The wrestling Power Poll will run Wednesdays through the end of the regular season.This will be the final Power Poll for 2017-18.

 

Rank, team, record, classification, previous

1. Fleming Island (15-1, Class 3A), 1

Results since last poll: On Feb. 2-3, the Golden Eagles stood toe-to-toe with nationally-ranked Lake Highland Prep at Brandon’s Tony Ippolito Invitational, finishing second in the 31-team event, just 35.5 points back of the Highlanders. No other Florida team has been as close this year. The Golden Eagles also went to Clay last week for what is commonly called the “Uncivil War” and defeated the host Blue Devils, 42-15, in the only meeting between the area titans this season. Fleming’s JV group also rolled to a dominant first-place finish at last weekend’s JV state tournament at Osceola.

Postseason notes: Fleming Island will now be pointing to defend its District 1 traditional title on Friday at Oakleaf. As many as 11 Golden Eagle wrestlers could earn top seeds for that tournament, and Fleming is considered the solid — if not heavy — favorite to repeat as tournament champions; even a generally subpar group effort, something that hasn’t been in evidence at all this season, would probably still be enough to get the job done. 3A qualifiers out of Oakleaf will advance to the region tournament at Hagerty on Feb. 23-24.

2. Clay (16-3, Class 1A), 2

Results since last poll: The Blue Devils cemented their status as not only the second-best team in the coverage area but also the runner-up to the entirety of the Northeast Florida region with a 45-24 win on the road at Flagler Palm Coast on Jan. 31. Then, the Blue Devils returned home to set the pace at the Green Cove Springs Rotary, finishing ahead of the runnerup by 63 points, with three individual champs. Clay also took five individual wins off of Fleming last Thursday in the regular-season finale for the Blue Devils as well.

Postseason notes: Like Fleming, Clay will be a prohibitive favorite to win its 19th consecutive district title on Saturday, competing in the District 3 meet hosted by Westside. Clay might also have the inside track on up to 11 top seeds in that meet, which is one it has dominated each of the past two seasons — first in 2016, when Clay won 13 titles, and again last year despite missing three starters that did not report with the full team to weigh in. The region round will be staged Feb. 23-24, at Bolles.

3. Bishop Kenny (7-1, Class 1A), 3

Results since last poll: After Clay, no other area team finished higher at the Green Cove Springs Rotary than did the Crusaders, who were sixth as a group. Leading the charge was unbeaten senior 285 Josiah McCallum, who won at Clay and enters the post-season as the state’s top-ranked heavyweight.

Postseason notes: Kenny will be looking for its fifth consecutive District 4 title on Saturday at Bolles, and should enter as a heavy favorite, with at least six top seeds in the offing. As the Crusaders have built this run of titles, they have steadily pulled away from the rest of the district field, and this year is likely to be little different on that front.

4. Creekside (30-6, Class 2A), 4

Results since last poll: The Knights took a bit of a hit at Clay, finishing just outside the top 10 (12th overall, fourth among area teams), with no individual champions. Creekside has been a team, particularly this year, built more for dual success than in larger individually-bracketed tournaments. Last week, the Knights did take care of business in double-digit wins over Yulee and Wolfson to close out the regular season.

Postseason notes: The smaller individual brackets like the ones at Thursday’s District 4 meet at Matanzas are a hybrid of duals and bracketed tournaments, which could help the Knights’ chances at carrying off a defense of their title from last year. At least five different Creekside wrestlers should earn top seeds for Thursday. Local 2A district qualifiers will compete in Tallahassee at the region level, hosted by Chiles, on Feb. 23-24.

5. Columbia (24-6, Class 2A), 5

Results since last poll: Despite missing its key seniors from the lineup, the Tigers still finished in the top 10 at Clay on February 2-3, with an all-underclassman lineup.

Notable & next: Columbia will engage in District 2 competition at Chiles on Friday, where it will attempt to bring down Lincoln’s run of eight consecutive district titles. At least five different Tiger wrestlers are projected to earn top seeds for the tournament; Columbia only lost by two points to Lincoln in the district dual tournament. The Tiger hammers in the lineup, particularly in the middleweights, could give enough points, with some help elsewhere, to make it happen.

Next three: Oakleaf (24-6, Class 3A); Nease (25-12, Class 2A); Bartram Trail (25-9, Class 2A).

 

 

On the bubble: Ridgeview (9-6, Class 2A); Orange Park (32-19, Class 2A); Middleburg (17-9, Class 2A); Fletcher (8-7, Class 3A); Mandarin (13-5, Class 3A).