From Staff Reports

As the Apopka Blue Darters begin their quest for a fourth state championship, the high school sports website MaxPreps ranks them as a primary contender. In its preseason poll, MaxPreps has Apopka ranked #8 in its Class 8A poll.

The Blue Darters are coming off a 38-6 thrashing of the DeLand Bulldogs in last Friday night’s kickoff classic. Apopka opens its regular season on the road Friday night against (Orlando) Colonial High School. The Grenadiers finished the 2020 season 3-6. The Blue Darters play their first home game against the West Orange Warriors on September 3rd. West Orange upset Apopka 15-14 in overtime during the 2020 regular season, but the Blue Darters got its revenge against the Vikings 18-9 in the playoffs. Apopka opens district play against the Ocoee Knights on the road on September 17th. The Knights were 4-5 in 2020.

Other area teams ranked in the poll are West Orange (#3), (Sanford) Seminole (#6), (Orlando) Boone (#9), Lake Mary (#10), Winter Park (#11), Dr. Phillips (#12), (Orlando) Timber Creek #21, and (Altamonte Springs) Lake Brantley (#22).

How does MaxPreps calculate its computer rankings? 

MaxPreps does not poll coaches, sportswriters, or fans. Nor does its staff make any judgments on the merits of any individual team. Prior season history, school size, and comments on message boards are not considered in the MaxPreps Computer Rankings.

The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins, the higher the ranking. However, the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents) and strength of schedule.

For example, a team’s ranking is hurt more by losing to a team that is ranked below them than a team ranked ahead.

Here are the MaxPreps preseason rankings for Class 8A Florida High Schools:
# School Record Rating Str.
1 Venice 0-0 55.2 0.0
2 Deerfield Beach 0-0 48.1 0.0
3 West Orange (Winter Garden) 0-0 46.9 0.0
4 Columbus (Miami) 0-0 46.9 0.0
5 Osceola (Kissimmee) 0-0 46.6 0.0
6 Seminole (Sanford) 0-0 46.4 0.0
7 Bartram Trail (St. Johns) 0-0 44.9 0.0
8 Apopka 0-0 44.2 0.0
9 Boone (Orlando) 0-0 39.2 0.0
10 Lake Mary 0-0 38.2 0.0
11 Winter Park 0-0 37.1 0.0
12 Dr. Phillips (Orlando) 0-0 36.7 0.0
13 Treasure Coast (Port St. Lucie) 0-0 35.5 0.0
14 Western (Davie) 0-0 35.1 0.0
15 Palmetto (Miami) 0-0 35.1 0.0
16 Oakleaf (Orange Park) 0-0 34.5 0.0
17 Sandalwood (Jacksonville) 0-0 34.2 0.0
18 Monarch (Coconut Creek) 0-0 32.7 0.0
19 Riverview Sarasota (Sarasota) 0-0 32.4 0.0
20 Creekside (St. Johns) 0-0 30.7 0.0
21 Timber Creek (Orlando) 0-0 28.7 0.0
22 Lake Brantley (Altamonte Springs) 0-0 28.5 0.0
23 DeLand 0-0 28.2 0.0
24 Vero Beach 0-0 27.4 0.0
25 Flagler Palm Coast (Palm Coast) 0-0 26.3 0.0

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