OH, HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE...FALLEN??? IN SOME MINDS, A LEAST
As the new school year begins across Polk County, prep football fans are wondering just how good the Dreadnaughts of Lakeland High School will be. When last season ended, the LHS crew had achieved it's second straight national championship and third straight state championship (of seven overall, currently in class 5A), not to mention a running win streak of 45 games. What a way for a high school to begin it's 100th year of football tradition, so you would expect the team at the top of last year's heap with the record it has to begin the new season having to defend it's top ranking.
One of the most read high school football polls, the USA Today Super 25, appeared in today's edition, and the Dreadnaughts not only are out of the number one spot...they don't appear at all in the national Top 25 rankings. Afficinados will not only notice that, but that the 'Naughts aren't even in the top ten among teams in the South! There is a Florida team at the top of the USA Today elite, 6A champion Miami Northwestern at number two (the will play top ranked Southlake (TX) Carroll September 15), with Pahokee of Palm Beach County at number 14 (seventh in the regional rankings). Also noted among top teams in the South is another Miami school, Booker T. Washington at ninth.
With the loss of several key players to graduation, Head Coach Bill Castle will have a challenge on his hands, but still with considerable talent. One can presume Castle won't need to use today's news to get his players ready for the opening game, an unofficial "kickoff classic" this Friday.