Posted: 5:49 pm Monday, August 25th, 2008
By Jason Lieser
The first Associated Press high school football poll was just released, and three teams from this area open on top of the pre-season rankings.
Leading the way, as expected, are defending champions Pahokee and Jupiter Christian, ranked No. 1 in Classes 2B and 1B, respectively. Hard to envision a scenario where those two don’t repeat their titles.
In a minor surprise, Glades Day took the top slot in Class 1A. Defending champion American Heritage, which lost 20 seniors from last season’s squad, starts the year third. I think the Gators merit the top spot at this point, but I was surprised the voters agreed. Glades Day has a lot of talent and experience, and its offense is strong enough to hurt opponents through the air and on the ground. That being said, American Heritage and Fort Meade are worthy contenders and Glades Day will have to beat both of them.
Glades Central is No. 2 in Class 3A, behind Naples, and Dwyer is ranked fourth in Class 4A. If the Raiders beat Palm Beach Central, Palm Beach Gardens and Dwyer to open 5-0, look for them to take the top spot. That would set up a likely battle of No. 1s in the 2008 Muck Bowl.
Here are the full results (first place votes in parenthesis):
1. Deerfield Beach (18)
2. Apopka (3)
3. North Miami Beach
4. Miami Northwestern (2)
6. Cypress Bay
7. Miami Central
9. Christopher Columbus Catholic
Others receiving votes: Timber Creek, Vero Beach, South Dade, Spruce Creek, Park Vista, Dr. Phillips, Boyd Anderson, Flagler Palm Coast, Sanford Seminole, Homestead, Lake Brantley, Royal Palm Beach.
1. St. Thomas Aquinas (21)
2. Lakeland (2)
6. Kissimmee Osceola
9. Pine Forest
Others receiving votes: Cape Coral, Bartram Trail, Fleming Island, Fletcher, Lake Gibson, Palm Bay, Venice, Atlantic.
1. Armwood (21)
2. Miami Washington (2)
8. Ft. Walton Beach
10. First Coast
Others receiving votes: Seabreeze, Hallandale, Olympic Heights, Rockledge, Eastside, Boca Ciega, Hillsborough, Fort Pierce Westwood.
1. Naples (16)
2. Glades Central (7)
4. St. Augustine
5. Monsignor Pace
8. North Marion
9. Lake Wales
Others receiving votes: Immokalee, DeSoto County, Astronaut, South Fort Myers, Eustis, Harmony, Pensacola, Miami Edison, Williston.
1. Madison County (23)
2. South Sumter
3. Bolles School
4. Plantation American Heritage
5. Tampa Catholic
Others receiving votes: Archbishop Carroll, Fort White, Walton.
1. Glades Day (14)
2. Fort Meade (4)
3. Delray American Heritage (4)
4. North Florida Christian (1)
Others receiving votes: Dade Christian, Port St. Joe, West Gadsden, Florida Air Academy.
1. Pahokee (23)
2. Ocala Trinity Catholic
5. Crescent City
Others receiving votes: Frostproof, King’s Academy, Episcopal, Trinity Christian-Jacksonville, Wildwood, Baker School.
1. Jupiter Christian (22)
2. FAMU Developmental Research (1)
3. Warner Christian
4. Victory Christian
5. Eagle’s View
Others receiving votes: Keswick Christian, Deltona Trinity Christian, Bradenton Prep, Pine Castle Christian.
The AP released a national poll as well, though no teams from this area made the cut. Just a wild guess, Pahokee isn’t going to be very happy about that.
The National Prep Football Poll is compiled by high school sports journalist Jamie DeMoney with input from sportswriters, experts, and coaches. There is a national top 25, and then there are regional top 10s. Here are the Southeast regional rankings:
1. Valdosta, Ga., Lowndes
2. Batesville, Miss., South Panola
3. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Aquinas
4. Seffner, Fla., Armwood
5. Bastrop, La.
6. Prattville, Ala.
7. Apopka, Fla.
8. Naples, Fla.
9. Pahokee, Fla.
10. Maryville, Tenn.