Posted: 6:23 pm Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Dwyer, American Heritage, Glades Central, Glades Day ranked high in preseason AP poll 

By Matt Porter

Palm Beach County is well represented in the first statewide high school football poll of 2012.

Each week, a group of prep football writers are asked to rank the top 10 teams in Classes 8A through 5A and the top five schools in Classes 4A through 1A. Several area teams are ranked in the preseason poll, which was released Tuesday:

In Class 8A, Seminole Ridge earned the No. 8 spot. Palm Beach Central and Park Vista merited consideration for a top-10 place.

Dwyer received a first-place vote inClass 7A, but that was hardly enough to unseat Bradenton-Manatee, which beat them in the state semifinals last year and is ranked by many outlets as the nation’s top team. Fort Pierce Central is solidly in the rankings at No. 6, while Royal Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie had a few nods.

It’s a tight race at the top of Class 5A, where Glades Central starts the year ranked second behind Miami Norland. The Raiders, which lost to Norland in last year’s regional finals, earned three first-place votes to Norland’s five.

Defending Class 3A champion American Heritage was a near-unanimous preseason No. 1, earning 10 first-place votes. Cardinal Newman received consideration.

Glades Day begins the year five polling points behind defending Class 2A champion North Florida Christian, with four first-place votes to NFC’s eight. Rebuilding Jupiter Christian received consideration for a top-five rank, which speaks to more to an uneducated voting bloc than the Eagles’ potential. Any preseason poll, traditionally, has more misses than hits.

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The Associated Press Top 10 Florida high school preseason football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses and rating points:

Class 8A
1. Plant (10) 117
2. Miramar (2) 105
3. Dr. Phillips 77
T4. Christopher Columbus Catholic 57
T4. Fletcher 57
6. Lake Brantley 45
7. DeLand 32
8. Seminole Ridge 31
9. Cypress Bay 28
10. Miami Southridge 25
Others receiving votes: Sandalwood 24, East Lake 20, Palm Beach Gardens 13, Apopka 8, Vero Beach 6, Palm Beach Central 5, Park Vista 4, Timber Creek 3, Olympia 2, Spruce Creek 1.

Class 7A
1. Manatee (10) 112
2. Dwyer (1) 91
3. First Coast (1) 82
4. St. Thomas Aquinas 72
5. Lakeland 65
6. Fort Pierce Central 54
7. Evans 41
8. Countryside 38
9. Lincoln 28
10. Kissimmee Osceola 17
Others receiving votes: Fleming Island 15, Oviedo 10, Venice 10, Charlotte 6, Cooper City 5, Boyd Anderson 5, Royal Palm Beach 5, East Ridge 2, Edgewater 1, Port St. Lucie 1.

Class 6A
1. Miami Central (8) 114
2. Armwood (4) 107
T3. Gainesville 78
T3. Mainland 78
5. Columbia 41
6. Winter Haven 37
7. Miami Northwestern 31
8. Belen Jesuit 28
9. St. Augustine 25
10. Bartram Trail 22
Others receiving votes: Naples 21, Palm Bay 15, Seabreeze 12, Pine Forest 12, Niceville 7, Pace 6, Sickles 6, Jefferson 5, South Fort Myers 3, Middleburg 3, Pensacola 2, Lake Gibson 2, Largo 2, Miami Carol City 2, New Smyrna Beach 1.

Class 5A
1. Miami Norland (5) 105
2. Glades Central (3) 92
3. Immokalee (3) 82
4. Palmetto (1) 77
5. Pasco 63
6. Plantation American Heritage 46
7. Jesuit 44
8. Bishop Kenny 37
9. Lake Wales 26
10. Wakulla 25
Others receiving votes: Robinson 23, North Marion 8, Hardee 6, Port Orange Atlantic 6, Godby 5, Miami Jackson 5, Ponte Vedra 5, West Florida 3, Rockledge 1, Matanzas 1.

Class 4A
1. Miami Washington (11) 109
2. Bolles School (1) 104
3. Cocoa 101
4. South Sumter 39
5. East Gadsden 27
Others receiving votes: Yulee 26, Gulliver Prep 25, Dunbar 13, Raines 13, Jones 7, North Broward 6.

Class 3A
1. American Heritage (10) 116
2. Madison County (1) 101
3. University School 76
4. Berkeley Prep (1) 57
5. Trinity Christian-Jacksonville 45
Others receiving votes: Chaminade-Madonna College Prep 22, Clearwater Central Catholic 21, Cardinal Newman 15, Ocala Trinity Catholic 15, Orlando The First Academy 12.

Class 2A
1. North Florida Christian (8) 113
2. Glades Day (4) 108
3. Warner Christian 78
4. Admiral Farragut 55
5. Eagle’s View 33
Others receiving votes: Evangelical Christian 20, Dade Christian 15, Carrollwood Day 14, Jupiter Christian 13, FAMU Developmental Research 12, Lake Mary Prep 7, Victory Christian 6, Florida Air Academy 6.

Class 1A
1. Union County (3) 102
2. Jefferson County (7) 88
3. Northview (2) 76
4. Trenton 75
5. Holmes County 58
Others receiving votes: Chipley 52, Hawthorne 9, Crescent City 7, Dixie County 7, The Villages 6.