FLN Weekly High School Media Poll (Well, This Writer Anyhow!) – 3/5/17

 

Well, if you thought last week’s results shook things up, this week was kind of an earthquake . . .

Two teams just outside of the Top 20 last week made major statements.

A perennial Top 10 program looks like it is spiraling out.

David Bowie had a song about this . . .

 

 

The Southwest of Florida is starting to show again.  Two years ago I predicted a Barron Collier – Ponte Vedra final and that certainly didn’t happen, and the Southwest was not competitive the last few years with the East coast. but now that is starting to swing a little, as BC’s big 8-1 win over Belen Saturday indicated.

Meanwhile, further up north in the Tampa area, Tampa Jesuit dealt a spanking to Maclay, as that team is probably wondering why it made a coaching change.

For those of you who check out the LaxPower forums for Florida High Schools . . . the point was made that you have to WIN some big intersectional games to get the benefit of the doubt.  But it wasn’t all milk and honey in the Tampa area.  Berkeley Prep was upset by Steinbrenner and that pretty much closes out their current consideration for Top 20.

Some of that happened this week. And some really big games are on the docket coming up this week.

Usually, at this point in the season, the Top 20-25 schools have started to distinguish themselves and pull away from the pack and start to jockey with each other.

That is not happening this year.

There are a lot of teams with terrific records, that are difficult to judge due to their schedules.  Some schools are really competitive but not closing out the games, which is the other side of the coin.

 

For example,

02/06 at Oxbridge Academy (7-2) FL Dist-25 L 3 – 15
02/07 BOCA RATON (7-3) FL Dist-26 L 9 – 10 OT
02/10 at Bishop Moore (7-1) FL Dist-12 L 4 – 16
02/14 SAINT JOHN PAUL II (7-3) FL Dist-26 L 8 – 9
02/21 BENJAMIN SCHOOL (7-1) FL Dist-24 L 6 – 9
02/23 SAINT EDWARDS (6-3) FL Dist-23 L 8 – 13
02/28 JUPITER (6-1) FL Dist-24 L 6 – 15
03/03 MARTIN COUNTY (5-3) FL Dist-23 L 6 – 7 2OT

This is Jensen Beach’s record this year.  They were an FHSAA District winner last year in a TOUGH district, with Vero Beach, St. Edward’s and Martin County.

03/07 at Vero Beach (1-6) FL Dist-23  –
03/10 at South Fork (4-3) FL Dist-23  –
03/14 at Palm Beach Gardens (1-8) FL Dist-24  –
03/21 at St Thomas Aquinas (8-0) FL Dist-28  –
03/23 BOLLES (6-3) FL Dist-04  –
03/24 VIERA (6-0) FL Dist-21  –

That’s the rest of the schedule.

Screwy year for them.

This was last season . . .

02/09 at Boca Raton (7-12) FL Dist-26 L 5 – 11
02/12 BISHOP MOORE (10-7) FL Dist-12 W 8 – 6
02/16 BENJAMIN SCHOOL (15-6) FL Dist-24 L 6 – 15
02/23 at Saint Edwards (7-8) FL Dist-23 W 9 – 4
02/26 at American Heritage/Boca (9-6) FL Dist-26 W 12 – 5
03/01 at Jupiter (13-6) FL Dist-24 L 7 – 9
03/04 at Martin County (8-9) FL Dist-23 W 11 – 10
03/08 VERO BEACH (10-5) FL Dist-23 W 10 – 9 OT
03/11 SOUTH FORK (4-10) FL Dist-23 W 20 – 1
03/15 at W.T. Dwyer (8-8) FL Dist-24 W 17 – 10
03/22 at Wellington (7-10) FL Dist-25 W 13 – 4
04/01 OXBRIDGE ACADEMY (19-3) FL Dist-25 L 6 – 9
04/06 vs Martin County # (8-9) FL Dist-23 W 7 – 5
04/08 vs Vero Beach # (10-5) FL Dist-23 W 8 – 5
04/18 BENJAMIN SCHOOL (15-6) FL Dist-24 L 5 – 15

It’s not that they are so much worse this season.

Sometimes the Lacrosse Gods are going to make you Sisyphus.  JB is probably the best 0-8 team in Florida history . . . not an honor they really were looking for earlier in the season.

One reason I bring this up is to make the point about good records and rankings.

That last game of the Jensen season is home against Viera, a team that is now 6-0 on the season.

But this is the schedule so far . . .

02/10 ROCKLEDGE (3-4) FL Dist-21 W 18 – 3
02/13 SATELLITE (1-4) FL Dist-21 W 23 – 7
02/17 at Melbourne (6-1) FL Dist-22 W 15 – 8
02/23 EDGEWOOD (6-2) FL Dist-21 W 19 – 9
02/28 at West Shore (0-6) FL Dist-22 W 19 – 4
03/03 at Rockledge (3-4) FL Dist-21 W 18 – 1

When you look at this you see two teams with winning records, and so it looks pretty impressive.  But when you look at Edgewood’s and Melbourne’s schedules you see that the 2 teams have combined for ONE WIN over teams with a winning record . . . an Edgewood 2-goal win over Holy Trinity Episcopal.  Edgewood’s 2 losses were blowouts by Viera and Merritt Island.

How do you really judge Viera at this point?  Can you rank them or do you wait until this . . .

03/06 at Sebastian River (1-6) FL Dist-22  –
03/08 MERRITT ISLAND (8-3) FL Dist-21  –
03/10 MONTVERDE ACADEMY (5-2) FL Dist-11  –
03/13 at Vero Beach (1-6) FL Dist-23  –
03/14 at Cocoa Beach (3-3) FL Dist-21  –
03/16 HOLY TRINITY EPISCOPAL (5-1) FL Dist-22  –
03/20 FIRST ACADEMY (4-4) FL Dist-12  –
03/22 at Melbourne Cent Cath (5-1) FL Dist-22  –
03/24 at Jensen Beach (0-8) FL Dist-23  –
03/27 at Eau Gallie (0-6) FL Dist-22  –
03/28 at Satellite (1-4) FL Dist-21  –
03/30 EAST RIVER (8-4) FL Dist-10  –

The state is FULL of these situations.

 

I’ll go through them, but first this intermission . . .

 

Yeah, I actually found a song titled ‘Confusion’ for this thread . . .

And yeah, after listening to it . . . it does kind of suck.

So, how about something more in line with the season so far?

The Beatles . . .

 

Frankly, I’ve never really understood the whole Beatles thing.  Maybe it was the hair cuts . . .

 

So, let’s look at some of the teams that are difficult to really judge right now, besides Viera . . .

 

Key West

Yes, the second year program is now 7-0 on the season, but has not beaten anyone of consequence.  They do host Belen Jesuit and make a road trip to Immokalee, so there is some meat on the bones potentially.

I did see them at North Broward Prep and that gave me enough to know it is still too early to think of them for the Top 20 . . .

 

Pensacola Catholic and Gulf Breeze in District 1.

Both have great records, but GB did knock off PC earlier.  It’s a district that is forced to play home and away and road trips to solid programs are LENGTHY.

Gulf Breeze has something going, they provided nice players to our FLN Senior All Star Game last year.

It might just be a matter of a few years and a few intersectional wins down the line, but not this year.

 

Leon in District 2

This gets a little more interesting.  They have beaten Gulf Breeze and have Maclay this week.

A suddenly reeling Maclay.  Last year they were hammered twice by the Marauders . . . can they make it up this year?

Their only loss was against a solid Winter Park squad.  Win on Tuesday and I have to think about it a little more.

 

All Saints Academy, Lakeland HS and Bartow in District 13

All have great records on paper, but the schedules are not good.  ASA has the edge right now because they have already beaten Bartow and hold a decent win over Windermere Prep, another program looking to move up.

But there is nothing on the schedule coming up, at least until the FHSAA playoffs, that gets any of them a possible look at Top 20 status.

 

St. Augustine in District 7

Currently 8-1, with a nice ‘middle of the pack’ resume of wins.  No Top 20 wins but the schedule does have enough left that if they can win a few of them I could consider them.

But not quite right now.

 

I’ll pick this thread up next week and look at some more of these ‘bubble’ teams for the rankings.

 

Last Week’s Key Results

 

Monday

Boca Raton 15-13 over American Heritage/Boca

Gulf Coast 21-7 over Ft. Myers

 

Tuesday

Ponte Vedra 19-2 over Creekside on the road

Lake Brantley rebounds with a 10-8 over Seminole

NSU-University with the road win over Ransom Everglades 14-9

Cardinal Mooney with the 10-5 road win over Riverview-Sarasota

Dr. Phillips 12-9 over Windermere Prep

 

Wednesday

American Heritage/Boca with the big road win over Martin County 14-13 in OT

 

Thursday

Jupiter over Dwyer 20-5

Bishop Moore continues their great season with the 14-7 road win over Lake Brantley

In the game of the week, Benjamin travels to St. Edwards and wins 13-12 in OT

Seminole comes back with the 20-14 road win at Winter Park

 

Friday

All Saints Academy with the 11-10 OT win against Windermere Prep

Saint John Paul II travels 3 minutes to knock off Boca Raton 12-9

Cardinal Gibbons goes to Columbus Catholic and comes away with the 7-6 win

Fleming Island with the big 9-3 win over Buchholz

Berkeley Prep goes on the road and take down HB plant 11-9 after losing to Steinbrenner . . . more on that later

Martin County comes back with a 2OT road win of their own against Jensen Beach

#1 STA travels north to Lake Mary and comes away with the 8-5 win . . . which makes LM still a mystery to me until I can see them in person later this month

And Newsome holds off Steinbrenner 11-10 . . . trap game?

Stoneman Douglas gets back on track with a doubling up of Gulliver Prep 12-6

Tampa Jesuit makes their case by easily beating Maclay 14-6

West Orange continues their fine season with the easy 15-5 home win over Montverde Academy

 

Saturday

Barron Collier shows the defense from their past with the 8-1 wn over Belen Jesuit

American Heritage/Plantation continues to garner respect with their 12-9 road win over Gulf Coast . . . STA is this week

And finally Maclay eeks out a win on the road over Riverview-Sarasota 12-11

 

Whewwwww . . . .

 

Going into last week, here was the Top 20

 

#1 – St. Thomas Aquinas – continues to beat quality opponents

#2 – Ponte Vedra – LHP and Maclay cancellations are really unfortunate

#3 – Saint Andrew’s – defeats Oxbridge and grinds out wins over good Boca and Martin County teams

#4 – Oxbridge – loses to SA but it was a pretty good game.  Braedon Rupp is really impressing me.

#5 – Jupiter – treading water right now, second half schedule is brutal

#6 – Lake Highland Prep – what is the real team here?  The bad loss at STA or the huge take down of Lake Mary?  The schedule gets pretty soft until Benjamin comes to town on 3/10

#7 – Benjamin – another team with a back-loaded schedule.  Winning the games but not quite firing on all cylinders right now

#8 – St. Edwards – probably getting ahead of myself here, 3/2 at home with Benjamin is the true test so far

#9 – Bishop Moore – continues a solid year, not a lot ahead of them until the final four games, which are tough

#10 – Newsome – they did beat Plant, and convincingly.  The rest of the schedule is frankly awful, this is as high a they can go and they better win convincingly to keep here

#11 – Lake Mary – I’m going to see if LHP was a fluke

#12 – West Orange – The Martin County road win looks better, no real tests until late in the season so hard to move up further for now

#13 – Stoneman Douglas – the tough early schedule is behind them now, time to get the wins

#14 – Oak Hall – one goal shy of undefeated

#15 – Pine Crest – Coach Harris again doing it quietly, 2 goal loss at Stoneman the only blemish

#16 – Maclay – terrible weekend in Georgia, needs to get some good wins, very vulnerable right now

#17 – HB Plant – pretty much needs to run the table to stay in the Top 20

#18 – Gulliver Prep – treading water this week, Stoneman road game can really help

#19 – Cardinal Mooney – road win over Buchholz looks very good right now

#20 – Bolles and Creekside – throw a blanket over them

 

Also considered:

Saint John Paul II – marvelous effort at Benjamin Saturday

Barron Collier

Boca Raton – heck of an effort against SA versus the Belen road loss

Belen Jesuit – needs to keep winning

Buchholz – how did that Bartram Trail score occur?

Melbourne Central Catholic

American Heritage – Plantation

Winter Park

 

The top 15 pretty much held serve . . . the bottom 5 did not . . . and some movement is necessary as some programs have proven it.

 

Okay, another intermission

Was watching Easy Money the other night and I’d forgotten how funny it was.

Here’s Rodney and a pre-Mob movie Joe Pesci . . .

 

 

and how the movie ends . . .

 

 

I can listen to him all night.

 

And now the Underdog Upset of the Week

 

 

Frankly the only two that I considered are Steinbrenner’s victory over Berkeley Prep and American Heritage/Boca over Martin County.

It was AH/Boca’s first win of the season but frankly their record this year is pretty similar to Jensen Beach, a lot of close losses to good teams, including a one-goal loss to #5 Jupiter.

Not that Steinbrenner is a weak sister either.  They were a District winner last season and lost by ony 2 against Berkeley Prep in 2016

Not a good week for upsets after all.

So let’s not pick one for the week ended for Florida HS lacrosse . . .

Let’s go with what I consider the greatest upset in US Sports history . . .

and it is NOT the 1980 Miracle on Ice . . .

 

Sportswriters have become very lazy about this upset, it CLEARLY was bigger than 1980.

For those who watched the movie The Greatest Game Ever Played, there was some historical license taken . . . the playoff was NOT a one-stroke victory.  Ouimet clobbered them both; Vardon by 5 shots and Ray by 6.

I challenge anyone to come up with a bigger upset . . . not Schmeling-Louis, Villanova-Georgetown, even Dewey-Truman . . . or 2016 for that matter.

 

Okay, here are the upcoming games this week that will be watched . . . and Friday and Saturday are BIG ONES . . .

 

Monday

Nothing really

 

Tuesday

Cardinal Mooney hosts Tampa Jesuit

Fleming Island hosts St. Augustine

SJP II hosts AH/Boca

Seminole hosts Hagerty . . . Hagerty is where Barron Collier and Tampa Jesuit were last week, on the cusp but needing a signature win

St. Thomas Aquinas hosts American Heritage/Plantation

Wellington hosts Boca Raton

 

Wednesday

Oak Hall hosts Maclay

 

Thursday

Hagerty hosts Winter Park

 

Friday

HB Plant hosts Tampa Jesuit

Jupiter hosts Ponte Vedra

Melbourne Central Catholic hosts Martin County

Oak Hall hosts Fleming Island

SJP II hosts Saint Andrew’s

St. Thomas Aquinas hosts Cardinal Mooney

West Orange hosts Dr. Phillips

 

Saturday

Gulliver Prep hosts Ponte Vedra

Lake Highland Prep hosts Benjamin

Oxbridge hosts Boys’ Latin (Md.)

Seminole hosts Immokalee

 

Now time for some lacrosse inspiration . . . this week for our FOGO’s!

 

 

And a highlight reel . . .

 

That one WAS pretty good . . .

 

And now, it’s time for this week’s Top 20, and to introduce it we need another music lead in . . .

 

 

This Week’s Top 20!

 

#1 – St. Thomas Aquinas – just like their Oakland name sake . . . just keep winning baby

#2 – Ponte Vedra – the team that is not considered went down to them yesterday

#3 – Saint Andrew’s – the team that is not considered did beat them Friday

#4 – Oxbridge – treading water until Saturday when the MIAA comes to town

#5 – Jupiter – quietly dominating teams, Friday will be great to watch

#6 – Lake Highland Prep – Friday night home game should draw 1,000 if local fans have half a brain

#7 – Benjamin – Ditto.  HUGE win at St. Edwards, statement time at LHP, to avenge last year’s fourth quarter blow up

#8 – Bishop Moore – also quietly going about its’ business, will they close strong?

#9 – St. Edwards – showed against Benjamin this rating is not a fluke

#10 – Stoneman Douglas – gaining momentum

#11 – Oak Hall – maybe a little too high but can solidify this spot this week

#12 – West Orange – cruising along

#13 – Pine Crest – could easily run the table, early wins looking better as the season goes on

#14 – Barron Collier – biggest jump this week.  8-0 and the earlier wins are looking better

#15 – Newsome – Steinbrenner victory way too close, can’t afford any more like that with this schedule

#16 – Cardinal Mooney – opportunity KNOCKING next week.  Win them both and easily Top 10

#17 – Tampa Jesuit – Maclay pounding gets them here but they need a split this week with BC and HB Plant to keep here

#18 – Lake Mary – barely hanging in due to the schedule . . .

#19 – Cardinal Gibbons – swept Dade County so far, need to reward the road wins . . . 7-1 with only ONE home game so far this year

#20 –  ***** – because I can’t figure out who should be #20 this week, also celebrating the fact that TWO games I covered this week have ended with goals just after the whistle sounded . . . SJP II and Suncoast-Riviera.  Long live the asterisk!  One of the greatest inventions for writers ever conceived.  I considered Hobart for this after their horrendous effort today against Binghamton.

 

Also considered:

Saint John Paul II – plenty of tough games left to move up

Bolles – lost to Episcopal Jacksonville . . . which means . . .

Episcopal Jacksonville – you get the picture

Gulliver Prep – needs to start beating the better teams

Melbourne Central Catholic – again, better teams coming up to make their case

American Heritage/Plantation – getting close, not quite there yet . . . Tuesday could be statement day

Hagerty – another team having a really nice season but the schedule is keeping them out so far

Winter Park – solid year, a few quality games left to make their case

Maclay – kind of out of habit right now

Any of those teams I didn’t discuss in the Rankings section can be slotted here for one more week, until the dust settles . . .

 

Go out and attend a game!  No excuses this weekend with what is scheduled . . . bring a LOT of friends.

 

And LAY OFF the refs.