Posted: 8:29 am Monday, September 30th, 2013

Week 6 Look Ahead: Inside the new Top 10, plus the top games of the week 

By Anthony Chiang

After five fun weeks, most teams are now in the middle of their district schedules. Things should start to get good.

Royal Palm Beach's big win helped move the Wildcats up a spot in the rankings. (Photo by Madeline Gray)

The contenders should start to separate themselves from the pretenders in the next few weeks. Royal Palm Beach can show it is a true contender with a win over Dwyer this week. Despite their surprising starts, King’s Academy and Boynton Beach still have doubters. But the Lions and the Tigers can turn them into believers, as they still have the most difficult stretch of their schedules in front of them. And American Heritage and Glades Central can make up for their slow starts with success in district play.

Here’s the new Post Top 10 entering Week 6:

1. Dwyer 5-0
2. Fort Pierce Central 4-0
3. Park Vista 3-1
4. American Heritage 3-2
5. Glades Central 2-2
6. Pahokee 3-1
7. Seminole Ridge 3-2
8. Royal Palm Beach 3-1
9. Boynton Beach 5-0
10. King’s Academy 4-0
Also considered: Glades Day 5-0, Clewiston 3-1, Palm Beach Gardens 2-2, Palm Beach Central 2-3, Cardinal Newman 2-2.

The top three did not change. Dwyer and Fort Pierce Central are still undefeated, and Park Vista was off. The Panthers earned another convincing win last week, but coach Jack Daniels was not happy. It seems like Dwyer is starting to get bored of lopsided wins, and this week’s showdown against Royal Palm Beach should give the Panthers what they are looking for — a true test.

American Heritage and Glades Central benefited from Seminole Ride’s loss, moving into the four and five spots. The Stallions and the Raiders have each lost two games this season, but both teams have played two of the toughest schedules in the county. American Heritage earned a narrow victory over Glades Central in their Week 3 head-to-head matchup, so the Stallions are ahead of the Raiders in the rankings for now. Both teams should improve as the season goes on.

The bottom half of the Top 10 is led by Pahokee, which held steady at No. 6. But a win against American Heritage this week would push the Blue Devils into the Top 5. Pahokee’s only loss came against eighth-ranked Royal Palm Beach. Seminole Ridge fell three spots to No. 7 after two straight losses. The Hawks will have to turn things around quick, as they face a quality Palm Beach Gardens team this week. Royal Palm Beach jumped from No. 9 to No. 8 in the rankings after cruising past Lake Worth.

Two unbeaten teams occupy the final two spots in the Top 10. Boynton Beach is at No. 9 after starting the season with a 5-0 record, and King’s Academy is at No. 10 with a 4-0 record. Both teams have been impressive this season, but have faced fairly soft schedules. The Tigers still have big district games against Fort Lauderdale-Dillard and Hallandale to play, and King’s Academy still has Pahokee and American Heritage left on its schedule. Boynton Beach and King’s Academy have the potential to make huge jumps within the Post’s Top 10.

Top Games This Week
There are too many good games to count this week. We are in for a treat. Look at all these top-notch games:

American Heritage at Pahokee, Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Entering the season, American Heritage and Pahokee looked like the two best teams in District 7-3A. But King’s Academy’s surprising start and a talented Cardinal Newman team have changed some things. This game is crucial, as the loser will start district play behind in the standings. American Heritage’s offense has been shaky this season, but its defense has been strong. On the other side, Pahokee will be without its leading wide receiver, Jason Johnson, who will be serving his suspension. This game is tough to predict.

Dwyer at Royal Palm Beach, Thursday
If Dwyer is going to face some adversity before the playoffs begin, it will likely have to come this week. Thursday’s game against Royal Palm Beach looks to be the toughest game on the Panthers’ regular-season schedule. The Wildcats are coming off their best performance of the year after scoring a season-high 41 points in a win against Lake Worth last week. But Royal Palm will likely have to play even better to upset a talented Dwyer team.

Palm Beach Gardens at Seminole Ridge, Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Gators are coming off a thrilling overtime victory over Boca Raton, and the Hawks are coming off two consecutive losses. Seminole Ridge needs to bounce back in this one, but it won’t be easy to do against Palm Beach Gardens.

King’s Academy at Cardinal Newman
These two teams have had very different seasons up to this point. King’s Academy has built a surprising 4-0 record, which includes a big road win against Clewiston. And Cardinal Newman started 0-2, but has bounced back to win two straight to enter Week 6 with a 2-2 record. This is the first district game for both teams, and neither can afford a loss to start off District 7-3A play. It’s one of the toughest districts in the county, and an 0-1 start would be a big hole that would be hard for either of these teams to overcome.

Vero Beach at Fort Pierce Central
This is the game these two teams have been waiting for. Fort Pierce Central and Vero Beach are two of Florida’s best Class 8A teams, as both enter this matchup with 4-0 records. The winner of the game will likely end the season as the District 8-8A champion, so emotions will be high. Fort Pierce Central has the home field advantage, but this contest can go either way.