SFHSS TOP 15 - Week 3: Elite Teams Rising To The Top

Larry Blustein
September 04, 2018 - 8:38 am

Larry Blustein

In just two weeks, you can start to see which programs will occupy the upper tier of the South Florida High School Football Top 15 rankings.

With Carol City having the week off to enjoy the top spot for the third straight week, other schools also showed that they will be there fighting for the top spot in south Florida.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Miami Central, Deerfield and Columbus showed that they are in this to get to Orlando this season.

Southridge opened with two wins, and now the Spartans will start getting some bigger tests.

American Heritage shook off the opening night loss to No. 1. Carol City, winning on the road in Georgia this past weekend – while Palmetto beat 6A power Naples for the second straight season.

Northwestern will have numerous opportunities to get that loss to Christopher Columbus back – while Chaminade-Madonna is starting to concentrate on defending its 3A crown.

Other programs in this week’s Top 15 include a solid University School, a Plantation team that is just waiting for its chance to play an elite program, South Dade, which has four top 15 team left on the schedule.

Even though Cardinal Gibbons and Booker T. Washington had tough losses over the weekend, both remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

This week’s newcomer are the Generals of Miami Jackson. As they get set to play North Miami on Thursday, this program is 2-0.

Here is a look at the top 15-plus as we head toward the third week:

1. Carol City Chiefs (6A – 1-0). After a week off, the top rated Chiefs had the chance to watch some of the other elite teams. THIS WEEK: It’s a meeting with No. 5 Christopher Columbus on Sept. 7. At Traz Powell Stadium at 7:30. NEXT WEEK: The first district game of the year against Norland at 7:30 next Friday.

2. St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders (7A – 2-0). Showing that they are indeed one of the nation’s best, this team went out and took care of business against Piper. THIS WEEK: After two wins to start the years, it’s on to Flanagan for a Friday night game at 7. NEXT WEEK: They will travel to play Stranahan on Sept. 14 at 7.

3. Central Rockets (6A – 2-0). For the second straight week, this program flexed some muscle on both sides of the ball in beating rival Booker T. Washington soundly. THIS WEEK: It will be a trip to play nationally rated St. John’s in Washington, D.C. on Saturday at 2 p.m. NEXT WEEK: It will be Miami Edison on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Traz Powell Stadium at 7.

4. Deerfield Beach Bucks (8A – 2-0). Living up to the pre-season hype, the Bucks traveled to Georgia and beat national power, Buford, handing them a very rare home loss. THIS WEEK: It doesn’t get any easier – as the team returns home to host Coach Kareem Reid in his Atlanta Westlake at 7. NEXT WEEK: A Saturday night (7:00) home game against rival Blanche Ely on Sept. 15.

5. Columbus Explorers (8A – 2-0). After years of trying to get over the hump against nationally rated Northwestern, head coach Chris Merritt and his team finally broke through with a huge win THIS WEEK: It’s a meeting at top rated Carol City on Sept. 7 at Traz Powell Stadium at 7:30. NEXT WEEK: Booker T. Washington for a meeting with the Tornadoes on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Traz Powell Stadium.

6. Southridge Spartans (8A – 2-0). Coach Sedrick Irvin’s team stayed unbeaten with a tight win against North Miami. THIS WEEK: A Thursday night (7:00) game against No. 15 Booker T. Washington at Traz Powell Stadium. NEXT WEEK: The district season begins on Friday, Sept. 14 against Killian at 7:30. 

7. American Heritage Patriots (5A – 1-1). In bouncing back after an opening night loss, breaking a 28-game winning streak, this team showed that it is ready to compete for another title. Used a strong performance against St. Joseph’s Regional of New Jersey in Georgia’s Freedom Classic to come away with a win. THIS WEEK: The Patriots will host Miramar on Sept. 7 at 7:30. NEXT WEEK: Will open district play with a trip to Coconut Creek on Sept. 14 at 7.

8. Palmetto Panthers (8A - 2-0). For the second straight year, the Panthers handed 6A state power Naples a rare home loss – only the 10th in the past 15 years. THIS WEEK: It’s a home game on Sept. 7 against Ferguson at Southridge. NEXT WEEK: Will take the week off before a Sept. 20 meeting with Coral Gables.

9. Northwestern Bulls (6A – 1-1). The defending 6A state champions were beaten on the road by No. 5 Christopher Columbus. THIS WEEK: It’s on the road again on Sept. 7 at South Dade in Homestead. NEXT WEEK: The district season begins with a Sept. 13 game at home against Hialeah-Miami Lakes.

10. Chaminade-Madonna Lions (3A – 1-1). The Lions rebounded from the opening night loss to Deerfield Beach with a win at the Freedom Classic in Georgia against Muscle Shoals,   THIS WEEK: Blanche Ely comes to Hollywood for a 7 p.m. game on Sept. 7. NEXT WEEK: The Lions will play host to Northeast on Thursday, Sept. 13.

11. Plantation Colonels (8A – 2-0). Chosen as one of the top teams to start the season, head coach Steve Davis and this team has not disappointed, beating Blanche Ely in an emotional weather-shortened game. THIS WEEK: The team will have the week off. NEXT WEEK: A Sept. 14 key district game at home against Miramar.

12. University School Sharks (4A – 2-0). Coming up huge on both sides of the ball, head coach Daniel Luque’s squad rolled over Immokalee. THIS WEEK: A 3:30 game at Everglades Prep in Homestead awaits this team on Sept. 7. NEXT WEEK It’s Village Academy at home on Sept. 14.

13. South Dade Bucs (8A – 2-0). Coach Nate Hudson’s team scored early and often in a win over Southwest Miami. THIS WEEK: A huge meeting with Northwestern on tap on Sept. 7 at Harris Field. NEXT WEEK: It’s the big one against rival Homestead on Sept. 14 at Harris Field. 

14. Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs (5A – 0-2). For the second straight week, head coach Matt Dubuc’s team dropped a tough game to a power, losing to Milton in Georgia. THIS WEEK: Will play host to very competitive Dillard on Friday, Sept. 7. NEXT WEEK: The district season starts with a home game on Sept. 14 against Miami Jackson.

15. Booker T. Washington Tornadoes (4A – 1-1). In losing for the first time this season to power Miami Central, head coach Tim “Ice” Harris and his squad battled throughout. THIS WEEK: A Thursday, Sept. 6 meeting with No. 6 Miami Southridge. NEXT WEEK: A big meeting with Christopher Columbus on Saturday, Sept. 15.

(TIE) – Miami Jackson Generals (5A, 2-0).. For the second straight week, head coach Scott Daniels and his team rolled to an easy win – over Hialeah-Miami Lakes. THIS WEEK: The 1-1 North Miami Pioneers will provide the biggest test for this program on Thursday night at Traz Powell Stadium.  NEXT WEEK: The district season gets started with a huge game at Cardinal Gibbons in Friday, Sept. 14.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MIAMI DOLPHINS

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