Okay, I let the cat out of the bag a little with the headline.
Of course it’s all for fun anyhow since they will settle it on the field on Saturday, April 13th, on the field, at noon.
Here, I’ll make it easy for you:
Right between I-95 and the Turnpike, you can take either one . . . Okeechobee Road exit on the Turnpike and Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard exit on I-95.
You’d be a fool to miss this one.
Another week in the book and believe it or not, we are only two weeks from the end of the regular season, and it seems like yesterday that we were doing the Preseason article. But it also means we are seeing top teams gearing up. This past week saw some affirmation of how the state is starting to set up and it looks to me like there’s 2 teams at top, with the next 5-6 pretty much close to each other, and the rest looking to make some noise.
And we are also gearing up for some interesting district playoffs this year. A lot of times the District is pretty much set as far as who will win it but this season there will be more semifinal matches that are not gimmes, and that is very different.
There really were not a ton of games played last week as spring break’s continued in many school districts but now the Race to Boca Raton starts to get serious.
Oh, and remember I mentioned Bullis (DC) as coming through here, almost as an after thought to the MIAA/Gonzaga appearances? They might have been the best of the 5 teams down here . . .
Instead of another Lacrosse Pump Up Video I found this gem on YouTube from Lacrosse Analytics; it is a compilation of hustle plays that resulted in goals. It’s a part of the game that we rarely see on SC Top 10 or on the highlight packages, but i think it’s worth giving that part of the game some love too. Lacrosse Analytics was the brainchild of Joe Keegan, and I miss his analysis. Say hi Joe if you are checking in with us!
Okay, last week’s Top 25
Triple Crown Sports/FLN Weekly Top 25 Poll for the Week Ending 3/17/2019
1) Oxbridge – easy wins over Lake Mary and St. Edward’s keep them undefeated in the state
2) Ponte Vedra – can anyone in the North give them a run? Not right now.
3) Saint Andrew’s – gave Boys’ Latin the scare on Tuesday, it was 7-6 in the 4th.
4) Cardinal Mooney – great job on Sticks for Soldiers this weekend
5) St. Thomas Aquinas – Road win over Lake Mary
6) Jupiter – Spring break, hope they missed the 4th quarter of today’s Duke-Syracuse game
7) Bishop Moore – Big win over Hagerty
8) Benjamin – the next 4 teams just stayed put
9) Creekside – team 2 of 4
10) Plant – team 3 of 4
11) American Heritage-Plantation – team 4 of 4 – toughed out the win against Bolles
12) Lake Highland Prep – Barely held on at home versus Stoneman Douglas, the win did more for SD and Pine Crest than them
13) St. Edward’s – they might be the best team right now that no one talks about
14) Jesuit of Tampa – getting healthy gets them moving back up, took advantage of the Jesuit Classic. Their Dallas Jesuit loss was more impressive than their Belen Jesuit win
15) King’s Academy – I usually discount games against IMG but this one was too good to pass up in their ranking . . . probably too high but let’s give it to them this week
16) SJP II – the road win over Riverview-Sarasota plus the closer than expected loss to SA makes them leap up.
17) Newsome – still stuck in neutral
18) Riverview-Sarasota – nice rebound after the SJP II loss
19) Berkeley Prep – spring break
20) First Academy – doing what they can right now
21) Pine Crest – Coach Harris does as much with his players as anyone
22) Oak Hall – will they get healthy
23) Stoneman Douglas – pulling it together
24) Hagerty – terrific offense, can the defense keep up their end?
25t) Oviedo – treading water
25t) Melbourne Central Catholic – see last week
Lake Mary, Boone, Lake Brantley, Providence School, Steinbrenner, Boca Raton, Gulliver Prep, Gulf Coast, Out-of-Door Academy, Winter Park, Bolles, Fleming Island
Lake Mary is racked by injuries, as is Belen, hence they move out of the Top 25
Key Games From The Past Week
Monday, March 25th
American Heritage-Plantation 13-4 over Oviedo
Bullis (DC) 13-7 over Benjamin
Tuesday, March 26th
Out-of-Door Academy 11-8 over Admiral Farragut
Maclay 20-16 over Lincoln
Pine Crest 8-7 in OT over Calvary Christian
Steinbrenner 9-8 over Wiregrass Ranch
Chiles 4-2 over Leon
Bishop Moore 20-3 over The First Academy
Wednesday, March 27th
Bullis (DC) 10-6 over Oxbridge
Pine School 9-3 over Jensen Beach
American Heritage-Plantation 8-7 over Lake Highland Prep
Jesuit of Tampa 12-6 over Plant
Barron Collier 12-5 over Community School of Naples
Creekside 13-2 over Fleming Island
Thursday, March 28th
University School 14-10 over Columbus
St. Edward’s 15-6 over Viera
Massapequa (NY) 14-4 over St. Thomas
Friday, March 29th
Canterbury 9-8 over Berkeley Prep
Oak Hall 15-2 over Nease
Melbourne Central Catholic 10-3 over Martin County
Immokalee 9-7 over Archbishop McCarthy
Riverview-Sarasota 10-9 over Jesuit of Tampa
Calvary Christian 10-6 over Cardinal Gibbons
Oxbridge 16-2 over King’s Academy
Barron Collier 9-8 over Belen Jesuit
Cardinal Mooney 15-5 over Plant
Providence 8-7 over Chiles
Hagerty 8-7 over Lake Mary
Montverde Academy 14-13 over West Orange
Benjamin 12-3 over SJP II
Saturday, March 30th
Ponte Vedra 11-2 over Jupiter
Bishop Verot 9-8 over Belen Jesuit
Admiral Farragut 12-6 over First Academy
St. Thomas 12-6 over Locust Valley
Fleming Island 14-8 over John’s Creek (GA)
Underdog Upset of the Week
There really wasn’t a big one this week. And when Hobart takes down Syracuse on Tuesday that will be too late, and not a big upset, if any . . .
If this was last year then clearly the AH-Plantation road win over LHP would have qualified but AH-P has really turned it on this year so that’s not it.
I’ll have to go with Bishop Verot knocking off Belen Jesuit, although I’m not thrilled with the choice. What tilts it for me is that Bishop Verot was a team that struggled mightily all season but seems to be improving as the season went on. Belen is dealing with a lot this season. But someone has to be chosen and this is the closest I could come up with.
I was looking at the Billboard 100 Charts to see what songs placed at the #1 spot for each week in the 1980’s and which songs STAYED there the longest and frankly I was stunned at the answers . . .
The only song to be there for 10 weeks was Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” . . . there is no way I’d have answered that. From November 21st, 1981 to January 23rd, 1982.
And tied for 2nd place, at 9 weeks each, in the SAME YEAR, was Kim Carnes’ Betty Davis Eyes and the Diana Ross/Lionel Ritchie duet Endless Love.
So, in honor of Olivia Newton-John, who was the pin up for a number of young men my age, here’s “Physical”!
Actually, I’d kind of forgotten how risque that video was for the time . . .
Some Games I Did Not Recap
As I mentioned last week, the amount of content gave me the luxury of not writing up some games I attended because they were not close games. I’d like to circle back to some of the details of those games and discuss what I saw on a positive note.
St. Thomas Aquinas Beats Viera 18-5
I feel a particular way about this game because I was involved in this game being played in a few ways. Last year, in our weekly articles I mentioned Viera as a team that was not ranked, even with a terrific record, because their schedule was not tough enough for me to include them. If I understand what I’ve been told that was actually a point of conversation within the Viera lacrosse community and they decided to take a game like this to see how far their program has come.
John Bartlett and Charlie Crawford have been running the program for a while now and they were kind of in the middle of where they program stands . . . not ready for the STA’s yet but certainly time to move up and play more games. Maybe next season they can look at the Winter Park’s, Hagerty’s etc., that are good programs to grow with. They also played Top 25 St. Edward’s this week and still have Lake Brantley and Montverde Academy so the path is being laid out.
The game played out in a way I’ve seen many times before when a program takes that first big leap up in competition. There’s enough talent to be very competitive right where I was ranking them last year, as being considered, but not quite there yet. But I saw some really good signs. #7 Jake LaPlancke, is a terrific talent who could start for a lot of Top 25 teams and even Top 10 teams from what I saw. He read the play well, made quick decisions, and was a constant threat on the offensive side of the ball. He’s the type of player who would really shine if he had similar players around him. There were times where he’d create but the other players were a little slow to recognize what he created, and goal scoring opportunities were missed.
The coaching staff noted to me that this group basically was the first to come through the program after growing up together and playing travel with each other and we’ll be watching Viera over the coming years to see if that continues to be the case with further groups. Kudos to them for taking that next step; the first rung is always designed to let you see what you need to do.
Oxbridge Beats Lake Mary 16-6
Lake Mary scored four straight in the second half to make this look more reasonable but it was a first half that was tough on the Rams.
Injuries have been brutal for Lake Mary and Coach Robinson mentioned something I’m not sure I’ve heard before, losing his ENTIRE STARTING MIDFIELD in one game . . . and a total of his top 5 midfielders, among others.
Lake Mary has built a sustained Top 25 program over the years and I don’t know how many of the kids are going to return in time for the Districts, but they’ll be back to normal next year at the latest.
Jesuit of Tampa beats Belen Jesuit 18-2
Imagine having to make a change midway through a year you were in the Top 25 and the key position had to be manned by a 7th grader?
That’s what Belen had to deal with.
It’s almost like The Beatle’s “Let It Be” come to life on the lacrosse field.
But Coach Bellando has a lot of kids in his program and they’ll be back next year too.
Oxbridge Beats King’s Academy 16-2
Long time readers know I’ve used the Big Brother/Little Brother analogy at times over the years and this one fits that perfectly.
King’s came into the game with a lot of momentum as a program but ran into the immovable object in a suffocating Oxbridge defense combined with the best offense I saw the Thunderwolves exhibit all season. That’s a tough combination for anyone to face and when you are the program looking to step up first you have to lose your fear of stepping through the door.
King’s will be the better for this next year, and their coaching staff understands what needs to be done. As long as the kids buy in to believing in themselves fully, not just aspirationally, they will continue to improve. I saw TKA last year versus Park Vista and the difference is night and day this year, and in a positive way.
There will be far more good days coming than last week’s . . . and we’ll all enjoy watching the climb.
As we continue this season;s journey through the 1980’s I thought we’d remember the great 1980 movie Caddyshack, and the best quotes/scenes from the movie!
Lee’s Useless Pop Culture Trivia!
This week’s useless (but absorbing, scintillating, fill in the blank) trivia was actually inspired by a tweet from Ponte Vedra Head coach Tom West, who has had the fortune of a dominant team while simultaneously having to grovel to me on the hockey front. Tom is as devoted a NY Rangers fan as I am a NY Islanders one. Anyone who follows hockey and is from Long Island, like we are, knows that the Islander-Ranger rivalry is as strong as any in professional sports.
Whether it’s “Potvin S***s” or “1940” or any similar refrain, the teams and their supporters are Trash-talker-Skywalkers to each other.
Hockey fans know the story of how John Tavares, the nephew of the NLL legend, left the Islanders last summer in free agency to sign with his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs, the team he grew up rooting for, complete with TML pajamas, blankets, pillows, etc., although I hope it didn’t extend to TML diapers too.
The preseason prognosis was that there was no way the Islanders were going to be competitive this year, but lo and behold, the Islanders clinched a playoff spot last night and the Rangers will be playing Golf in about 8 days. And on top of it all, the Maple Leafs still haven’t clinched their playoff spot yet either.
All in all, quite the run for we Islander fanatics and if there is a Hockey God the Isles and Leafs will play in the playoffs and the Isles will win the series, sending Ontario Province into mass hysteria.
The trivia part of this is inspired by a text that Tom sent me with two simple emojis, one of a pig and one of an airplane, which I take for shorthand for the term “when pigs fly” and it led me to think about how that saying, which is used a lot, actually came from.
According to Wikipedia, the saying actually goes back to the 1600’s, which is astonishing to me. It’s a form of speech called an ‘adynaton’, a phrase used to describe something pretty much impossible.
Of course, this DID happen this year. Could the possibility of another public high school winning the FHSAA tournament this season also happen this year?
Maybe when the Rangers win 4 Stanley Cups in a row like we did . . . but I’m betting on Ponte Vedra winning over that happening!
If you are downtown in Boca after 6:30pm, 7 days a week, or even if you are suddenly driven by the desire to hop in your car and drive 3 hours to the location, here’s Boca’s hottest new dessert place . . . really, the only place you get FRESH, MADE TO ORDER, baked goods and sweets! Take your date, your parents, heck, even your dog . . . they even DELIVER within a couple of miles!
Let’s not forget the important hash tags . . .
and now we add
And now it’s time for this week’s Top 25!
Maybe the chintziest drum roll video ever made . . .
The Triple Crown Lacrosse Top 25 for the Week Ending March 31st
1t) Oxbridge – Right now these two teams are
1t) Ponte Vedra – head and shoulders above everyone else
3) Saint Andrew’s – Spring break . . . the schedule sets up nicely for them to get ready
4) Cardinal Mooney – right now they look like they can get to the Final Four
5) Bishop Moore – really coming on strong now, looks like they figured it out well. Tough slate to end the season.
6) Benjamin – almost by default
7) St. Thomas Aquinas – hoped they’d show better at Coach Crowley’s alma mater
8) American Heritage-Plantation– wins AT LHP, that’s a big boy pants effort for this rising program
9) Creekside – how do they compete against the alpha dog? We’ll soon find out.
10) Jupiter – offensive struggles need to be corrected
11) St. Edward’s – they keep winning while others do not
12) Lake Highland Prep – they really need to prove they can win a Top 10 matchup at this point
There’s a space here to indicate how hard this is getting this season . . .
Riverview-Sarasota really threw a wrench into this with their one goal win over Jesuit of Tampa
13) Oak Hall – okay, now prove you belong higher
14t) Riverview-Sarasota – these three schools
14t) Plant – are very close to each other
14t) Jesuit of Tampa – and I can’t choose among them
17) Newsome – spring break here
18) King’s Academy – fine against anyone not named Oxbridge
19) Pine Crest – OT win over Calvary Christian portends a great District 27 playoff
20) Berkeley Prep – the loss to Canterbury hurts
21) Stoneman Douglas – road game to Saint Andrew’s to end the season
22) Hagerty – nice road win at Lake Mary, always a feather in the cap
23) Steinbrenner – finally deserves recognition, they need to schedule better next season
24) SJP II – road loss to Benjamin knocks them back some
25t) Oviedo – loss to AH-Plantation at home
25t) Melbourne Central Catholic – schedule better next year, there’s no excuse at this point.
Boone, Boca Raton, Bolles, Calvary Christian (Ft. Laud), Canterbury, First Academy, Fleming Island, Gulf Breeze, Gulf Coast, Gulliver Prep, Lake Brantley, Lake Mary, Maclay, Out-of-Door Academy, Providence School, University School, Western, Winter Park