Posted: 5:58 pm Monday, September 12th, 2011
By Matt Porter
Realistically, only two teams in our top 10 have a firm grip on their spots.
And what do you know? They play each other later this week.
Just another crazy week in the area, with plenty of movement and more than a few teams with good cases to crack the rankings.
Here’s our carefully considered list of the top 10 teams (click here to see rankings, stats and football team pages).
1. Glades Central (2-0)
2. American Heritage (1-0)
3. Fort Pierce Central (2-0)
4. Dwyer (1-1)
5. Atlantic (1-1)
6. Palm Beach Gardens (2-0)
7. Park Vista (2-0)
8. Seminole Ridge (1-1)
9. Palm Beach Central (1-1)
10. Jupiter Christian (2-0)
Also considered (in no particular order): Glades Day, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Martin County, John I. Leonard, West Boca Raton, Cardinal Newman
Not much to say about Glades Central and American Heritage that hasn’t already been said. Both are impressive in all phases. We’ll be covering their Thursday night game (our Game of the Week) with a preview video and you can expect lots of extra thoughts and notes here on the blog.
Fort Pierce Central’s 61-0 stomping of rival Westwood to open the season was tempered a bit because of all the talent Westwood lost this offseason, but no one can trifle with a win over Palm Bay. Even though it came by an OT field goal, they beat a strong playoff team. Looking at the their schedule, it will be a surprise if they lose again in the regular season.
Dwyer drops to No. 4 but may not stay there if they get their offense rolling. Yes, Dwyer beat Palm Bay in the spring (handily), but that’s the spring. Two weeks into the regular season, the Panthers have lots of work to do to live up to their potential.
Atlantic holds at No. 5, but they’re also walking a tightrope. They stay more because we think they’d beat the rest of the teams below them. Gotta clean it up with the penalties, Eagles.
Gardens is almost the opposite. We can’t really put them higher until they get a win against a power opponent, but it’s hard to keep them down with the numbers they’ve posted so far (81 points for, 6 against). This week’s game against Palm Beach Central should tell us a lot about both teams.
Before the season, we felt Seminole Ridge had ascended to the top tier in the area, and now we’re not so sure. Their season-opening win over Palm Beach Central was anything but clean, and last week’s loss to Park Vista was just as much on them as it was a momentum-changer for the Cobras. The Hawks have some great pieces, but it’s starting to become clear how much they’re hurt by losing bruising fullback Tyler Butler and a beefy offensive line. Last year, they could force the issue offensively; this year’s team hasn’t yet shown it can.
When we were kicking around teams in the preseason, didn’t think Park Vista would be a top 10 team this early, if at all. We’re extra impressed with last week’s win over Ridge. Add that to a shutout of Santaluces and a kickoff classic win over Lake Worth and we think the Cobras could stay for a while. They should handle the next two weeks (Palm Beach Lakes at home, Jupiter on the road) before an Oct. 7 game at Palm Beach Central.
Palm Beach Central seems to be the proving ground for a few of these teams, and with good reason. The Broncos are big, tough and have playmakers. They should be good. Senior QB Brock Bukowski has shown a nice arm, junior Ray Wilson is a quality back, and senior defensive end Gabriel Terry could be special. Add them to the big O-line (K.C. McDermott, Edens Sineace) and outstanding secondary (Jhavon Williams, Angelo Jean-Louis) and good receivers (Jean-Louis, E.J. Sardinha) and Central has the weapons to climb into the top five sooner than later, if they continue to take care of business.
Now, as far as the teams that dropped out, we had to knock out someone to bring in Palm Beach Central and Park Vista. We feel Glades Day and Jupiter Christian are fairly similar in quality, but we were more impressed by Jupiter Christian’s consistency over the first two weeks. But it’s close, and Glades Day could be back in there next week.
Lake Worth is a puzzling case right now. The Trojans return a lot of what they had last year, but they don’t seem to be playing up to their capacity. If they do, they’ll force us to make some tough decisions. Boca Raton’s loss to Atlantic, while a close one, forces their exit from this group. Cardinal Newman looked good against Pahokee and its defense is holding the fort, but we’ll wait for a little more evidence before ranking them. Martin County’s loss to Vero Beach means they’re on the outside.
Before we go, let’s hand out props for the current leaders in the major stat categories through two weeks:
LARGE SCHOOLS (click here to see full stats))
Tremane McCullough, Royal Palm Beach: 40 car, 399 yds, 6 TD
A.J. Puente, Atlantic: 32-64, 544 yds, 7 TD, 2 INT
Adly Enoicy, Atlantic: 11 rec, 292, 4 TD
Palm Beach Gardens: 81 points for
Royal Palm Beach: 761 total yards
Palm Beach Gardens: 6 points allowed
Fort Pierce Central: 191 total yards
SMALL SCHOOLS (click here to see full stats)
Kelvin Taylor, Glades Day: 62 car, 541 yds, 7 TD
Kedric Bostic, Jupiter Christian: 20-37, 386 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Devonte Robinson, Village Academy: 11 rec, 283 yds, 1 TD
American Heritage: 75 points for
Jupiter Christian: 778 total yards
Cardinal Newman: 8 points allowed
Glades Central: 116 total yards
Updated Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 12:26 p.m.