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Raiders rank improves

   Two days after St. Thomas Aquinas learned it was ranked No. 5 in the country by PrepNation, the Raiders were voted fourth in the inaugural ESPN RISE FAB 50.

   The new poll combines three established polls - Student Sports FAB 50, RISE Magazine Top 25 and the ESPN Elite 25 - into one, which will be released every Monday beginning Sept. 1.

   Trinity High of Euless, Texas captured the top spot, followed by Lowndes High (Valdosta, Ga.) and De La Salle High (Concord, Calif.). Deerfield Beach, which narrowly lost to eventual national champion Miami Northwestern in last year's state semifinals, was eighth nationally. Deerfield and St. Thomas play each other on Oct. 17 in a game televised live by CBS-CSS.

   It will not be the only television exposure for the Raiders, however. St. Thomas opens the season on national television when its game against Cincinnati's Elder during the 2008 Kirk Herbstreit Ohio vs. USA Challenge is televised on tape delay by ESPNU on Sept. 1. The game will be played the previous day at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium.

   Cypress Bay will have its game at Katy (near Houston) on Oct. 4 televised live by ESPNU.

- BOB EMANUEL JR.

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