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Prep Zone Power Poll – 2014 Baseball Poll – Week 1

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creekside knightsGainesville – The first baseball Prep Zone Power Poll of the season is a close race for No. 1.

Creekside (St. Johns) and Fleming Island (Orange Park) are both 11-0.  But the Class 5A Knights, who reached the 5A state semifinals last season, edged the Golden Eagles, who lost in the first round of last year’s 7A playoffs, by one total voting point, 136-135, and will begin on top of the rankings.

Second-ranked Fleming Island actually had one more first-place vote, 4-3, but they received two third-place votes and dropped to second.  Creekside did not receive a vote lower than second in the poll.

Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), which is off to a 9-1 start, is ranked third.  The Crusaders are followed by Stanton (Jacksonville) (10-1) and Clay (Green Cove Springs) (11-3) in the top five.

Class 8A Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (10-3) is ranked sixth, while Hernando (Brooksville) (11-1), Forest (Ocala) (10-1) and Columbia (Lake City) (11-2) are all tied for 7th, and they are followed by 8A DeLand (9-3) and 4A Trinity Catholic (6-1) – who are tied for 10th.

Defending Class 5A state champion Ponte Vedra, which went 5-0 last week and won the Tournament of Champions in Jacksonville featuring past state champions, is ranked No. 15.  The Sharks (8-5) won the Class 5A state title in 2013, just the second such title for a team from St. Johns County.

They are tied for 15th with Trenton.  The Tigers (10-2) won the Class 1A state title last season and return Jon Ward, the 1A Player-of-the-Year, and SS Stephen Smith, who was the quarterback and led the football team to a state title as well.

The only other unbeaten team in the poll, Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto) (9-0), rounds out the top 20, just ahead of Baldwin, Bolles (Jacksonville) and Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville) – who all received 20 or more total voting points but fell just outside the top 20.

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, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters.

Prep Zone Power Poll – 2014 Baseball Poll #1
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, overall record through 3/17 and total voting points)

1.  Creekside (St. Johns) (3) (5A) (11-0) – 136
2.  Fleming Island (Orange Park) (4) (7A) (11-0) – 135
3.  Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (9-1) (5A) 116
4.  Stanton (Jacksonville) (5A) (10-1) – 98
5.  Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (11-3) – 86
6.  Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (8A) (10-3) – 82
7T Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (11-2) – 80
7T Forest (Ocala) (6A) (10-1) – 80
7T Hernando (Brooksville) (5A) (11-1) – 80
10T DeLand (8A) (9-3) – 53
10T Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (4A) (6-1) – 53
12. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (9-3) – 51
13. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (8-5) – 47
14. Williston (1A) (10-2) – 42
15T Trenton (1A) (10-2) – 35
15T Ponte Vedra (5A) (8-5) – 35
17. Vanguard (Ocala) (6A) (9-3) – 33
18. Gainesville (6A) (9-3) – 32
19. Fernandina Beach (4A) (9-4) – 31
20. Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto) (2A) (9-0) – 29

Also receiving votes:  Baldwin (4A) (8-2) – 28;Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (7-4) – 23; Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville) (7A) (7-3) – 21; East Ridge (Clermont) (7A) (8-3) – 17; Belleview (5A) (9-3) – 13; Suwannee (Live Oak) (5A) (7-4) – 11;Newberry (1A) (11-2) – 10; St. John Lutheran (Ocala) (2A) (11-1) – 7; Pine Ridge (Deltona) (6A) (7-2) – 4; Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (6-6) – 2.

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