Buchholz ranks third, Hawthorne at No. 11 in poll

The 2021 high school football season has been a bit of a back-and-forth when it comes to the No. 1 team in The Prep Zone power poll.

Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) held the top spot the first two weeks but was passed up by Bolles (Jacksonville) in weeks three and four. Trinity Christian moved back to the top spot in last week’s poll.

While the Conquerors remain on top in the latest all-classification regional rankings, edging the Bulldogs by one point, the two teams will solve the issue tonight as they meet at Skinner-Barco Stadium at Bolles.

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Trinity Christian (5-0) cruised past No. 8 Columbia (Lake City), 26-13, on the road last Friday and received four of the seven first-place votes again this week.

Bolles (5-0) had no problem with then-No. 13 University Christian (Jacksonville) last week with a 31-0 home shutout. That enabled the Bulldogs to pick up the other three first-place votes this week as they were edged out for the top spot by one point.

Buchholz remains third. The Bobcats (3-1) are coming off a bye and host Leon (Tallahassee) in their District 2-7A opener tonight.

Riverside (Jacksonville) stays at No. 4 as well.

The Generals (5-0) blew out Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville), 42-6, to remain unbeaten. Riverside opens up District 3-6A play this week against Englewood (Jacksonville) before a showdown with Columbia next week.

Rounding out the top five are two teams tied for fifth in Bartram Trail (St. Johns) and Vanguard (Ocala).

The Bears (4-1) picked up their fourth win in a row over rival St. Augustine, 26-14. Bartram Trail is off this week.

With the loss, St. Augustine (2-2) dropped from seventh a week ago to No. 12 this week.

Vanguard went on the road and blew out county rival North Marion (Citra), 36-19. The Knights (4-0) stayed put as their district opener against Pasco (Dade City) was postponed due to COVID and Vanguard was awarded a forfeit victory.

Another unbeaten, Spruce Creek (Port Orange), is No. 7. The Hawks improved to 5-0 by blasting then-No. 19 Flagler Palm Coast, 40-7, last week.

After Columbia at No. 8 is 9th-ranked Creekside (St. Johns).

The Knights improved to 5-0 as they went on the road to defeat Chiles (Tallahassee), 35-21. This week Creekside opens District 1-8A play at home against Mandarin (Jacksonville).

Ed White (Jacksonville) rounds out the top 10.

The Commanders (3-0) had to hold on to beat First Coast (Jacksonville), 22-18, to stay unbeaten. Ed White opens up play in District 2-5A today at Paxon (Jacksonville).

Among the second 10, the team making the biggest move this week is University (Orange City).

The unbeaten Titans (4-0) knocked off Lake Brantley (Altamonte Springs), 33-20, and moved from the first team receiving votes a week ago to No. 14.

Also new to the rankings this week are 1A Union County (Lake Butler), which is 4-0 and now comes in at No. 18. The Villages (4-0) also moved into the poll in a tie for 19th with Clay (Green Cove Springs).

Dropping out for the previous poll were Lake Minneola, Mainland (Daytona Beach), which dropped to 1-3 with a loss to defending 8A state champion Seminole (Sanford), and Flagler Palm Coast.

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. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (4) (5-0) – 137

2. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (3) (5-0) – 136

3. Buchholz (Gainesville) (7A) (3-1) – 125

4. Riverside (Jacksonville) (6A) (5-0) – 113

5T. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (8A) (4-1) – 110

5T. Vanguard (Ocala) (6A) (4-0) – 110

7. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (7A) (5-0) – 99

8. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (3-2) – 81

9. Creekside (St. Johns) (8A) (5-0) – 73

10. Ed White (Jacksonville) (5A) (3-0) – 72

11. Hawthorne (1A) (4-0) – 69

12. St. Augustine (6A) (2-2) – 66

13. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (8A) (3-2) – 55

14. University (Orange City) (7A) (4-0) – 29

15T. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (3-2) – 28

15T. Madison County (1A) (3-2) – 28

17. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (3-2) – 25

18. Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (4-0) – 19

19T. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (2-2) – 15

19T. The Villages (4A) (4-0) – 15

Also receiving votes: Lake Minneola (Minneola) (6A) (2-2) – 14; Nease (Ponte Vedra) (7A) (4-1) – 13; Gainesville (6A) (4-1) – 9; Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (4-0) – 5; Wildwood (1A) (3-0) – 5; Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (1-3) – 4; New Smyrna Beach (6A) (4-1) – 3; Keystone Heights (4A) (5-0) – 2.

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