The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness – 2020 Football Poll #1 (PRESEASON POLL)
GAINESVILLE — So much has happened since the 2019 high school football season wrapped up last December in Florida.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and high school sports back in March, and all football teams missed spring practice as well as most of summer workouts.
The 2020 season will be like no other, with no district play and every team making the playoffs if they choose to opt in.
As for The Prep Zone Power Poll, the Madison County Cowboys, who are vying for their fourth consecutive 1A state title, start as the top-ranked team in the all-classification regional rankings.
The Cowboys, who finished last season atop the poll, received four of the nine first-place votes to edge #2 Bolles (Jacksonville) by two points.
Madison County opens up play Friday night at home against Jefferson County (Monticello).
Bolles, who lost the 4A state title game to Booker T. Washington (Miami) last season, receives four first-place votes as well in just missing out on the top spot.
The Bulldogs open their season next Friday against #9 Trinity Christian (Jacksonville).
Bartram Trail (St. Johns) is 3rd, followed by Vanguard (Ocala) at #4 and Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville) rounds out the top five.
Vanguard won’t start its season until September 25th and Marion County schools will only play other county schools this season to help mitigate COVID-19.
Leading off the second 10 is Trinity Catholic (Ocala), who is once again being led by head coach John Brantley.
Brantley led the Celtics to a state title and two championship game appearances in his first tenure with Trinity Catholic.
Fleming Island (Orange Park), who was 10-1 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs a year ago, starts the 2020 season at #7, followed by North Marion (Citra) at No. 8.
Rounding out the top 10 is Trinity Christian followed by #10 Columbia (Lake City).
It’s been a rough offseason for the Tigers’ program, as an assistant coach died from COVID-19 and head coach Brian Allen stepped away from the program to help take care of his daughter who is at high risk from the virus.
Columbia won’t start play until September 25 at Trinity Christian and as of now only has four games scheduled, but they round out the top 10 in the preseason.
Leading off the second 10 is 8A Oakleaf (Orange Park), who despite a 7-3 mark missed the playoffs in 2019. The Knights are ranked 11th to start this season and received the final first place vote.
Oakleaf opens their 2020 season at Buchholz (Gainesville) on September 11.
The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, basketball, baseball & softball teams (regardless of FHSAA classification) across 26 counties in North Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.
THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2020 FOOTBALL POLL #1 (PRESEASON)
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, final 2019 record, and total voting points)
1. Madison County (1A) (4) (12-2) – 165
2. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (4) (11-2) – 163
3. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (8A) (11-1) – 161
4. Vanguard (Ocala) (5A) (9-3) – 149
5. Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville) (6A) (9-4) – 117
6. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (8-4) – 103
7. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (7A) (10-1) – 96
8. North Marion (Citra) (5A) (9-3) – 94
9. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (5-6) – 91
10. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (8-4) – 88
11. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (8A) (1) (7-3) – 68
12. Dunnellon (5A) (9-2) – 65
13. Raines (Jacksonville) (5A) (6-5) – 63
14. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (11-2) – 60
15T. DeLand (8A) (7-3) – 57
15T. South Sumter (Bushnell) (4A) (9-3) – 57
17. Flagler Palm Coast (8A) (8-3) – 55
18. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (7-5) – 40
19T. Bradford (Starke) (4A) (6-6) – 26
19T. Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (9-2) – 26
Also receiving votes: Lake Minneola (6A) (9-4) – 25; Newberry (1A) (9-2) -25; Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (10-2) – 23; Ponte Vedra (6A) (7-3) – 13; Springstead (Spring Hill) (6A) (9-2) 13; St. Augustine (6A) (6-5) – 9; Terry Parker (Jacksonville) (5A) (7-3) – 9; Mandarin (Jacksonville) (8A) (7-4) – 7; Westside (Jacksonville) (5A) (8-3) – 7; Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (8A) (3-5) – 6; Hawthorne (1A) (8-4) – 5; The Villages (4A) (8-3) – 4; Chiefland (1A) (8-5) – 3; Forest (Ocala) (7A) (3-7) – 2; Menendez (St. Augustine) (5A) (7-3) – 2; West Nassau (Callahan) (4A) (8-3) – 2.