Buchholz, Newberry in regional baseball power poll top 10

As the high school baseball regular season heads to its final weeks and with the postseason right around the corner, there continues to be little doubt about who the top-ranked team in The Prep Zone Power Poll is. 

Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) remains the No. 1 team in this week’s rankings after being very busy over the past three weeks. The Conquerors (18-3) are ranked No. 1 in 3A and No. 2 overall statewide by MaxPreps as they went 2-2 at one of the toughest tournaments in the country, the USA Baseball NHSI in Cary, North Carolina.

Trinity Christian defeated the fourth-ranked team in Arizona, Casteel, and also beat Apex Friendship (NC), and dropped games to the fourth-ranked team in Nevada, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), and to Corona, the top-ranked team in California and nationally according to MaxPreps. 

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The Conquerors also defeated RV Baldwin, No. 5 Buchholz (Gainesville), Viera and Calvary Day (GA) in the past two weeks and also knocked off Lowndes, the second-ranked team in Georgia.

Trinity Christian received eight of the nine first-place votes to stay on top for the second straight poll. 

St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) remains at No. 2.

The Spartans (15-4) received the other first-place vote as they went 1-2 in the same tournament in Cary, North Carolina.

SJCD dropped games to St. Johns (Washington, D.C.) and the 11th-ranked team in California, Huntington Beach while beating Chaparral (AZ). St. Johns Country Day also defeated then-No. 15 Fleming Island (Orange Park) as well as Baldwin and two teams from Georgia, Calvary Day and Calvary Baptist. 

Spruce Creek (Port Orange) moved up two spots to No. 3.

The Hawks (16-5) picked up wins over state-ranked teams Taravella (Coral Springs) and Timber Creek (Orlando), and defeated University (Orange City) twice as well as Viera. Spruce Creek defeated Viera in the 42 Challenge in Daytona Beach as well as Flanagan (Pembroke Pines) while losing to South Dade (Homestead). 

Bolles (Jacksonville) is up three spots and into the top five at No. 4.

The Bulldogs (15-5) defeated No. 12 Providence (Jacksonville) as well as then-No. 14 Englewood (Jacksonville) and also picked up a win over now-16th-ranked Episcopal (Jacksonville) with their only loss in that span coming 6-5 to No. 11 Creekside (St. Johns). 

Buchholz (Gainesville) dropped a spot but rounds out the top five.

The Bobcats (13-6) easily defeated rival Gainesville twice and also beat The Villages and split two games with 20th-ranked Columbia (Lake City). Buchholz also lost 6-5 at defending 4A state champion North Marion (Citra) and was also blanked by Trinity Christian. 

The second five is led by Newberry, which remains No. 6. The Panthers (17-4) picked up wins over Chiefland, Gainesville and No. 9 Lafayette (Mayo), with losses to RV Suwannee (Live Oak), Chiefland and The Villages. 

Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) is seventh.

The Crusaders (13-6) drop four spots from the previous poll after going 4-4 the last few weeks with wins over 10th-ranked Clay (Green Cove Springs), Ponte Vedra, and Mandarin (Jacksonville), along with setbacks coming against Lincoln (Tallahassee), Chiles (Tallahassee) and Columbia by a combined four runs. 

Tocoi Creek (St. Augustine), Lafayette (Mayo) and Clay round out the top 10. 

Among the teams in the Mainstreet Daily News area in the second 10 are No. 19 Keystone Heights and 20th-ranked Columbia.

P.K. Yonge (Gainesville), Oak Hall (Gainesville), and Suwannee are receiving votes. 

Moving into the rankings this week is Creekside (13-7), which was unranked in the previous poll but is all the way up to 11th this week. The Knights have won six games in a row and 10 of 13. 

Episcopal is also new to the poll this week at No. 16 while St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) moves into the rankings this week at 18th.

Columbia is also new to the poll. 

Falling out of the previous poll were Fleming Island, Englewood, Dunnellon, and Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville). 

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, girls volleyball, 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 bi-weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.


(School, followed by classification, first place votes, 2024 record through 4/15, and total voting points)

1. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (8) (18-3) – 179

2. St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) (2A) (1) (15-4) – 171

3. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (7A) (16-5) – 154

4. Bolles (Jacksonville) (3A) (15-5) – 150

5. Buchholz (Gainesville) (6A) (13-6) – 134

6. Newberry (1A) (17-4) – 128

7. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (13-6) – 125

8. Tocoi Creek (St. Augustine) (6A) (15-4) – 110

9. Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (14-2) – 98

10. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (11-6) – 86

11. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (13-7) – 78

12. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (11-8) – 70

13. Forest (Ocala) (6A) (15-5) – 65

14. Montverde Academy (3A) (11-7) – 55

15. Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) (4A) (13-4) – 51

16. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (15-5) – 36

17. Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (15-6) – 33

18. St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) (2A) (16-5) – 29

19. Keystone Heights (3A) (14-6) – 22

20. Columbia (Lake City) (5A) (10-10) – 20

Also receiving votes: Englewood (Jacksonville) (5A) (12-6) – 13; Lake Minneola (Minneola) (6A) (15-5) – 12; Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (12-8) – 11; Baldwin (3A) (13-7) – 10; Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (12-7) – 10; Dunnellon (4A) (13-6) – 8; P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) (3A) (12-4) – 8; Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville) (3A) (13-7) – 6; Umatilla (3A) (14-4) – 6; First Coast (Jacksonville) (6A) (11-7) – 5; Oak Hall (Gainesville) (2A) (8-4) – 5; Suwannee (Live Oak) (4A) (11-6-1) – 2

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