1. MANATEE (5-0) 50 points — You can't help but think Friday's contest against once-beaten Weston Cypress Bay could be a trap game for the Canes. Jack of all trades Anthony Lauro is lost for the season and with Venice coming up the following week in a contest that will likely decide the district title, they might have their minds elsewhere. Joe Kinnan will have to play Sigmund Freud this week.
2. PALMETTO (6-0) 40 — It seemed almost like yesterday when the Tigers were worried about a defense that graduated so many talented players. Six games into the season, they have surrendered only 62 points, including just seven in each of their past three games. So now opponents are worried about how to match a Palmetto offense that is averaging 35 points per game.
3. SOUTHEAST (4-2) 30 — All those who wanted to put the Noles season in the casket following their drubbing against Manatee will have to wait. Any team with Courtney Allen can’t be considered dead, and the Noles looked rejuvenated and ready to make a run at a district title with a romp over Arcadia DeSoto on Monday night.
4. LAKEWOOD RANCH (4-2) 20 — The cardiac kids were up to their antics again last week in a heart-palpitating 41-34 win. Lakewood Ranch fans are now required to take a blood-pressure test before entering the stadium, and if they don’t score low enough they must purchase an oxygen mask and anti-anxiety pills. We heard Chad Rex and Chris Pearcey have opened up a stress clinic and are doing quite well.
5 CARDINAL MOONEY (3-3) 6 — The Cougars are reeling with three straight losses and hanging on to the fifth spot in this illustrious poll only because of a shortage of competitors. Josh Smithers will have to break out the bandages and plug the dikes to stop the season from drowning in a sea of misery.
Others receiving points: Bayshore 4.
Voting based on 10 points for first, 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth and 2 for fifth
Voters: Alan Dell, John Lembo, Jason Dill, Timothy R. Wolfrum.