Well, that was a short stay.
Predictably, Dwyer was dumped from this week’s USA Today Super 25 High School Football Rankings as a consequence of its shocking 28-12 loss to Atlantic last Friday night – just days after making its debut in the poll at No. 25.
The Panthers, who lost on their Homecoming night to add insult to upset, also fell from No. 25 out of PrepNation.com’s National Prep Poll and plummeted from No. 35 in Rivals’ Top 100 to unranked.
The new No. 35 in Rivals’ poll: American Heritage-Delray, which shot up 13 spots following its 49-0 rout of previously unbeaten Cardinal Newman to capture the District 7-Class 3A title.
Meanwhile, University School remained the highest rated team from Broward and Palm Beach counties, though opinions differed on the Suns.
They moved up one spot in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 poll on the heels of their 27-0 win against Palmetto Bay Westminster Christian and dropped one spot in Rivals’ poll.
Here’s a look at this week’s polls:
MaxPreps XCellent 25
University School moved up one spot from last week to No. 11 in this week’s poll.
USA Today Super 25
Dwyer dropped out of the poll. University School is listed as one of the “Best of the Rest” after the Top 25.
PrepNation.com National Prep Poll
University School remained No. 8 in the rankings after wrapping up the district title – No. 3 in the Southeast — while Dwyer not surprisingly fell from No. 25 to unranked.
ESPN Power Rankings
No changes here. University School remained at No. 21, and American Heritage-Delray also didn’t budge, sitting just behind the Suns at No. 22.
Despite winning, University School dropped from No. 8 to No. 9. The poll’s comment on the Suns: “University scraped by with a 27-0 victory over Westminster Christian.”
Meanwhile, this was the comment for Heritage-Delray moving up from No. 48 to No. 35, the spot previously held by Dwyer (no longer ranked): “This is starting to look like the team that began the season in the Top 25. It rolled Cardinal Newman this week, 49-0. With a test in traveling to West Monroe (La.) this week it could be a bigger boost with a win.”
You can imagine it’s been a frustrating two weeks for the University School football team. First the Suns have a game against Treasure Coast suspended (and later canceled) because of lightning, then they have a bye week.
While it’s been a while since the Suns (4-0, 1-0) played a full game, but that will change Thursday when they host District 8-3A rival Chaminade-Madonna (4-0, 1-0) in a game that will likely decide the district champion.
Heading into that game, University has seen its national ranking improve yet again. The Suns rose a spot in the ESPN 25 Power Rankings. They also rose a spot in the MaxPreps XCellent 25.
Dwyer, American Heritage-Delray and St. Thomas Aquinas are the only other teams from either Broward or Palm Beach counties to be nationally ranked in any of the major rankings.
Here’s a look at this week’s polls:
Bradenton Manatee is Florida’s highest-ranked team, taking the No. 2 spot. Also ranked are Dwyer (No. 27), American-Heritage Delray (No. 51), University School (No. 52), and St. Thomas Aquinas (No. 71).
USA Today Super 25
No South Florida team has made it onto this ranking yet. But the Sunshine State has the bookend spots in the poll, with Manatee at No. 1 and Orlando Dr. Phillips at No. 25.
MaxPreps XCellent 25
Manatee is again, ranked No. 1 here and University moved up a spot to the No. 18 spot.
PrepNation.com National Prep Football Poll
Like several other major pollsters, Jamie DeMoney has Manatee ranked No. 1. University is ranked No. 10 and Dwyer is ranked No. 24.
ESPN 25 Power Rankings
Again, Manatee is the state’s top-ranked team at No. 2. University rose a spot to No. 22 and Heritage-Delray rose a spot to No. 24.
Recruting Roundup: Paisley dominates September 18th, 2011
I gave plenty of attention to Miramar’s stud wide receivers in the Recruiting Roundup, but the best player on the field for the Patriots this week was defensive tackle Willie Paisley.
The big man (6’2″, at least 320 pounds) lived up to his stature, and, as far as I am concerned, has cemented himself as the most SEC-ready defensive tackle prospect in South Florida.
What do I mean by SEC-ready? Well, it’s debatable that the SEC is the best college football conference in the nation, but anyone who goes against the SEC will lose that debate. (I’m a Big 12 guy, and even I know that.) But, the SEC might be the last major conference where between-the-tackles, NFL style running is still in-vogue.
The SEC recruits the best running backs in the nation, big, fast and strong. To counterbalance the Mark Ingrams and Vick Ballards, SEC schools recruit behemoth nose guards and defense tackles — the kind that can take on two offensive lineman and still stop the running back at the line of scrimmage. Hence, the Nick Fairleys and Marcell Dareuses (Darei?).
In my opinion, Paisley could be a lane-clogger of that caliber, if further developed. He absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage on Friday night against a Northeast team that is better than their record and the scoreline of the Miramar game. Paisley was too much. He was credited with three sacks — he could have had more — and deserves every ounce of credit for limiting the Hurricane’s offense to 20 yards rushing on 23 carries.
For a player of Paisley’s caliber to not be recruited by every BCS school in the country is perplexing. He transferred to Miramar from Miami-Carol City, and since the transfer, he has developed into the player he is today. If the development continues, many schools will wonder how they missed out.
Paisley has interest from the University of Miami and West Virginia, and with more games like Friday’s he’ll have a lot more interest, and offers as well.
For the rest of the recruiting roundup, head over to the SunSentinel’s mainpage — I’ll even give you a shortcut: here you go. Enjoy.
Real World Roundup: How to Get an Apartment June 9th, 2011
There may be no bigger step into adulthood than getting your own apartment (even if it is shared with a bunch of other students)–but do you know what it takes to get one? Read on my friends, and maybe you, too, can rent your own little slice of real-estate heaven.
- Find some roommates. Unless you’re rolling in scholarship dough or Mom and Dad have offered to foot the bill, you’re probably going to want to split the cost (and responsibility) with a roomie or two (or more). So before you even start the hunt, line up some buddies to live with. George Fox University posted a great, practical article about how to choose a roommate. Trust me, this is a big decision!
- Talk budget. Now that you’ve got your roommates, you need to decide how much you can each afford to spend. If you’ve got a bigger budget, you may opt for a room of your own. To save some cash, you might want to share. Tally up your funds and decide your total monthly budget for rent and utilities, and talk about how many bedrooms/bathrooms you want to get.
- Go On the Hunt. Your roomies are secured, your budget is set, now its time for the fun part–apartment hunting! Scout the area for complexes you might like to live in, and be sure to talk to other students and/or the student housing office for more info. Once you find some spots you like, take tours, check out their online reviews (at sites like apartmentguide.com, forrent.com, or apartments.com), ask questions, and build up your pro/con list.
Ask the Right Questions
Apartments can have a lot of hidden costs and requirements, so while you’re visiting your prospective new places, be sure to ask these crucial questions so you know what you really need–and what you’ll really pay.
- Does your complex allow co-signers?
A co-signer is someone with good credit who signs your lease with you if you can’t qualify to rent an apartment on your own (either because you have a low credit score or you don’t earn enough income). My roommates and I had to have a co-signer (one of our parents volunteered) for our first apartment.
- What is included in the rent?
Are there community amenities like an office, pool, or gym? Does your rent cover some of the utilities? Find out if your rent entitles you to any extras!
- What utilities will we have to pay for?
Will you have to come up with money for things like gas, water, and trash on top of electricity, internet, and phone? Find out what your complex covers with rent and what you’ll have to pay for on your own.
- What is the average cost of those utilities?
Most complexes can give you an idea of how much the above items will cost you.
- How much is the security deposit?
Most rentals require you to put down a security deposit (money to cover any damages that may occur while you live at the apartment). You may get all or some of this money back when you move out, depending on how well you’ve cared for your unit.
(If you have a pet, you will most likely have to pay an additional deposit, and possibly additional rent to keep it in the apartment, so be sure to ask about that, too.)
- How much rent do you require upfront?
In addition to the security deposit, most rentals also require you to pay the first month’s rent before you move in. Some require both the first and the last month’s rent before they’ll hand over the key.
- Do you have any specials going on? Can you work with my budget?
Apartment complexes don’t like to have their units empty for long, so often they will run specials such as one month of free rent or even a monthly discount. If they don’t have a special, you can still make them aware of your rent budget and ask if they can work with you. Just remember–whenever you’re asking for a discount, be nice!
Compare, Contrast, and Sign
Now that you’ve got your questions answered, your tours completed, and your budget worked out, talk to your roommates and figure out which option is the most practical for you. Once you’ve made your choice, and have the funds available, you can arrange to sign your lease–and schedule your move-in day!
Real World Roundup: Grocery Shopping Secrets June 1st, 2011
I don’t care how prepared you think you are, living on your own is no walk in the park. If balancing your school-life (or brand new career) and social life isn’t hard enough, add to that all the mundane tasks that keep your world afloat (laundry, grocery shopping, remembering to buy gas before your car stops in an intersection or something). Oh, yeah–and you have to manage your finances on top of that.
I’ve been on my own for a few years now, and while I’m still no expert at being a “grown-up,” I’ve definitely lived and learned. This little series–a combo of helpful tips and links about life on your own–should give you the benefit of my experience without the headaches of learning it the hard way! Yay!
Today we’re going to talk about one of my personal favorite topics: food. ♥
You Don’t Have to Eat Ramen.
Ramen noodles as a dinner entrée is a college cliché for a reason–after all, its not only cheap but also easy to cook. But guess what? You don’t have to eat Ramen. You can eat real food. Grown up food. Food that doesn’t have half your daily recommended value of sodium in one bowl!
So, you don’t have to eat Ramen. But you do have to do a little legwork. Read on to find out how to get good food for less.
One of the best ways to save money at the grocery store is to plan ahead. If you wander aimlessly through the aisles picking up what you think you might want/need, you will probably end up with a cart full of odds and ends you don’t need, and you might forget the things you do. Here’s how to start:
- Step 1: Make a Meal Plan. This is step one, and it is easy. Plan out the meals you want to eat for a week. You can keep it simple–cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, and simple meals for dinner. Then make a grocery list based on the ingredients you need for those 7 days, and only buy those things at the grocery store.
- Step 2: Shop Sales. Once you’ve got the meal planning thing down, you can move on to step 2! Most grocery stores have their weekly sales fliers online, so once you’ve got the hang of meal planning (and give yourself some time if its tricky) start checking the sales fliers before you write out your dining schedule. Cooking based on in season produce and other sale items will really help reduce your food budget.
- Step 3: Add Coupons. Once upon a time you had to spend hours clipping coupons–not something most college students want to do. Now there are tons of blogs that tell you exactly which coupons you need (you can clip them or even print them off–so easy) and which sale items to use them on so that you can get things for cheap (or sometimes even free!). Here are some great sites to start with (I recommend just choosing one store to use coupons at, though, or it will be way too overwhelming):
- Don’t Shop Hungry. Seriously. Have a snack before you head to the grocery store. Shopping hungry leads to impulse buys (because everything looks delicious when you’re starving) and that means spending money you weren’t planning to spend. Curb your appetite, spare your wallet.
- Stick to the List. Remember that list you made when you were making up your meal plan? Don’t buy anything that isn’t on that list!
One more thing that is college-student specific: you can split stuff with your roommates. This is awesome if you find something cheaper in bulk, as long as you can be sure the sharing is even. To keep the peace, I’d recommend only splitting things that come in finite amounts (like veggies or prepackaged items) so nobody gets their nose out of joint when you polish off the last of the milk.
College Fashion Street Style Roundup: March 2011 March 23rd, 2011
As of yesterday, spring has officially arrived! Unfortunately the weather seems to have recieved the memo late- I don’t know how it is where you live, but it’s still pretty chilly out here in “Sunny” California.
However, even though the weather may still be a bit nippy, that doesn’t mean you can’t start celebrating spring right now! By pulling out pieces from your spring wardrobe, and mixing them with fall staples, you can achieve a fresh look that is transitional and chic. After all, that is what the lovely ladies I chose for this month’s Street Style Roundup managed to do! Ready to check them out? Scroll on down!
This outfit is definitely a head-turner and I love everything about it. Our friend manages to look a bit over-the-top, yet totally elegant at the same time – not an easy feat to achieve. And don’t even get me started on that fabulous (FABULOUS!) sun hat. Sun hats have been on my “must-buy” list this whole season, so I’m kind of obsessed with them.
Anywho, to help you recreate our friend’s look, I first went hunting for a coat. What I ended up with was a fabulous ’60s-esque capelet that can be thrown over the shoulders to keep the wind from ruffling your feathers. Continuing the outfit, I picked out a gorgeous cutout blouse and simple black mini skirt. And for your feet, I found a pair of stylish white cutout heels by Qupid (unfortunately they’re sold out but we’ll update the link if we find them elsewhere!) – perfect for a day out and about. Finally, to put the icing on the cake, I found an elegant black sun hat to keep the sun off your pretty little face and leave you feeling like a million bucks.
This next outfit is from one of my personal favorite street style icons, top model Hyoni Kang. Always stylish, but never overdone, Hyoni always manages to look cool and pull off that “just threw it on” aesthetic. I love how she’s rocking a graphic tee and jeans, but also accents her look with cool socks and a fun jacket. These pieces add depth to her outfit instead of keeping things “trendy.”
To get an inspired look, I took color cues from Hyoni’s outfit, and tried to find pieces that were both fun and breezy. To start off the look, I found this cute Mickey Mouse graphic tee and paired it with these amazing floral jeans that I am seriously coveting as I type this. I then found these wild leopard print shoes and paired them with a nice, neutral-colored cardigan. Finally, to keep your things organized, I picked out a roomy green satchel so wherever you go, you’ll have everything you need with you. Throw on this outfit and you’ll feel stylish without feeling stuffy.
This outfit is such eye candy for me – with so much style in one look, it’s hard for me to figure out what to gush about first. But I gotta say, I love the socks. They pop out and are a perfect “outfit changer” – something every fashionista needs.
To get a similar look, I first found this awesome faux fur lined coat that reminds me of something you’d see worn on Mad Men. I then paired that with a sexy, yet still classy, striped dress and simple oxford heels. Taking cues from the photo, I also included some blue socks and a red colored bag. Finally, I left the hat off for a more spring-appropriate ensemble, but you could always add one if you’re feeling extra bold (or cold).
What did you guys think of the looks I picked out? Did you love them? Hate them? What about the looks I put together? Which was your favorite? Whatever your thoughts, let me know in the comments!
DIY Holiday Gift Roundup – Gifts for Guys January 4th, 2011
Don’t worry, I wouldn’t leave the guys out of this gift-giving season (see girlie gifts here!). Here are some DIY presents to pass on to the boys!
For Little Boys
- Plush Owl Toy – Cute (and green) this repurposed scarf-to-owl toy is perfect for animal-crazy toddlers.
- Eye Spy Bean Bags – Remember Eye Spy books from when you were a kid? Throw in the squishiness of a bean bag and you’ve got this fun toy.
- Super Hero Cape – Pretend is not just for girls. This super hero cape will keep kids running around the yard for days.
- Dinosaur Playmat – This dino playmat is cool, but a little sewing-intensive. For an easy no-sew version, pick up some canvas fabric draw out your map with fabric markers.
- Kid’s Work Apron – For the artist or handyman, this work apron is helpful and fun.
- Fabric-Covered Moleskines – For the thinker or the artist, these fabric covered moleskins are a perfect gift. (Just be sure to choose some nice, manly fabric).
- Cassette Tape iPod Case – I love the concept of a cassette tape iPod case (might want to make yours less pink, though, huh?). Clever.
- Mini-Terrarium in a Lightbulb – Awesome for some dorm zen for your favorite nature lover, these lightbulb terrariums (pictured above) are inexpensive but pack a lot of visual punch.
- Freezer Paper Stencil Tee – Make the ultimate custom-tee with this freezer-paper stencil tutorial.
- Neck Pillow – I don’t know about you, but my dad is all about catching catnaps whenever he can. What about scaling up this comfy neck-pillow so he can nap during half-times?
- Car CD Holder – My guy is all about having tunes in the car but our CDs always get lost or scratched. If your Dad hasn’t moved into the iPod zone yet, why not whip up a CD case for his car? (Again, might want to shoot for some more manly fabrics…)
- Papercut Portrait – Artistic and just plain old cool, this papercut portrait tutorial will help you make a personal, meaningful gift.
- Custom Ball Cap – For the traditional grandpop, skip the tie or socks and make him a customized baseball cap. I bet he’ll wear it even if it says “#1 Grandpa.”
DIY Holiday Gift Roundup – Gifts for Everyone! December 13th, 2010
I’ve come across so many great DIY gift ideas for this year that I thought I’d share one more roundup of awesome make-it-yourself goodness before we move on. I hope you’ve found something for everyone on your list. Don’t forget, there are lots of DIY gifting ideas in the archives, too–just scroll down to DIY!
- Rose Petal Tutu – A quick (under an hour) project that will get any little girl twirling, this cute tutu is filled with rose petals and accessorized with a nice big bow.
- Padded Roll Up Cushion – Perfect for a reader or outdoor adventurer, this padded cushion rolls up for easy carrying between rooms (or forts) so it is always on hand.
- Strawberry Pillows – Maybe I should have put these under gifts for ladies, because I totally want a crop of strawberry pillows to call my own!
- Satin Flower Headbands – These adorable headbands are perfect for girls of all ages, and they look like way more work than they are!
- Child’s Tool Belt – Great for playing pretend or helping Dad around the house–just add a couple of plastic tools and you’re good to go.
- Animal Puppets – A quick and easy tutorial for super cute felt animal puppets. If you’re not a whiz with the whole sewing thing, fabric glue should work pretty well on these, too.
- Glove Stuffed Animals – Pick up a set of gloves at Target and you can whip up one of these adorable little animals yourself.
- Felt Fishing Set – Felt fish + magnets + mini magnetized fishing poles = hours of fun.
For Ladies, Sistas, Mamas, & Girlfriends
- Flower Bib Necklace – I love how simple and flirty this fabric-and-chain number is!
- Modge Podge Bangle Bracelets – Make something custom and chic AND play with modge podge? Win-win.
- Easy Breezy Scarf – Four simple steps, and you’ve got this awesome accessory all ready for gifting.
- Custom Heart Plate – This custom plate tutorial has a lovey-dovey twist, but you could make it up any way you want. (For example, how cool would it be to make your own version of this?)
- Uber Cute Menu Binder – An ideal gift for the cook-with-your-wallet type. Why not add some takeout menus to get her started?
- Stenciled Animal Mugs – Super cute (and super quick to make), these animal mugs will brighten up any gal’s morning.
For Guys, Bros, Pops, and Boyfriends
- Mason Jar Herb Garden – Some guys like to cook, some like to eat, but most like their food to have killer good flavor–enter this mason jar herb garden. Fresh herbs taste way better!
- One Hour iPad Sleeve – Someone feeling a little protective of his new iPad? Whip up one of these one-hour sleeves to keep it safe.
- Kindle Urban Camouflage Case – Is it a book? Is it a Kindle? No, its both!
- Han Solo in Carbonite Chocolate Bar – If you thought that Star Wars fans get tired of creative ways to see Han Solo in carbonite… you were wrong. Plus–chocolate. Yum.
- Pinhole Artwork – I love the subtle-but-artsy vibe of this DIY artwork. Pick your giftee’s favorite subject and get to work! (Photo above from Design*Sponge.)
- Pocket Watch Wall Clock – Looking for something fun and quirky? Look no further–this pocket-watch wall clock should do the trick.
- Super Sweet Eye Chart – The perfect way to say I Love You (yeah yeah yeah), in a modern-simple-clever way.
DIY Holiday Gift Roundup – Girlie Gifts December 1st, 2010
It’s that time again–save your budget and get your DIY on with these inexpensive DIY gifts for family and friends!
For Little Girls
- Dress-Up Tulle Tutu – Cheap, easy, and ballerina-beautiful, this tutu couldn’t be more perfect for playing pretend.
- Ruffled Parasol – Go the extra mile and pair this with the tutu above for tons of dress-up fun.
- Felt Dinner for Two – This one will take some time, but it is awesome if you’re hungry for some pretend dinner!
- Hair Clip Holder – Thrifty and pretty, this would look great in any girl’s room.
- Soft (& Cheap!) Floor Pillows – These bath towel pillows are inexpensive and extra soft–perfect to cuddle up with.
- Super Cheap Pom Pom Lamp – I can’t believe what this combo of tule and dollar store items turned into! Dreamy!
- Anthropologie-Inspired Scarf – Want to give the gorgeousness of Anthropologie without the painful pricetag? This simple scarf tutorial is a great place to start.
- Quick & Easy Sketchbook – A simple sketchbook for the artist in your life (guys would like these too!) that won’t break your budget.
- Paper Mache Party Lights – What’s a dorm room without funky lighting? These cool party lights will be a spunky addition to any bedroom.
- Blue Sky Thinker Pillow – Classy and understated, this is perfect for a girlie girl OR a tomboy. Win-win.
- Easy Feathery Headband – This sassy headband (pictured above) is perfect for girls night OR date night. So pretty!
For Mamas & Grandmamas
- Teatowel Apron – Minimal sewing & maximum cute, this teatowel apron is perfect for getting Mom to whip up a batch of those brownies you looove.
- No-Sew Fabric Wreath – A little bit of no-sew decor, this super cute wreath is sure to please the decorator in any girl.
- Silhouette Art – An awesomely inexpensive (and surprisingly sentimental gift) all you need is some paper, scissors or an x-acto, and a frame.
- Spa Set – The holidays are tough on our baking/decorating/entertaining moms and grandmas–and this DIY spa set is a great way to help them chillax.
- Hexagon Glasses Case – Young fresh fabrics make this case mama-chic.
- Mocha Cocoa Mix – Girls love chocolate, so this cocoa mix with a kick of mocha is a sure-fire winner.
The Back-to-School Link Roundup for Parents July 16th, 2009
It’s that time again–students of all ages are heading back to school. Whether you’re parenting high-school aged children or sending your first (or second, or third!) off to college, you’re probably feeling the pressure of getting your back-to-school to-do list started–and I have a helpful group of articles to get you on the right track!
High School Students
Grades aren’t the only thing your child should be working on during even the earliest high school years–there are plenty of scholarship opportunities for high school students of all ages, and they should also spend time preparing for the SATs or ACTs and AP tests to increase their competitive edge.
- Private Scholarship How-tos: Search and Apply Early and Often!
- Prepare for the SAT-for Less (or for FREE)!
- Helping Your Student Prepare for AP Tests
High School Seniors
Senior year is an exciting one, full of the anticipation of next year–when your child will be heading off to college! (Where do the years go?) Help your child keep nervousness at bay by learning how to help them get a jump on their college applications, and how to choose the “right” college for your student.
- 5 Ways to Get a Head Start on College Applications
- How to Choose the “Right” College
- Making College Visits in a Tough Economy
Whether your child is going away to college for the first time or gearing up for the final year of college, you’ll want to review the “Off to College Checklist” for tips about how to update your finances for the college years, and learn how your child can help contribute to college costs as well.
- Your Must-Have “My Student Is Off to College” Checklist!
- Student Income: 7 Easy Ways for Your Child to Make Extra Cash
- How to Budget WITH Your Student & Change Your Estimated College Cost
- 3 Things Your Student Should Know About Loans
All the best,
Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.