Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Preps: Sickles up to No.22 in ESPN rankings; Girls districts start to hit crunch tonight

Sickles move up two spots in the latest ESPN Rise Fab 50 boys soccer poll on Tuesday, sliding the Gryphons into the No.22 spot.

The Gryphons have looked impressive all season, and overcame a slow start to earn a 3-0 win against Newsome on Tuesday evening to advance to the semifinals of the Wharton Invitational tonight. Sickles has reached the knockout stages of the tournament the past two seasons but has never won the tournament, losing in the semifinals in 2008 and in the final against Durant last season.

For more on that game, and the rest of the semifinalists, here’s my story for the Tampa Tribune this morning.

East Lake also got a small bump up the rankings, moving up to No.29 this week. Should the Eagles come out of Class 5A-District 11, a potential match against the Gryphons could occur in the region final should both schools advance that far.

In the girls poll, Palm Harbor University has edged its way up to the No.10 spot of the poll, remaining the only bay area team in the Fab 50.

According to the St. Petersburg Times’ Bryan Burns, the Hurricanes appear set for a rematch with Countryside in the Class 6A-District 8 final.

The district tournaments start getting to the sharp end tonight in Hillsborough County, with berths in the region tournament at stake in tonight’s semifinals. Here’s a look at the county from The St. Petersburg Times’ Eduardo A. Encina and the Tampa Tribune’s Jarrett Guthrie.

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