Posted: 9:05 am Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Palm Beach’s 32 all-state picks most in Florida 

By Jason Lieser

People down here like to claim they have the best football in the state, but can they prove it? It’s not an exact science, but Exhibit A is the fact that Palm Beach County has produced eight state champions in the last three years.

Exhibit B? Last month’s all-state selections.

In total, this area landed 37 players on all-state teams [note: only first-team choices are considered "all-state"]. That number accounts for nearly 17 percent of the entire state.

Palm Beach County was responsible for 32 all-state picks, by far the most by one county. No other was even close, with Broward garnering 19 spots. Palm Beach’s representation was 14.5 percent of the total first-team list, which is impressive considering the county makes up less than 8 percent of Florida’s population.

Here are the leading counties in all-state selections:

1.Palm Beach, 32

2.Broward, 19

3.Leon, 18

4.Dade, 17

5.Duval, 12

6.Hillsborough, 11

7.Alachua, 10

T7.Marion, 10

9.Volusia, 9

10.Orange, 8

The county’s chief export this year was offensive linemen. Eight o-line goliaths were all-state, leading Florida.

Palm Beach had six linebackers chosen, if you count Dwyer’s Matt Elam, who occupied a “utility” slot on the Class 4A team, as well as five defensive linemen and five defensive backs.

Jupiter Christian, Pahokee and St. Thomas Aquinas led Florida with seven all-state selections each.