Posted: 4:01 pm Monday, April 1st, 2013

Softball: Inside the Top 10, Kissimmee Klassic fallout and this week’s big games 

By Jeff Greer

With so few games this past week, it’s hard to drop or lift any teams in the Post Top 10.

That said, a few teams did some work to solidify their spots from a week ago. Jupiter and American Heritage, for the remainder of the season, will fight it out for the top spot. They wont’ play each other (unfortunately) this season, but both play common opponents in the coming weeks and could really make some points with their performances.

The next teams, Central, Gardens and Park Vista, will continue duking it out for Nos. 3 through 5. More on that later. Wellington and West Boca are the only teams I’d consider for the top five. The rest of the teams simply haven’t proven themselves. Again, more on that below.

Here are the rankings:

The Post Top 10
1. Jupiter (16-4)
2. American Heritage (14-5)
3. Palm Beach Central (13-8)
4. Palm Beach Gardens (14-7)
5. Park Vista (16-5)
6. Wellington (13-5)
7. West Boca Raton (17-5)
8. Dwyer (9-7)
9. Boca Raton (10-10)
10. Spanish River (9-3)
Also considered: Suncoast, King’s Academy, Seminole Ridge, Grandview Prep, Benjamin.
Best of the Treasure Coast: Lincoln Park, Okeechobee, John Carroll, Jensen Beach.

Park Vista (the Cobras) and Palm Beach Central (in the black and maroon) are still jostling for top rankings.

The biggest things to remember with rankings are (1) they are subjective lists of teams that mean nothing in the long run and are solely created because we like trying to size up teams and (2) I rank entirely based on quality of wins and losses, not on record. If I ranked by record, this Top 10 would look very different.

Jupiter‘s still No. 1. Why? The Warriors didn’t play last week. American Heritage put a really impressive stamp on its season, at least among the area teams, with its second win this season over Palm Beach Gardens. But in the same tournament, the Kissimmee Klassic, the Stallions also lost to Gulliver Prep and St. Thomas Aquinas. Gulliver the second-ranked team in Class 4A and Aquinas is receiving votes in the Class 7A poll, so neither is a bad loss, but they’re still losses.

Palm Beach Central afforded itself very well at the Klassic. Central bopped Florida Christian, Clay and Ida, and lost a close one to Coral Reef. You could make the argument the Broncos were in the easier bracket at the Klassic, but either way, they got three wins and lost to a pretty good Coral Reef team in a tight game. Central plays back-to-back-to-back games this week against three ranked opponents, and two of those games directly impact the District 9-8A standings and upcoming tournament.

Palm Beach Gardens, as we mentioned above, lost to American Heritage at the Klassic, but got three wins against West Orange, Cypress Bay and Marist, a team from Chicago. To date, five of Gardens’ seven losses are to state-ranked opponents: two to American Heritage, one to Gulliver Prep, one to Jupiter and one to Bishop Snyder. The other two are to Suncoast and Palm Beach Central, two strong local teams. (I have no clue why Palm Beach Central isn’t ranked in the statewide Miracle Sports polls. Doesn’t make any sense.) Meantime Gardens has wins over Jupiter, Park Vista, Gulliver Prep and Palm Beach Central twice.

Park Vista‘s got some good challenges coming up this week with two games against the American Heritage squads from both Delray and Plantation. Wellington and West Boca both have claims to No. 6, but Wellington’s win over Park Vista looms as the difference right now.

Meanwhile Dwyer is winless in District 9-8A, but who can blame them? This the state’s toughest district, and Dwyer’s gone out-of-district to get its nine wins. Boca‘s right behind, and Spanish River continues to be a great mystery.

With spring break last week and Easter on Sunday, the Post did not collect softball stats for this week.

* – all games start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted

King’s Academy at Glades Day, 5 p.m.
No. 2 American Heritage at No. 5 Park Vista
No. 10 Spanish River at Suncoast
Benjamin at No. 6 Wellington

No. 1 Jupiter at No. 6 Wellington
Grandview Prep at Seminole Ridge
No. 9 Boca Raton at Suncoast
No. 3 Palm Beach Central at No. 8 Dwyer

No. 9 Boca Raton at King’s Academy, 4 p.m.
No. 5 Park Vista at Plantation-American Heritage, 6:30 p.m.
No. 7 West Boca Raton at No. 3 Palm Beach Central
No. 8 Dwyer at Grandview Prep

Glades Day at John Carroll, 4 p.m.
No. 6 Wellington at No. 3 Palm Beach Central, 4 p.m.
No. 1 Jupiter at Plantation-American Heritage
No. 4 Palm Beach Gardens at Florida Christian