The Tribune’s Top-10 rankings have two newcomers as Wharton jumps to No. 9 after beating Newsome 21-20 and East Bay steps in at No. 10 after its 19-13 upset victory against district rival Plant City. Newsome and Alonso fell out of the top 10 after suffering losses. Tampa Catholic also raised to its highest spot at No. 5 after beating Frostproof 21-16 on the road.
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. A first-place vote receives 10 points, followed by nine points for second place, and so on. First-place votes appear in parentheses following team totals.
1. Armwood (5-0) 50 (5)
Up Next: Leto (0-6)
Comment: The Hawks appear on track to have yet another undefeated season.
2. Sickles (5-0) 45
Up Next: at Plant (4-1-1)
Comment: Biggest challenge of the year for the Gryphons, but also their best chance in many years to defeat Plant.
3. Plant (4-1-1) 38
Up Next: Sickles (5-0)
Comment: The Panthers are probably favored, but they also stand a legitimate chance of dropping to 4-2-1.
4. Jefferson (4-1) 36
Up Next: Lennard (0-6)
Comment: The Longhorns will have tremendous trouble tracking down Dragon quarterback Deiondre Porter.
5. Tampa Catholic (5-1) 28
Up Next: idle
Comment: A welcome week off for the Crusaders, who have one of the county’s most difficult schedules.
6. Tampa Bay Tech (4-1) 25
Up Next: at Plant City (4-1)
Comment: The Raiders may have lost a key district game Friday, but maybe they learned something in the process.
7. Hillsborough (3-2) 19
Up Next: Chamberlain (4-2)
Comment: The old rivalry returns with the Terriers looking like heavy favorites.
8. Plant City (4-1) 15
Up Next: Tampa Bay Tech (4-1)
Comment: TBT is on a roll, but this week it has a tough challenge against the Raiders, who will be angry after Friday’s loss.
9. Wharton (5-1) 9
Up Next: at Steinbrenner (1-4)
Comment: The Wildcats proved they belong in the top 10 after beating Newsome, which held the No. 9 position last week.
10. East Bay (4-2) 4
Up Next: Bloomingdale (3-2)
Comment: The Indians looked like the real deal in Friday’s victory against Plant City. A victory this week would help solidify that notion.
Also receiving votes: Gaither, Alonso