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The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville – 2023 Football Poll #12


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Buchholz (Gainesville) new No. 1 as postseason begins

GAINESVILLE — The Buchholz (Gainesville) football team had been waiting their turn to be the top-ranked team in The Prep Zone Power Poll.

Finally, as the regular season ends, the Bobcats find themselves at the top.

Buchholz had sat No. 2 every week of the season, just behind Mainland (Daytona Beach).

But with the Bucs suffering their first loss of the season and Buchholz clinching its first unbeaten season since 2001, the Bobcats are the new top-ranked team.

Buchholz (10-0), who finished off the perfect regular season with a 42-20 win at Trinity Catholic (Ocala), garnered 11 of the 13 first-place votes in the all-classification regional rankings.

They open the playoffs on Thursday night in a Region 1-4S quarterfinal against Mosley (Panama City).
Moving up to 2nd is another unbeaten team in St. Augustine. The Yellow Jackets finished a 9-0 regular season with a 41-6 romp over rival Palatka.

They open the postseason on Friday at home against Middleburg in a Region 1-3S regional quarterfinal.

With a 33-0 loss to Lake Mary, which is the 7th-ranked team overall in Florida according to MaxPreps, Mainland dropped out of the top spot for the first time the season and now sits 3rd.

The Bucs (9-1) open up the postseason at home against Satellite (Satellite Beach) in a regional quarterfinal in 3S.
Hawthorne remained fourth after a bye week in the final week of the regular season.

The defending 1R state champion Hornets (9-0) have this week off as well before opening up play in the Region 4-1R semifinal next Friday as the No. 2 seed against the winner of this week’s game between Newberry and Chiefland.

Rounding out the top five is another unbeaten, Bradford (Starke), which received a first-place vote.

The Tornadoes finished off their 10-0 season by blasting then-No. 19 Suwannee (Live Oak), 35-3, in a rematch of Bradford’s only regular season loss a year ago.

Another 10-0 team starts off the second five.

Williston blasted Citrus (Inverness), 65-7, to finish their second consecutive unbeaten regular season.

The Red Devils take this week off before beginning play in a Region 4-1R semifinal next Friday as the top seed against the winner of the Dixie County (Cross City) at Pahokee game.

DeLand remained 7th after blasting Flagler Palm Coast, 58-23, in their regular season finale. They also received a first-place vote this week.

Raines (Jacksonville), University (Orange City), and South Sumter (Bushnell) round out the top 10 as there was no movement in the No. 4 through No. 10 range this week.

Suwannee is the only team to fall out of the poll this week.

They are replaced by Creekside (St. Johns), which moved back in the rankings at No. 20 after upsetting then-No. 14 Ponte Vedra, 26-21.

With the win, the Knights (6-4) qualified for the postseason and have a rematch this Friday at current No. 19 Ponte Vedra in a Region 1-4S quarterfinal.

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, girls basketball, boys basketball, softball & baseball 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.

(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record, and total voting points)
1. Buchholz (Gainesville) (4S) (11) (10-0) – 255
2. St. Augustine (3S) (9-0) – 242
3. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (3S) (9-1) – 227
4. Hawthorne (1R) (9-0) – 215
5. Bradford (Starke) (2S) (1) (10-0) – 211
6. Williston (1R) (10-0) – 188
7. DeLand (4S) (1) (8-2) – 182
8. Raines (Jacksonville) (2M) (9-1) – 170
9. University (Orange City) (4S) (9-1) – 156
10. South Sumter (Bushnell) (2S) (9-1) – 142
11. Madison County (1R) (7-1) – 134
12. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (1M) (7-3) – 111
13. Vanguard (Ocala) (3S) (8-2) – 105
14. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (4S) (6-4) – 90
15. Riverside (Jacksonville) (2M) (8-2) – 56
16. Lake Minneola (Minneola) (4S) (7-3) – 46
17. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (4M) (7-3) – 42
18. Leesburg (3S) (9-1) – 37
19. Ponte Vedra (4S) (7-3) – 30
20. Creekside (St. Johns) (4S) (6-4) – 19
Also receiving votes: Nease (Ponte Vedra) (4S) (7-3) – 18; Fort White (1R) (9-1) – 16; Newberry (1R) (8-2) – 10; Columbia (Lake City) (3S) (4-5) – 9; Bolles (Jacksonville) (2M) (5-5) – 7; Columbia (Lake City) (3S) (4-4) – 12; Suwannee (Live Oak) (2S) (6-3) – 4; Dunnellon (2S) (7-3) – 3; Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (4S) (7-3) – 2; Yulee (2S) (8-2) – 2; Eastside (Gainesville) (2S) (7-3) – 1.

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