Posted: 3:37 pm Monday, November 7th, 2011
By Matt Porter
No movement this week until you get to the bottom, where Atlantic and Cardinal Newman have surrendered their spots to … (read on):
1. Glades Central (9-0)
2. American Heritage (7-1)
3. Dwyer (8-1)
4. Fort Pierce Central (6-1)
5. Park Vista (8-0)
6. Seminole Ridge (7-2)
7. Palm Beach Gardens (6-2)
8. Royal Palm Beach (7-2)
9. Palm Beach Central (6-3)
10. Centennial (5-2)
Also considered: Cardinal Newman, Atlantic, Jupiter Christian, Glades Day
No changes in our top three, and we didn’t expect to make any. Glades Central looks like it will cruise to a 10-0 regular season, with little chance their Muck Bowl matchup with Pahokee will be close. American Heritage pitched its fourth shutout in five games last week, and has a tough road test at Orlando-Jones this week. Dwyer’s offense doesn’t look state-championship worthy, but that defense does enough talking for everyone.
The next five spots didn’t change, either. Fort Pierce Central smoked Port St. Lucie last week and has to prove itself this week against Hardee (8-1), an out-of-area Class 5A squad. Meanwhile, Park Vista is coming. If Vista beats West Boca Raton on the road this week, it will seal the first undefeated season in the program’s eight-year history. Depending on how those games go, we could see the Cobras and Cobras switch places.
No need to change the order of the next two talented Class 8A teams. After clinching its second district title in a row (and second in school history) and pounding Jupiter, Seminole Ridge looks to have hit its stride. Likewise Palm Beach Gardens, which shut out Wellington last week. Getting back Alex Clark would be a bonus, because it looks like Roshard Burney can handle all the work he’s given.
Same idea applies to Royal Palm Beach’s Tremane McCullough, who was shut down by Dwyer last week but has the Wildcats in the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Two new teams earned their way into our top 10 this week.
Palm Beach Central topped Boca for its first playoff berth. The Broncos beat the teams they should beat – convincingly – and all three of their losses have been to teams at No. 8 or higher in our rankings. The Broncos are talented and they’re taking care of business, which brings them back into the rankings.
Centennial has us convinced. The Eagles, who make their top 10 debut, absorbed a season-opening loss to Merritt Island, but later knocked off Vero Beach and took care of Treasure Coast to win District 8-8A. They play one of the toughest schedules on the T-Coast, with four non-district games against playoff teams: South Fork, Melbourne, Sebastian River and Fort Pierce Central. While rain wouldn’t let them show their stuff against Fort Pierce Central, they have a tough non-district game with Port St. Lucie this week. Two losses with that schedule? Respect earned.
Centennial’s rise knocked Cardinal Newman out of the top 10. Even though Newman beat Benjamin this week, the Crusaders beat a 2-7 team by five points. They could get back in with a strong showing against Boynton Beach, an intriguing big-school small-school matchup of playoff teams. Other teams on the outside looking in: Jupiter Christian, Atlantic and Glades Day.