifth in the 26th year of the contest. Russ Russell, the retired Sports Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance, had won two years in a row and finished the year 123-47 after going 6-4 the final week.

Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Senior Sports Writer Billy Harrell finished with an identical mark after going 5-5 in week 17. Harrell was four games better than a year ago, but dropped one spot.

Coming in seventh this season was News-Herald Sports Writer David Friedman. He closed the 2005 campaign with a 6-4 mark that left him 120-50 for the year.

Next was Editor Cal Bryant who was 6-4 in week 17 to go 119-51 for the year. He was 10 games better than last season.

Coming home ninth during the season was Sports Writer Heather Odom. She was 4-6 in the final week to finish 116-54 – a 16-game improvement from last season.

Coming home 10th was first-year prognosticator Meredith Long. The Assistant Athletic Director at Chowan College was 115-55 after finishing with a 6-4 week.

In the next spot was Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Publisher Jeff Findley. In his first year on the poll, he went 114-56 after closing out with a 7-3 mark.

Finishing twelfth were the guest pickers for 2005. They combined for a total of 112-58.

The guest pickers in 2005 were Richard Lage, Clark Harrell, Jay Jenkins, Skip Cook, Eddie Allen, Alan Spencer, Willie Roberson, Greg Watford, Doug Cobbs, Charles Simmons, Diego Hasty, Marshall Cherry, Patrick Campbell, Elton Winslow, John Brown, Randy Whitaker and David Taylor

In the final spot were yours truly and Hertford County Commissioner Howard Hunter III. Each finished with 106-64 records during the year.