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Prep Zone Power Poll 2014 – Countdown to #1 (No. 8)

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8We’re counting down to the #1 team in the preseason football Prep Zone Power Poll with a look today at No. 8.

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. 8 Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (10-5) 

The Blue Devils made a magical run all the way to the Class 5A state championship game last season.  The Class 5A Runners-up went 4-1 in the playoffs.  They defeated Lakewood (St. Pete), 40-38, in the state semifinals to advance to the title game, and they played different styles in games leading up to it, from the 9-7 win over Pensacola Catholic in the regional finals, to the instant classic shootout win against Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), 74-73, in the regional semifinals.

Michael Howard (6-5, 245) and Zach Baker (6-3, 268), a pair of Division-I linemen, will anchor the offensive line, while J.T. Turner and Bilal Ally give the Blue Devils a powerful 1-2 punch.  Turner had 1,500 all-purpose yards and eight scores, while Ally had 1,050 yards and 10 TDs.  Plus, Clay returns seven on defense, which is led by Sean Grayer (school record 17 sacks in 2013).

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)

7. TBA – August 21
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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