Probably a bit of a reach for the kids of today to place that reference . . .
Al Davis was the owner of the Oakland Raiders and that was his motto for the team.
St. Thomas got stronger as the season went on and gave basically the best performance of any FHSAA participant this year, in their semifinal win over Steinbrenner. If you haven’t seen my YouTube recap or watched the game, here’s the story:
FIVE yellow cards in the first half forced them to play 8 on 11 for nearly 30 minutes of game time, and that played out with 7 on 4 in BOTH the offensive and defensive areas of the field. They scored four times in the second half, including the game winner late after Steinbrenner came back to tie the game. They proceeded to hold on at the end to the lead with some great defensive play between the zones.
A truly ‘Just Win’ moment.
Just like in the 1A recap, we have to note the lack of travel available, and how difficult it was to compare relative strengths of schedule. I think the biggest issue with me is how to balance the tough Orlando area versus how Steinbrenner’s scoring margins stacked up. Their only regular season loss was to a 7-loss Hagerty, but they did have some great results against Plant, whom they beat twice comfortably. It’s also hard to understand how they failed to put away the STA game with that advantage.
So I basically split the difference, as you will see. Also, Hagerty had 7 losses with a difficult strength of schedule, but if you only win one of the tough games it’s hard to move them higher than I have them. Stoneman was also a difficult team to judge because they played much fewer games, and the 3 losses were not close.
In the end, I trusted my eyes as much as possible. While I didn’t see the bottom four I did see 5 of the top 6 and felt comfortable with these ratings.
1) St. Thomas Aquinas – state title now makes them a select group of schools that have both a Girls’ and Boys’ title – LHP being the other (Ponte Vedra has a Boys’ title and a Girls’ runner-up)
2) Vero Beach – how much did Joy Coffee’s injury contribute to their runner up finish?
3) Bartram Trail – Ryann Frechette’s injury ponders the same question; if you don’t know who she is you might want to dig a little
4) Steinbrenner – Steinbrenner defeated Newsome by one goal in the Regional final
5) Newsome – Newsome had a strong overall resume looking over the entire season
6) Hagerty – 7 losses but beat Lake Brantley 2x and Steinbrenner
7) Stoneman Douglas – three losses, two to STA and one to AH-Delray
8) Lake Brantley – 16-2 and you know who the 2 is
9) Boca Raton – ran the table in the regular season but ran into Stoneman in Round One
10) Plant – solid record but missing that one really big quality win . . . Academy of the Holy Names would have helped but they slid a little late in the year.
Palm Beach Central
Of these three only Venice has a case for that #10 spot but not enough games were played to get that final spot.