Four area softball teams ranked in power poll

The Eustis softball team is right back where it started, on top of the all-classification regional rankings.

The Panthers (9-2), who won the Class 4A state title last year, was preseason No. 1 in The Prep Zone Power Poll on March 1.

After dropping to second in the previous power poll, Eustis moved up a spot following a 4-0 record, including wins against Class 7A schools West Orange (Winter Garden) and Boone (Orlando).

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They received five of the six first-place votes.

The other first-place vote went to Class 3A Baldwin, which moved up three spots from fifth to No. 2.

The Indians (11-1) had wins against previous No. 8 Oakleaf (Orange Park), No. 14 University Christian (Jacksonville), received votes (RV) First Coast (Jacksonville), and previous No. 1 West Nassau (Callahan), which tumbled four spots to No. 5.

The Warriors (8-5) had a 4-5 record which included losses to University Christian, Baldwin, Class 6A No. 2 Cooper City, and 6A No. 4 Melbourne.

Class 6A University (Orange City) (9-4) moved up three spots to No. 3, while Bartram Trail (St. Johns) jumped nine spots to No. 4. The Class 7A Bears, who were previously ranked 13th in the power poll, defeated Mandarin (Jacksonville) last Friday to move to 9-0.

Dixie County (Cross City), one of four teams in Mainstreet’s coverage area ranked in the top 20, is sixth, followed by Ridgeview (Orange Park), East Ridge (Clermont), and Union County (Lake Butler) and Creekside (St. Johns) in the top 10.

Class 1A No. 1 Union County (Lake Butler), which defeated Gainesville on the road this past Monday, is ranked No. 9, while Branford is 15th and Williston, which defeated the Class 5A Hurricanes on March 18, is ranked 18th.

Class 2A University Christian (Jacksonville) (9-4) moved into the rankings at No. 14 following a 7-2 mark that included wins against current No. 7 Ridgeview and No. 5 West Nassau. One of their two losses was against No. 2 Baldwin.

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 weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.


(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 4/2, and total voting points)

1. Eustis (4A) (4) (9-2) – 119

2. Baldwin (3A) (1) (11-1) – 114

3. University (Orange City) (6A) (9-4) – 101

4. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (8-0) – 96

5. West Nassau (Callahan) (3A) (8-5) – 88

6. Dixie County (Cross City) (1A) (8-1) – 84

7. Ridgeview (Orange Park) (5A) (8-3) – 68

8. East Ridge (Clermont) (6A) (8-4) – 66

9. Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (9-1) – 60

10. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (8-3) – 58

11. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (7A) (7-5) – 54

12. Hernando (Brooksville) (3A) (9-4) – 52

13. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (6A) (8-3) – 47

14. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (9-4) – 38

15. Branford (1A) (7-2) – 32

16. Palatka (3A) (9-2) – 29

17. Deltona (4A) (5-0) – 28

18T. Williston (1A) (10-3) – 27

18T. Montverde Academy (3A) (13-3) – 27

20. West Port (Ocala) (7A) (12-4) – 21

Also receiving votes: Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (4-3) – 18; First Coast (Jacksonville) (6A) (6-3) – 12; Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (10-3) – 11; Springstead (Spring Hill) (5A) (8-1) – 8; South Lake (Groveland) (5A) (6-7) – 1, Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (4A) (5-6) – 1.

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