Okay, finally we have a pollster who actually SAW a couple of games!
Damn, it’s great to get out of the house!
Four of the Top 7 in the Preseason Poll have already tasted defeat . . . and that does not include Oxbridge.
For those who are new to this poll please understand that I do not rank the IMG National or Varsity programs as they are not eligible for FHSAA playoff consideration and I see them as a separate entity dedicated to developing a player and team that makes it an apples and oranges comparison to traditional high schools. This is not a slight to them, it is just that they market themselves nationally, not at the Florida level. Oxbridge did fall to IMG Varsity last week but those games play no role in my polling decisions.
Jupiter, LHP, Benjamin and Stoneman Douglas all fell since the last poll. Benjamin to SA, Jupiter to Oxbridge, Stoneman to Jupiter and SA and LHP to STA. None of those qualify as bad losses. It was basically early season Top 10 matchups and someone had to lose.
But it does leave the door open for some reshuffling.
Plus a team that finished outside the Preseason Top 20 showed they are deserving of moving up. And a surprise Top 20 thud for a team I didn’t expect to struggle early.
Well, as my readers know, we certainly tend to go outside the box a little with these Top 20’s . . . okay, sometimes a LOT . . .
How many of you my age remember this TV show?
Plenty of the episodes are on YouTube.
Kids, if you think today’s TV shies away from controversy . . . this show was HIGHLY controversial in its’ day. This was the first teen oriented TV show that was willing to discuss the issues that are now basically discussed in school, including I believe the first episode to hint at the loss of virginity by a teen. When you look at this show now, it might seem quaint but it was a HUGE trailblazer for its time!
Go right back to Opening Day, on the 6th.
Some telling stories, even without a major upset.
SA easy over AH Boca, Oxbridge smacks jensen Beach, LHP crushes Lake Brantley
On Tuesday the 7th Boca goes to Jensen and pulls it out in OT and Creekside nips Bolles on the road.
Jupiter handles SJP II on the road and Lake Mary opens strong.
On Wednesday Seminole fires a warning shot about not forgetting them
Thursday Jupiter handles Stoneman
Friday Bolles trips up Oak Hall on the road in 2OTs, Creekside ekes one out on the road at Fleming Island and Benjamin routs a vulnerable Vero Beach
Then last week the surprises started bubbling up . . .
Monday it was Melbourne Central Catholic making Vero’s start truly miserable
Stoneman hosted SA, and led 4-1 at the half, only to be outscored 10-0 in the second
And Wednesday started with a big one.
Cardinal Newman takes down Belen Jesuit in OT . . . would NEVER have predicted that one
Thursday highlighted the Oxbridge road win over Jupiter and the pretty interesting SA 11-7 win over St. Edwards . . .
Friday saw Maclay edge out Creekside on the road, Bishop Moore giving Ponte Vedra a scare and STA ease past LHP
And finally Saturday saw Belen upset a second time by an undefeated Cardinal Gibbons, St. Edwards showing Thursday was no fluke as they easily took down Gulliver Prep, SA handle Benjamin and Boca Raton going to a surprising 5-0, winning going away against Columbus Catholic.
Wow, some really interesting results and some good movement for the poll this early!
Some intro music please
Congratulations to Smokey for winning the George Gershwin Award for 2016!
An amazing talent . . . so richly deserved!
Here’s the Preseason Top 20
#1A – St, Thomas Aquinas – I always give the defending champs the top spot until they are beaten.
#1B – Ponte Vedra – because I pick them to win it all
#3 – Oxbridge Academy – last year’s playoff run was no fluke. Could be the best matchup in the finals to beat PV if it came down to it
#4 – Saint Andrew’s – loses a lot but really learned how to play together last year and that goes a long way
#5 – Lake Highland Prep – I’m really worried this might be too high but the next few weeks will tell me more
#6 – Jupiter – Last season I started them way too low, not making that mistake this year
#7 – Stoneman Douglas – EVERYONE I talked to in the offseason told me they will be really good
#8 – Benjamin – will have to see how they handle the adversity
#9 – Maclay – once again, can you possibly schedule a southern weekend next year so I can really tell?
#10 – HB Plant – lost some key pieces, will have to prove they can stay here. Schedule is a little light so record should be pretty good.
#11 – Creekside – maybe too high but sneaky good season last year. 3 goal loss to PV was PV’s closest game. Same district as PV keeps them a little under the radar
#12 – Gulliver Prep – Only losses last year were to teams above them in this poll
#13 – Lake Mary – very competitive last year but just didn’t win the tougher games. Tough schedule again this year will get them ready
#14 – Nease – same issue as Creekside. PV’s district will mask how they do
#15 – Belen Jesuit – really nice story from last year. Will have a really good record again but SA is not on the schedule this season so they need to win all the games they are supposed to
#16 – Oak Hall – got out of district but also couldn’t quite compete with the best teams on the schedule
#17 – Newsome – solid record last year but the schedule is soft so I can’t really do better than this
#18 – Gulf Coast – could be last year’s version of Belen Jesuit . . . ready to step up but the softer schedule keeps them down here
#19 – West Orange – transfers can lead them up
#20 – District 23 – I can’t figure this one out yet but someone will be there. Yesterday’s results make this tough to think . . . Oxbridge slammed Jensen Beach and Martin County routed Spanish River on the road. Maybe Martin County earns that first slot.
As you can see, a lot of movement is going to occur.
I wish I could give some more insights and highlights of the season so far but as you all know by no I missed almost the whole first two weeks so there’s no point in coming up with my usual stuff this week . . .
Well, I could do some more YouTube stuff . . .
One thing I noticed was that some of the fans in the stands didn’t get the memo about yelling at the referee calls.
Let’s make this SIMPLE . . . until you have registered, gone through the training, got certified and actually REFFED a game, even at the U-7 level . . .
Just root FOR your team.
Because that’s all you really know.
Key games coming up this week
SA hosts Oxbridge
Ponte Vedra hosts Bolles
Lake Mary hosts Seminole
Belen hosts Boca in what is now almost a must-win for Belen
Pine Crest hosts Cardinal Gibbons
Ponte Vedra hosts Maclay
Martin County hosts WT Dwyer
Jensen Beach hosts St. Edwards in a potential trap game for St. Eds
Lake Mary hosts LHP
Oak Hall hosts Berkeley Prep
STA hosts Stoneman
Benjamin hosts SJP II
Tampa Jesuit hosts Gulf Coast
Martin County hosts SA
A nice schedule to choose from . . .
Please people, BRING a STRANGER to a GAME!
Okay, let’s find some lacrosse inspiration now . . .
Yep, let’s give the goalies some love this week!
And now the Underdog Upset of the Week
I have to give this one to Cardinal Newman taking down Belen Jesuit on Wednesday 6-5 in OT.
Coach John Mockoviak at Cardinal Newman is bringing his program along nicely.
So before we unveil the new Top 20 we need something to replace last year’s series of drum rolls . . .
How about some guitar riffs this season?
Here we go . . .
This Week’s New Media Poll Top 20!
#1 – St. Thomas Aquinas – convincing win over LHP gives them the nod
#2 – Ponte Vedra – too bad the LHP game is not likely to be made up
#3 – Saint Andrew’s – too big road wins over Top 10 teams slightly edges out Oxbridge, will be moot Tuesday as they get together in Boca
#4 – Oxbridge – big win at Jupiter, Tuesday will be great
#5 – Jupiter – nice win over Stoneman before the Oxbridge loss
#6 – Maclay – moves up after a few nice road wins. Wednesday lets us know how real they are
#7 – Lake Mary – looking dominant so far
#8 – Lake Highland Prep – need to step it up
#9 – Benjamin – offense needs to get it together, the exact opposite of last year
#10 – HB Plant – looking just like last year – next Friday at Newsome is a big time game
#11 – St. Edwards – yes, they are starting to take some of them down. Very impressive win over Gulliver
#12 – Bishop Moore – can’t overlook that start now
#13 – Creekside – one goal shy of Top 10
#14 – Stoneman Douglas – needs to regroup and find a way to get a big win
#15 – Newsome – this is it if they can’t beat Plant
#16 – West Orange – moves up a little with the big road win at Martin County
#17 – Seminole – is the start for real? We’ll know Tuesday
#18 – Gulliver Prep – might be a little generous here, needs to get back on track
#19 – Bolles – road win over Oak Hall gains the respect
#20 – Boca Raton and Cardinal Gibbons – just so I can reward their 5-0 starts and nice wins
Have a great week and get out to a game!!!