Weekly National Lacrosse Showcase Florida High School Media Poll for the Week Ending 3/18/18!

 

Florida Lacrosse Showcase joins the fold.  To be fair to them, I’m still the only one choosing the schools so aim your vindictiveness to me, not the Showcase!

 

The Florida Lax Showcase Web Link

 

As always, let’s start with last week’s Poll . . .

This Week’s Florida Lacrosse Showcase Top 25 Media Poll!

 

#1 (t) – Ponte Vedra – PV and Oxbridge have the best resumes so far and I can’t ignore either

#1 (t) – Oxbridge – ditto

#3 –  Jupiter – flips with Oxbridge after the weekday loss

#4 – St. Thomas Aquinas – will they get an MIAA scalp?

#5 –  Bishop Moore – Saturday is their chance to make a statement

#6 –  Benjamin – The Best Damned District Final gets it’s prequel tomorrow

#7 –  Lake Mary – Slides a little after the Lovett loss but handled them a lot better than LHP

#8 – Saint Andrew’s – just can’t get a handle on them yet

#9 – Oak Hall – big win over Buchholz, will they do it again when it really counts?

#10 – Tampa Jesuit  – what exactly does the LaxPower RPI have against them?

#11 – Cardinal Mooney – body of work looks even better this week

#12 – West Orange  – might as well just hit the ctrl-v for them, minus a huge upset

#13 – Lake Highland Prep – Lovett just hammered them

#14 – HB Plant – maybe the Sickles game showed more for Sickles?

#15 –  Nease – Oxbridge comes to town 3/23, should be a huge crowd

#16 – Belen Jesuit – just keeps impressing me, even with a lot of injuries

#17 –  Pine Crest – finally getting a true test this week

#18 –  Saint John Paul – looks more and more like the Jupiter game was a complete fluke

#19 – Newsome – just when they look to fall off they come up big

#20 – Lake Brantley – one goal loss to Lake Mary is solid

#21 –  Winter Park – took down Hagerty comfortably, Lake Brantley comes calling Friday

#22 – Sickles – nice season needs to be rewarded

#23 – Hagerty – enough good games left to move back up

#24 – Canterbury-Ft. Myers – how good is Trent Carter at building a program quickly?

#25 – Stoneman Douglas – let’s start here and let them work themselves up.  Unfortunately lost a few tough opponents to scheduling issues.

 

Just outside the Top 25

Riverview-Sarasota, Gulf Breeze, Creekside, Merritt Island, ODA Sarasota, Fleming Island, Barron Collier, Steinbrenner, Buchholz, American Heritage-Boca

 

Unlike in previous weeks, this week was CRAZY.

What really is making this Polling so difficult this year is how volatile the middle of the pack is.

Just when you think you are getting a handle and teams are settling into where they really are you get some more head scratching performances . . .

I wrote this last week:

#18 –  Saint John Paul – looks more and more like the Jupiter game was a complete fluke 

I wrote that after SJP II recovered with a one goal OT loss to Benjamin and a one goal road loss to Saint Andrew’s.  And then they fall behind 13-0 to American Heritage/Boca, a team that lost by 10 to Saint Andrew’s, before losing 14-5?!

That ?! is on purpose . . . it’s used to denote chess moves that are speculative but potentially brilliant . . . well, maybe it isn’t appropriate.  But that ?! is appropriate for the SJP II season this year.

And I’m sure I can find a dozen of these if I had the time to really delve through everything.

Crazy.

 

Isn’t it funny that UMBC, after their upset over Virginia in the 1-16 matchup Thursday night, all of a sudden got ‘discovered’ as a college?

Not to those of us in the lacrosse world.

Drew Westervelt, Brendan Mundorf and Nathan Lewnes in the past recent history and some pretty good lacrosse going back to the 1970’s.  An NCAA D-2 national title in 1980.

But to the casual sports journalist at the ESPN level none of those older accomplishments meant anything.  Almost as if UMBC did not exist until they started a basketball program this year . . .

Not too surprising in today’s lazy world of journalism.

 

We do the Underdog Upset of the Week each poll and while the UMBC-Virginia one is certainly there if a lacrosse game it’s hard to think of a lacrosse upset that had this magnitude at the NCAA level.

There’s a thread on the LaxPower Forum under Division 1 that discussed this:

Biggest Upset In Lacrosse History

ESPN did a feature on one of the most mentioned games from that thread:

 

 

Well, the MIAA trips to Florida are complete and it was a complete whitewashing for our teams.

Not really surprising.  We’re closing the gap but the gap is still there.

I’ll be working on a lengthier review of the series but here are the scores:

 

Calvert Hall 14-7 over Ponte Vedra

Boys’ Latin 12-5 over Oxbridge

Boys’ Latin 12-7 over Saint Andrew’s

McDonogh 14-7 over Oxbridge

McDonogh 15-2 over Benjamin

McDonogh 8-5 over STA in what was easily the best game of the bunch

Loyola-Blakefield over Canterbury School 12-4

Loyola-Blakefield over Barron Collier 19-4

Loyola-Blakefield over STA 13-6

 

After last night’s game in Ft. Myers (thanks to Coach Carter for hosting the L-B team and parents so well!) I had a chance to talk to Loyola-Blakefield head coach Ben Rubeor after the game.  Ben was quite complimentary of STA after the game and mentioned a Florida connection I did not know before as he had spent a year at the Maclay school as an assistant.  He mentioned that he does check in with FLN at times and was impressed with the progress we are making here.

We’re on the right track, but we are not there yet . . . no matter how well All Star summer travel teams do.  Don’t be fooled.

The hard work to get there is still well in front of us.

The question is how much do we want it?  The MIAA is first and foremost a lacrosse league.  Not football, basketball, soccer or baseball.  MIAA kids grow up with a lacrosse stick in their hands.  Many of today’s players are THIRD GENERATION.  Most of the MIAA schools are within 15 miles of each other.  That’s a huge advantage.

Maybe we never get there . . . maybe we do.  But sometimes the chase is great all by itself.

And one day it will be our boys on the left side of those above scoring lines.  Doesn’t even have to be all the games, just a few at a time.

 

Intermission

Before we get into the recap of last week’s key scores let’s take a look at the updated version of Casey Powell 2016 Lacrosse.  This YouTube review just came out last month:

 

 

Casey, you might want to get me some updates on how the new version is coming!

 

Some of the Key Results From Last Week

 

Monday

Hagerty 7-5 over Lake Brantley

Jupiter 9-8 over Benjamin in OT

Woodlands II (Tx.) 7-6 over Western Davie

 

Tuesday

Woodlands II (Tx.) 5-3 over Belen Jesuit

Tampa Jesuit 10-9 over  Strake Jesuit (Tx.)

Riverview-Sarasota 15-8 over ODA-Sarasota

Stoneman Douglas 13-9 over Barron Collier

 

By the way, if you wonder why coaches get gray hair and go bald, here’s the box score and stats of the Belen loss . . .

 

It’s not just life that isn’t fair, it’s lacrosse games too!

 

Wednesday

All Saints Academy 13-9 over Bartow

American Heritage-Boca 12-4 over Boca Raton on the road

Cardinal Mooney 15-3 over Strake Jesuit (Tx.)

 

Friday

American Heritage-Boca 14-5 over SJP II

Belen Jesuit 10-9 over Pine Crest

Lake Mary 13-3 over Merritt Island

Tampa Jesuit 8-6 over Riverview-Sarasota on the road

Winter Park 8-7 over Lake Brantley

 

Saturday

Oak Hall 14-2 over All Saints Academy on the road

Bishop Moore 7-6 over Ponte Vedra . . . a 5-goal run to end the game

 

 

The Underdog Upset of the Week

 

There are multiple games that could qualify and I’ll go in reverse order to magnitude.

First, Community School of Naples took down Bishop Verot 6-5 in OT for what I believe is their first win over BV.  Last year it was an easy BV win, as was 2015.  BV’s program is down some this year and Community School has a nice record but the first is one you never forget . . .

The second game is Episcopal Jacksonville’s win over Buchholz 10-9.  Episcopal’s LaxPower scores are not fully filled in so it’s a little hard to fully tell but they also beat a nice Lake Howell team earlier and Buchholz certainly seemed to have the better season resume to date.

 

It’s the third one that really blew me away.  Not because it was a huge upset THIS SEASON, but because if this was a few years ago and this score came across the desk it would be akin to an earthquake:

Leon 6 – Vero Beach 4

I made a snarky remark to the school board in previous weeks about how to destroy the Vero program and this certainly seals the deal.

 

In 2015 Vero Beach did this:

Date Opponent Conference Score
02/12 VIERA (13-5) FL Dist-17 W 20 – 2
02/14 at Bolles (8-6) FL Dist-5 W 17 – 10
02/16 vs Maclay # (18-4) FL Dist-1 W 14 – 11
02/20 JUPITER CHRISTIAN (4-9) FL Indep W 18 – 1
02/21 at Saint Andrew’s (16-4) FL Dist-23 W 9 – 8
02/24 at Melbourne Cent Cath (10-8) FL Dist-18 W 14 – 4
02/27 at Boca Raton (8-7) FL Dist-23 L 13 – 14 4OT
03/03 JENSEN BEACH (11-6) FL Dist-19 W 9 – 8
03/10 MARTIN COUNTY (10-7) FL Dist-19 W 11 – 7
03/14 at Pope John Paul II (12-8) FL Dist-23 W 9 – 5
03/17 SAINT EDWARDS (7-7) FL Dist-19 W 17 – 8
03/20 at Spanish River (3-11) FL Dist-23 W 16 – 4
03/25 SOUTH FORK (7-6) FL Dist-19 W 17 – 4
03/31 JUPITER (19-4) FL Dist-20 L 6 – 10
04/02 at Wellington (6-13) FL Dist-22 W 18 – 4
04/08 vs Martin County # (10-7) FL Dist-19 W 13 – 8
04/10 at Jensen Beach (11-6) FL Dist-19 W 9 – 3
04/17 at Jupiter (19-4) FL Dist-20 L 12 – 16

 

And this is Leon in 2015

Date Opponent Conference Score
02/10 at Lincoln-Tallahassee (8-10) FL Dist-1 L 6 – 13
02/13 PENSACOLA CATHOLIC (10-8) FL Dist-1 L 6 – 7 OT
02/14 at Bishop Snyder (3-14) FL Dist-3 W 13 – 6
02/19 MACLAY (18-4) FL Dist-1 L 0 – 15
02/20 GULF BREEZE (12-5) FL Dist-1 L 2 – 8
02/26 LAWTON CHILES (11-5) FL Dist-1 L 2 – 10
02/27 at Mandarin (8-7) FL Dist-5 L 1 – 11
03/03 LINCOLN-TALLAHASSEE (8-10) FL Dist-1 L 4 – 15
03/05 at Eastside (6-11) FL Dist-2 W 14 – 6
03/10 at Maclay (18-4) FL Dist-1 L 1 – 18
03/13 EASTSIDE (6-11) FL Dist-2 L 13 – 16
03/24 at Lawton Chiles (11-5) FL Dist-1 L 6 – 20
03/25 NEASE (13-5) FL Dist-6 L 0 – 24
03/27 at Gulf Breeze (12-5) FL Dist-1 L 4 – 11
03/28 at Pensacola Catholic (10-8) FL Dist-1 L 0 – 15
04/01 BUCHHOLZ (17-2) FL Dist-2 L 0 – 26
04/02 GAINESVILLE (9-7) FL Dist-2 L 5 – 10

 

Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba . . .

If I got this score in 2015 I wouldn’t believe it unless I was there.

Congrats to Leon!  And shame on the school board for not finding a better solution.

 

Key Games This Week

 

Monday

Fleming Island hosts Oak Hall

Pine Crest hosts Stoneman Douglas

 

Tuesday

Maclay hosts Leon (need to see if they can sweep the imploding programs)

 

Wednesday

Belen Jesuit hosts American Heritage-Boca

Bishop Moore hosts Lake Highland Prep

Cardinal Mooney hosts Riverview-Sarasota

Gulliver host Hagerty

Plant hosts Valor Christian (Co.) . . . Valor is coached by playing legend John Grant Jr.

Steinbrenner hosts Sickles

 

Thursday

STA travels north to Baltimore to play MIAA Archbishop Spalding

Community School Naples hosts Gulf Coast

Tampa Catholic hosts Plant

 

Friday

Bishop Moore hosts Tampa Jesuit

Canterbury School hosts ODA

Plant hosts Steinbrenner

Nease hosts Oxbridge

Ponte Vedra hosts Jupiter

St. Edwards hosts Lake Mary

 

Saturday

Nease hosts Jupiter

Pointe Vedra hosts Oxbridge

Sickles hosts Riverview-Sarasota

 

Thanks to how much I laughed at the last Millennial Job interview here’s one that is more of it with a twist on the ending .. .

 

 

Okay, so who took my Sheryl Crow album?  Razzzz . . . Gen X . . .

 

Some schools are on spring break this week so there will be a gap in some schedules and likely less movement.

 

Before I get to this week’s Top 25 let me talk about some of the schools that look like they deserve a spot based solely on record but really don’t have the resume needed to get there.

It’s very simple, strength of schedule really matters to me, not beating teams with losing records.

 

Park Vista

The other PV is 9-0 this season but has only played one team with a winning record, 5-3 Wellington and they only won that game by one goal.  Oxbridge is still to come and King’s Academy, 8-1 themselves and also on this list, loom ahead.  That’s the only way to make their case.

King’s Academy

Fellow District 25 resident is basically in the same situation and their loss was a blowout to Oxbridge.  Unless either of them get a District win in the playoffs against Oxbridge they are not going to be considered.

Fletcher

An 8-3 record without a quality win.  Needs to beat Nease to get considered and can’t lose another game to anyone else

Providence School

Has an 8-2 record but no quality wins, has no Top 25 opponent left to make a case.  Would need to win a playoff round and that is likely against PV or Nease.

South Plantation

Undefeated but has beaten no one near the Top 25, schedule the rest of the way is not getting them consideration

Viera

Undefeated but little meat on the bone so far on the schedule, must beat Merritt Island to get consideration

Admiral Farragut

A nice 7-1 record but they are still Independent and the poll is reserved for schools that compete in a district for the FHSAA playoffs . . . call it Lee’s IMG rule

Bartow

7-1 record, also no meat on that bone.  Even a win over Riverview-Sarasota would not do it.  Need to win the District and a 1st round game to be in the discussion.

 

I’ll get to some more teams in the same position next week!

 

Okay, here we go!  Who wants to walk with FLN?

 

 

This Week’s Florida Lacrosse Showcase Top 25 Media Poll!

 

#1 – Oxbridge – MIAA games don’t factor in since so few Florida teams get their chance.  Traveling to Nease and PV will leave no doubt if they sweep

#2 – Jupiter – they make the same northern trip, we’ll know how real it is for them

#3 –  Bishop Moore – statement made, now can they handle more than one tough game in a row?  LHP and Tampa Jesuit this week!

#4 – Ponte Vedra – turnaround this week to Jupiter and Oxbridge

#5 –  St. Thomas Aquinas – no scalps yet

#6 –  Benjamin – The OT road loss to Jupiter was fine but the schedule does not look as good as it did pre-season

#7 –  Lake Mary – a bit light on the schedule kind of caps them here the rest of the season

#8 – Saint Andrew’s – STILL can’t get a handle on them yet after watching the BL game

#9 – Oak Hall – on cruise control until the last two games

#10 – Tampa Jesuit  – Saturday is their big opportunity to get into the state mix

#11 – Cardinal Mooney – Maybe the best team in the state no one talks a lot about, a couple of big opportunities to move further up later on

#12 – West Orange  – Frankly their record gets worse each week

#13 – Lake Highland Prep – Lose their next two badly and I have to seriously wonder if they are Top 20 even.

#14 – HB Plant – no result last week leaves them unchanged

#15 – Nease – statement week coming up for them

#16 – Belen Jesuit – nips Pine Crest, making their slot above PC look good

#17 –  Pine Crest – didn’t get the road win

#18 – Winter Park – win over Lake Brantley gains them a boost

#19 – Newsome – no results this week

#20 – American Heritage-Boca – maybe the biggest surprise under the radar right now

#21 – Stoneman Douglas – making up for lost time nicely

#22 – Sickles – no results this week

#23 – Hagerty – holding steady as teams coming up are critical

#24 – Canterbury-Ft. Myers – shrimp and mozzarella/tomato combos sooth the savage pollster

#25 – To be honest, when you look at the Just Outside list below, none of them jumped up and grabbed the ring last week, so let’s make them earn it this week

 

Just outside the Top 25

Riverview-Sarasota, Gulf Breeze, Creekside, Merritt Island, ODA Sarasota, Fleming Island, Steinbrenner, Buchholz, SJP II, Lake Brantley

 

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