The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville – 2021 Baseball Poll #4

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Bolles (Jacksonville) takes over top spot after upsets in district tournaments shake up top 10 of regional poll

GAINESVILLE – It’s time for the state playoffs to start this week in high school baseball.

And if the district tournaments are any indication, we may be in for a wild ride in for the teams in The Prep Zone Power Poll.

All told, four of the top ten teams from the previous poll, including the #1 team in Clay (Green Cove Springs), saw their seasons come to an end in the district semifinals.

The Blue Devils (19-5) were upset by 12-14 Baker County (Glen St. Mary) in the District 2-4A semifinal, and then-#6 Santa Fe (Alachua) knocked off then-#10 Suwannee (Live Oak) in the other semifinal of that district to finish another top ten teams’ season.

Santa Fe then beat Baker County to win the district title.

University (Orange City) and Sandalwood (Jacksonville), who were ranked 7th and 9th respectively and are both 7A schools, both saw their seasons end early in district tournament losses and failed to qualify for the state playoffs.

With all the shakeup and the top-ranked team losing, five teams received first-place votes this week. But another familiar face is back at the top for now.

Bolles (Jacksonville) knocked off #8 Episcopal (Jacksonville) 11-2 to win the District 4-3A title and catapult the Bulldogs (22-4) back to the top spot this week. Bolles receives three of the eight first-place votes, and just outpoints #2 Bartram Trail (St. Johns), who received a first-place vote as well.

Bolles opens up play in a Region 1-3A quarterfinal against Baldwin on Thursday, while 7A Bartram Trail (22-5) faces a tough test in #6 Spruce Creek (Port Orange) in a Region 1-7A playoff opener. The Bears knocked off #9 Mandarin (Jacksonville) to win the District 1-7A title, and also beat Clay and #5 Fleming Island (Orange Park) over the last few weeks.

Santa Fe moves up three spots to 3rd after winning the district title. The Raiders (23-2), who have won 22 of their last 23 games and open play in the 4A playoffs Thursday night at home against Arnold (Panama City), earned a first-place vote as well.

St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) makes another big move, up four spots to #4.

The Spartans (20-6) easily won the District 3-2A title and also picked up wins over Bolles and Bishop Kenny. St. Johns Country Day picks up two first-place votes as well.

Rounding out the top five and the final team to pick up a first-place vote is Fleming Island. The Golden Eagles (21-5) beat #11 Creekside (St. Johns) to capture the District 3-6A title and host Lyman (Longwood) to open up play in a Region 1-6A quarterfinal on Friday.

Spruce Creek starts off the second five, and the Hawks (19-8) are forced to go on the road to Bartram Trail after being upset in the District 2-7A championship game 5-4 by Lake Mary. Clay is 7th, followed by Episcopal, Mandarin, and Buchholz (Gainesville).

Episcopal starts the postseason on the road in 3A at RV Keystone Heights, with 7A Mandarin, who moves up eight spots from the previous poll, travelling to Lake Mary. Buchholz (18-6-1), who also is a big mover, up five slots to round out the top 10, must make a long trip to Pensacola to open up the Region 1-7A playoffs at Pace.

Moving in this week are #16 Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville), who beat #13 Hernando (Brooksville) for the District 7-4A championship, District 5-3A winner Trinity Catholic (Ocala) is 19th, and 5-5A champion Lake Minneola (Minneola) at #20.

Dropping out from the previous poll were Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) and First Coast (Jacksonville), both teams who failed to qualify for the state playoffs.

This is the final poll until after the FHSAA Baseball State Championships in Fort Myers from May 19-26.

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, volleyball, girls basketball, boys 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 POWERED BY ANYTIME FITNESS OF GAINESVILLE – 2021 BASEBALL POLL #4
(School, followed by classification, first place votes, record through 5/2, and total voting points.)
1. Bolles (Jacksonville) (3A) (3) (22-4) – 152
2. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (1) (22-5) – 146
3. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (1) (23-2) – 142
4. St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) (2A) (2) (20-6) – 140
5. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (1) (21-5) – 137
6. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (7A) (19-8) – 99
7. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (4A) (19-5) – 89
8. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (20-6) – 88
9. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (7A) (20-7) – 81
10. Buchholz (Gainesville) (6A) (18-6-1) – 80
11. Creekside (St. Johns) (6A) (15-11) – 70
12. Newberry (1A) (21-1) – 69
13. Hernando (Brooksville) (4A) (23-3) – 62
14. North Marion (Citra) (4A) (17-8) – 55
15. Suwannee (Live Oak) (4A) (19-6) – 54
16. Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) (4A) (21-4) – 49
17. University (Orange City) (7A) (19-5) – 35
18. Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (20-4) – 28
19. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (17-9) – 23
20. Lake Minneola (Minneola) (5A) (17-7) – 22
Also receiving votes: Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (7A) (17-5) – 13; Hamilton County (Jasper) (1A) (16-8) – 9; Citrus (Inverness) (4A) (16-9) – 6; Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (19-6) – 5; Keystone Heights (3A) (15-12) – 4; Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (15-11) – 2; Vanguard (Ocala) (5A) (15-10) – 2; Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (14-13) – 1; First Coast (Jacksonville) (6A) (21-5) – 1.