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Prep Zone Power Poll 2014 – Countdown to #1 (No. 6)

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6We’re counting down to the #1 team in the preseason football Prep Zone Power Poll with a look today at No. 6.

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.

No. 6 – Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (10-2) 

The Tigers went 1-1 in the Class 6A playoffs last year.  They defeated St. Augustine, 42-24, in the regional quarterfinals and were eliminated by Bartram Trail (St. Johns), 29-24, in regional semifinals.  The 10 victories in 2013 gives Columbia coach Brian Allen 29 wins in three seasons.

This year, a total of six offensive starters return, including Division-I prospect Lonnie Underwood, who rushed for 1,433 yards on 185 carries (7.75 yards per carry) last season in nine games, including a school-record 36 TDs. He had 718 yards on 106 carries as a sophomore. Quarterbacks Jake Thomas and Nathan Taylor give the Tigers more experience in the backfield.

Despite the loss of FSU signee Trey Marshall, the Tigers return seven starters on defense. Senior outside linebacker Zedrick Woods, an Ole Miss commit, led the team last year with 94 tackles and 7.5 sacks, plus junior cornerback Robert Cray, a two-time first team all-area performer who returned two interceptions for TDs in 2013. also returns.  The Tigers should have a sound defensive football team again this year to go along with a good ground attack offensively.

The Tigers get tested early with a trip to 6A Gainesville in the season opener, followed by a home game against 7A Lincoln (Tallahassee).  Expect the Class 6A Tigers, ranked 7th in the state poll, to battle Ed White (Jacksonville) for the district crown on October 10 in Lake City.

Some info gathered from Friday Night Football magazine.

Prep Zone Power Poll – 2014 Football Poll #1 – PRESEASON POLL
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, 2013 final record and total voting points)

5. TBA – August 22
6. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (10-2) – 139
7. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (7A) (10-3) – 134
8. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (10-5) – 116
9. Trenton (1A) (12-1) – 111
10. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (9-3) – 92
11. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (7A) (10-1) – 89
12. North Marion (Citra) (5A) (9-3) – 78
13T Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (10-1) – 69
13T Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (8-4) – 69
15. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (6A) (8-6) – 56
16. Springstead (Spring Hill) (6A) (11-2) – 52
17. St. Augustine (6A) (8-3) – 46
18. Ed White (Jacksonville) (6A) (8-3) – 31
19. Dixie County (Cross City) (1A) (10-1) – 29
20. Warner Christian (South Daytona) (2A) (9-2) – 19

Also receiving votes: University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (9-3) – 18; Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (8A) (8-3) – 16; Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (10-2) – 14; Gainesville (6A) (9-3) – 9; Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (7-3) – 6; Leesburg (6A) (8-4) – 5; Seabreeze (Daytona Beach) (6A) (7-3) – 4; Suwannee (Live Oak) (5A) (7-3) – 4; Menendez (St. Augustine) (5A) (8-3) – 4; Fort White (4A) (7-2) – 3; Citrus (Inverness) (6A) (9-2) – 2; Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (8-3) – 1.

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