For the first time this season, there was no movement in the top seven spots of the Tribune’s Top 10. The changes occurred in the bottom three spots, where Hillsborough and Wharton jumped back in after victories Friday night, and Tampa Bay Tech and Alonso fell out following losses.
The poll awards points for each place voted on by five panelists who cover the sport extensively in Hillsborough County for the Tampa Tribune/TBO: Mike Camunas, Jarrett Guthrie, Nick Williams, Scott Purks and Doug Jacobs. First-place votes receive 10 points, followed by nine for second, and so on. First-place votes appear in parentheses following team totals.
1. Armwood (9-0) 50 (5)
Up Next: Strawberry Crest (6-3)
Comment: The Chargers will have their hands full against the Hawks, who have dominated everybody they’ve played.
2. Plant (8-1-1) 44
Up Next: Idle
Comment: The Panthers get a week off to prepare for another run at a state title, which would make five in the last eight years.
3. Sickles (8-1) 40
Up Next: Alonso (5-4)
Comment: The Gryphons won their first district title Friday. Now they want a final regular-season victory before sprinting into the playoffs.
4. Jefferson (8-1) 35
Up Next: Steinbrenner (3-6)
Comment: The Dragons want to stay sharp and injury free before heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2010, when they won a state title.
5. Tampa Catholic (8-1) 30
Up Next: at Jesuit (6-3)
Comment: Can TC break its 13-year losing streak to the Tigers? The Crusaders are the pregame favorites.
6. Plant City (7-2) 24
Up Next: Gaither (5-4)
Comment: This is a battle of teams that have played extremely well at times and struggled mightily at others. Who knows what will happen in this season finale?
7. Jesuit (6-3) 21
Up Next: Tampa Catholic (8-1)
Comment: Jesuit has steadily improved and appears perfectly capable of extending its winning streak against Tampa Catholic to 14.
8. Hillsborough (6-3) 9
Up Next: at Tampa Bay Tech (6-3)
Comment: The Terriers may not be going to the playoffs, but they are assured of another winning season.
9. Gaither (5-4) 8
Up Next: at Plant City (7-2)
Comment: Can you believe the Cowboys are in the playoffs after their roller-coaster season? Believe it. Gaither sealed its third straight trip to the postseason with a 35-30 victory over Steinbrenner Friday night.
10. Wharton (7-3) 7
Up Next: Idle
Comment: The Wildcats pulled off the comeback of the year to beat Bloomingdale 30-23. Now they can catch their breath with an off week before the playoffs.
Also receiving votes: Carrollwood Day School, Seffner Christian, Tampa Bay Tech