Final 2022 FLN Boys 1A Top 15!
One theme that will likely run through these final polls is how I analyze the entire resume, outside of an automatic #1/#2 ranking for the finalists. Quality wins are very important (as measured by relative positioning) and quality losses vs bad losses are also including in my thinking. The higher the ranking, the likely there are quality wins, and you will see that schools that are in the ‘Also Considered’ tend to not have the signature win that gets them ranked.
As usual, there are a lot of A beats B, who then beats C, and when C upsets B it causes deeper analysis. Put on top of that, you have plenty of instances of teams in the Top 15 playing each other three times, due to the method of District ranking and Regional ranking, where a #1/#5 matchup of district rivals happened a few times in the Regional semifinal, as no #4 seed won a home game in the 1st round.
That also required some more thinking!
And one other key note is that I ONLY looked at Florida teams playing each other, not their out of state games, nor their IMG games. There’s too much variance among out of state schedules (and who those schools will play) to include them in my thinking. This allows more of an apples-to-apples comparison.
So, let’s get the easy part out of the way . . . SA #1 and Benjamin #2
Now, let’s look at the other resumes.
Bolles – Semifinalist – Best wins are Bishop Moore, Nease, at Winter Park (the best win easily), Oak Hall 2x and Episcopal School 3X. Losses were to Montverde and Benjamin in the semifinal.
Jesuit of Tampa – Semifinalist – Wins over Cardinal Mooney, Canterbury 2x, Oak Hall, Mitchell and Community School. Losses are to SA in the semifinal, at Lake Mary and at Plant in very competitive games.
St. Edward’s – Wins over Creekside, Benjamin, Pine Crest and Jupiter. Losses to SA, Lake Mary and Benjamin 2x
Oxbridge – Wins over Jupiter, Belen, Canterbury and SJP 3x, with losses to SA 2x, Benjamin and Pine Crest
Pine Crest – wins over Oxbridge, AH-Plantation, SJP and Gulliver, losses to SA 3x, Benjamin and St. Edward’s
Montverde – wins over LHP 2x, Bishop Moore, Bolles and Holy Trinity, with losses to LHP, Ponte Vedra, Winter Park and Benjamin
Oak Hall – wins over Episcopal School, Berkeley Prep and Maclay 3x, with losses to Creekside, Nease, Jesuit, Ponte Vedra and Bolles 2x
SJP – wins over Cardinal Mooney, Gulf Coast, Belen and Gulliver, with losses to Jupiter (OT), Benjamin, Pine Crest, Western and Oxbridge 3x
Cardinal Mooney – wins over Newsome, Community School, Canterbury and Berkeley Prep, with losses to Winter Park, Jesuit, SJP, Gulf Coast, LHP, Community and a one-goal loss to Plant, which is maybe their best game
Lake Highland – wins over Bishop Moore 2x, Cardinal Mooney and Montverde, with losses top Lake Mary, Benjamin, St. Thomas by one goal (their best game), Ponte Vedra, Winter Park, Creekside and Montverde 2x
Holy Trinity – wins over Vero Beach and Cocoa Beach 2x, with losses to Martin County and Montverde
Community School – wins over Western, Bishop Verot 2x, Cardinal Mooney, Gulf Coast, Canterbury, Belen and AH-Plantation and had an 11-game winning streak until the regional final, with losses to St. Thomas, Cardinal Mooney, Canterbury and Jesuit. They avenged two early season losses.
Canterbury – wins over Berkeley Prep, Community, Gulf Coast, Columbus and Bishop Verot, with losses to Jesuit 2x, Benjamin, Oxbridge, Gulf Coast, CM and Community
Episcopal School – win over Ransom, losses to Bolles 3x, Oak Hall, Ponte Vedra and St. Thomas
Belen – wins over Westminster Christian, Gulf Coast and AH-Plantation, with losses to SJP, Community, Western, AH-Plantation and Oxbridge
The Also Considereds from the last poll are Bishop Moore, Gulliver Prep, AH-Plantation, Jensen Beach, St. Stephen’s and Westminster Christian and none of them did enough to leap any of the 17 teams above them.
A few things to note here. A few schools that looked better on paper entering the year did not perform well, whether from injuries or being assumed to be better. Schools like Maclay and Berkeley Prep are examples of that. So, wins against them are not as impressive as they would have been in the first few weeks. Oak Hall’s wins look less impressive now than in the preseason thinking.
While I talk about the entire resume, clearly a late season winning streak against solid teams is worth more than an early winning streak where the team then fell off. Community got hot late, and St. Edward’s fell off after rising to #1 after injuries hit.
There are plenty of tough schedules, but in my opinion, you have to win some of them, or I just rank you based on the record. For example, Laxnumbers has LHP very high, but I will not. They over-emphasize Strength of Schedule in my opinion, particularly if you don’t win more of those games. Montverde also has a similar resume, as I don’t see them at #5 like they do. Montverde does have one of the best wins, over Bolles (and Bolles has arguably the best win over Winter Park) of the teams below SA and Benjamin.
Okay, without going too far into the weeds, here’s the Poll . . .
FLN Final 2022 Top 15 for Boys 1A
1) St. Andrew’s – great season and a title
2) Benjamin – finalist who was red hot down the stretch and almost made things exciting in the last few minutes
3) St. Edward’s – a few late injuries dampened the end of the season, but the big wins are as good as any resume here
4) Bolles – the Winter Park win is very impressive and gives them the edge
5) Jesuit of Tampa – frankly, if I didn’t see them in person at the Final Four, they might be lower, but add that to a 2-goal loss at Lake Mary and a 4-goal loss at Plant and they showed a lot all season
6) Pine Crest – gets the edge over Oxbridge due to the head-to-head road win
7) Oxbridge – a goal shy of possibly being in the finals, but also a goal away from losing the first round, with SJP possibly scoring the winner in OT
8) Montverde Academy – the Bolles win counts a lot, but the rest of the wins are not as impressive as those above them
9) Community School – smoked the second half of the year, losing only to Jesuit by 3 in the regional final
10) SJP II – what hurts them the most with me was the Western loss
11) Lake Highland – I can’t go higher when you lose 9 games, no matter how tough the schedule was, and it was!
12) Cardinal Mooney – Newsome win helped, and one-goal Plant loss too. But after the Plant game there was no quality win.
13) Oak Hall – the quality wins are just not impressive enough to be higher, lost all the tougher games
14) Holy Trinity – very nice year but the schedule substantially needs upgrading. Vero Beach can’t be the best win next year.
15) Canterbury – gets the last spot due to their much better schedule than Belen, which is the first team out.
Belen Jesuit and Episcopal School