Monday, August 10, 2009

St. Thomas Aquinas #1 in National Prep Poll & ESPN Rise Fab 50

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

When I first began my television career back in the early 90s, I remember the excitement that ran through the Allentown Central Catholic football program when the Vikings were ranked by USA Today. Yes, back in 1993, the Super 25 meant something...even if it didn't truly mean anything, because...well you know why!

Now, every major media outlet is in on the act. However, I still like USA Today the best, because they've been doing it since 1982.

Tradition means something at The High School Football Huddle!

So with all that being said, let's look at the first couple of polls to be released...ESPN Rise's Fab 50 and Prep Nation. USA Today will release it's Super 25 later.

At least for the pre-season polls, ESPN and Prep Nation are in agreement on #1 and #2. Both polls have the "defending" national champs, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) at the top spot to start the season. The Raiders are followed by Byrnes (Duncan, SC). If all goes according to plan, the Raiders and Rebels will collide on October 2nd in Florida in a nationally-televised game.

There's no surprise when it comes to which states standout in both polls. Texas leads the Prep Nation Poll with four teams in the Top 25, Florida and California landed three teams in the National Prep Football Poll. The State of Washington is smiling with Bellevue and Skyline cracking the Top 10 in the National Prep Football Poll.

In the ESPN Rise Fab 50...California, Florida and Texas each landed seven teams in the Top 50.

Let's start with the National Prep Football Poll, which is America's second oldest weekly poll produced by Jamie DeMoney, who does a great job of keeping fans up-to-date. Below you can learn more about

Prep Nation's National Football Poll

1. St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 15-0
2. Byrnes (Duncan, SC) 14-1
3. Northwestern (Miami, FL) 13-2
4. Katy (TX) 13-3
5. Glenville (Cleveland, OH) 11-1
6. Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) 15-0
7. Lakewood (CA) 10-3
8. Bellevue (WA) 14-0
9. Skyline (Sammamish, WA) 14-0
10. Cedar Hill (TX) 12-2
11. Lowndes (Valdosta, GA) 12-1
12. Jenks (OK) 12-2
13. Elder (Cincinnati, OH) 13-2
14. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) 11-1
15. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) 14-0
16. Allen (TX) 15-1
17. Lakeland (FL) 14-1
18. De La Salle (Concord, CA) 12-2
19. Prattville (AL) 13-1
20. Liberty (Bethlehem, PA) 15-1
21. Centennial (Peoria, AZ) 14-0
22. Skyline (Dallas, TX) 12-2
23. Independence (Charlotte, NC) 13-1
24. DeMatha (Hyattsville, MD) 10-2
25. John Curtis (River Ridge, LA) 14-1

About the National Prep Poll: Compiled weekly weekly since 1987 and distributed by World Features Syndicate and the Associated Press, the National Prep Poll is the nation's second oldest weekly high school sports rankings. Doug Huff of ESPN RISE compiled the rankings from 1987 until 1999. Jamie DeMoney has compiled the poll since the start of the 1999 basketball season. The National Prep Poll is the only high school poll distributed to newspapers and Web sites around the United States by the Associated Press national wire service. The National Prep Poll is the first high school football and boys basketball poll to released in the preseason and during each week of the regular season. Criteria considered for the National Prep Poll rankings are strength of schedule, the ability to accomplish the ultimate goal on a team's schedule (i.e. winning a championship), impact players and performers, a team's coaching and recent tradition.

Jamie DeMoney begins his 10th year compiling the World Features Syndicate/Associated Press National Prep Poll. He has covered high school sports and recruiting for more than 15 years and compiled the National Prep Poll since 1999. DeMoney has also compiled high school football and basketball rankings for Sporting News, School Sports, and RISE. DeMoney was managing editor of American Football Monthly and assistant national editor of All-Stater Sports/Highwired Sports. DeMoney is a graduate of the University of Iowa School of Journalism, and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers Association.

ESPN's Fab 50 looks like this...

1. St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
2. Byrnes (SC)
3. Elder (OH)
4. Katy (TX)
5. Northwestern (FL)
6. Oaks Christian (CA)
7. Allen (TX)
8. Oscar Smith (VA)
9. Skyline (WA)
10. Prattville (AL)
11. Lowndes (GA)
12. Cedar Hill (TX)
13. Union (OK)
14. Centennial (AZ)
15. Lakeland (FL)
16. St. Bonaventure (CA)
17. Longview (TX)
18. Don Bosco Prep (NJ)
19. Glenville (OH)
20. Bellevue (WA)
21. DeMatha (MD)
22. North Shore (TX)
23. East St. Louis (IL)
24. De La Salle (CA)
25. Dwyer (FL)
26. Hinsdale Central (IL)
27. West Monroe (LA)
28. Miami Central (FL)
29. Orange Lutheran (CA)
30. Colerain (OH)
31. Notre Dame Prep (CA)
32. John Curtis (LA)
33. Camden County (GA)
34. Highlands (KY)
35. Bishop McDevitt (PA)
36. De La Salle Collegiate (MI)
37. St. Ignatius (OH)
38. Hamilton (AZ)
39. Stony Point (TX)
40. Bolles School (FL)
41. Grant (CA)
42. Long Beach Poly (CA)
43. Trinity (KY)
44. Jenks (OK)
45. Southlake Carroll (TX)
46. Mullen (CO)
47. Liberty (PA)
48. Pahokee (FL)
49. Skyline (TX)
50. Shiloh Christian (AR)

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