Thursday, September 27, 2012

Boys High School Rankings for Week of 9/25/2012

  1. Mercer Island
  2. Bellevue
  3. Curtis
  4. Auburn Mountainview
  5. Auburn Riverside
  6. Enumclaw
  7. Peninsula
  8. Puyallup
  9. Lakes
  10. Newport

THE WAIT IS OVER!!!  The initial ranking for the Washington State Boys High School Water Polo season is here. 
Seldom in the course of human events does a team fall into the abyss of oblivion one year and then rise to the top of the rankings the following year.  Hey, it's not world peace, but it is significant if you're an Islander fan.  For the Islanders of Mercer Island it's been a long 22+ months since they were last on top in the rankings, but now they're back and claim the initial No. 1 Ranking for the 2012 season.  We're not saying the current group is ready to join the Mercer Island Water Polo Hall of Fame, but they are legitimate contenders for the 2012 state title.  The Islanders are off to a fast start with league wins over Roosevelt, Bainbridge, and Newport and a tourney win over Curtis.  Of course, the top spot does put a target on your back and the defending state champs will be taking aim next week in what will be the match up of the year so far.  Yes, the defending champion Bellevue comes in at No. 2.  One might think that after graduating the majority of their scoring from last season that the Wolverines might be in for a rebuilding year, but great programs find a way to reload.  An undefeated start to the season has Bellevue on a collision course with Mercer Island to determine north division dominance and the numero uno ranking.  The Curtis Vikings start the year at No. 3.   A perennial powerhouse,  the Curtis program continually recruits and develops strong players and will again be in serious contention for a state title.  A quick start in regular season play notched notable wins over Enumclaw and Auburn Riverside, but last weekend's tourney in Oregon proved to be difficult as they dropped some games to Mercer Island and Auburn Mountainview.  The Oregon Tournament can take a toll, but it will only make the Vikings stronger when it counts come playoff time.  At No. 4Auburn Mountainview is just coming off a big regular season overtime win over Auburn Riverside.  The Lions were the darlings of the 2011 State tournament finishing in a surprising  fourth place.  With a tourney win over Curtis and the win over Auburn Riverside, the Lions won't be catching anyone by surprise this year and the Committee can overlook an early season loss to Enumclaw.  The Ravens of Auburn Riverside have some unfinished business from last year after a disappointing performance in the state playoffs. The Ravens misfired against Curtis early in the season, but appear to be finding their groove as the season progresses and find themselves ranked No. 5.  A league win over Enumclaw makes up for a double overtime loss to the Hornets in the Auburn Tournament final.  As a more experienced team this year,  the Ravens should be able make some noise at the state tournament.  The Hornets of Enumclaw won last weekend's Auburn Tournament with the aforementioned double overtime victory over Auburn Riverside.  With the exception of an opening season loss to Curtis, the Hornets had been on a roll until Wednesday night when Auburn Riverside got a little revenge.  However, these things happen and the tournament win and a regular season victory over Auburn Mountainview is good enough to secure the No. 6 spot.  Now for a very important announcement: For the first time in this blog's history, the Committee is proud to announce that the Peninsula Seahawks have made the rankings and this week have earned the No. 7 position.  Gig Harbor will be going crazy.  Congratulations!!  All it takes is some wins and the Seahawks have delivered with regular season wins over Emerald Ridge, Rogers, Mark Morris, and Lakes.  The Committee will admit that Puyallup has a legitimate argument to be No.7, but their loss to an improving Mark Morris team was a bit of a surprise.  For now, Puyallup comes in at the 8th spot.  This is just the first week for the rankings and there is plenty of time to move up (or down).  At No. 9, the Lakes Lancers are showing improvement over last year and might have what it takes to move up in the rankings as the season progresses.  A close double OT loss to Peninsula last night shows that the Lancers are playoff capable and might be a team to keep an eye on.  At No. 10, The Newport Knights were considered by most to be the preseason favorite for the 2012 title.  Losses are starting to mount and rumor has it that some of the Newport fleet is in drydock.  Not sure what's up, but I do know that an important trait of a championship team is senior leadership.  In water polo,  a leader's speedo is wet.  Figure it out, get your caps on and get back in the pool!    Apologies to Emerald Ridge.  The Committee gave Newport the benefit of the doubt this week, so you are on the outside looking in for now.

Where are they now department

Apparently it is not the "Year of the Ram".  Both Wilson and Rogers appear to be in rebuilding mode.  These programs have a great history and they might still have a chance to make the playoffs if they can produce some wins in October, but it won't be easy.

The Roosevelt Roughriders look like they're in for a rough year.  Over the past five seasons, Roosevelt had some very talented players that produced some memorable playoff moments.  This young team will still have memorable moments, but they're unlikely to be state playoff moments.

Bainbridge is another team that looks to be in rebuilding mode.  Bainbridge deserved to be in the state playoffs last year but missed out in the tough north division.  State rankings and the playoffs will be difficult to achieve this rebuilding year.

Shout out for effort!!

Mark Morris and Stadium haven't received much recognition in the blog (yet) but they are improving and both teams have recorded wins this year.  Most notable were  the Mark Morris' victory over No. 8 Puyallup and Stadium's victory over Wilson.  They're putting up more points and the Committee is keeping an eye on their progress.

Submitted Photos:

Christopher Apodoca of Mercer Island

 Polo On!


  1. It's good to see Riverside up there...They are a very strong team. I wouldn't be suprised to see them surpass Mountainview or the other teams and wotk their way up higher on that list. After last nights game that became even more apparent.
    Let's see what this season brings!

  2. Glad it's finally up, polo on!

  3. Will you be doing an Impact Player Recognition?

    1. I get a lot of requests for this, but it really requires the support of all the coaches, who are all very busy, in order to get meaningful, fair and accurate nominations. In 2010, about a third of the coaches responded. It was like pulling teeth and took a lot of time. Fortunately, I had the time then and several coaches were very helpful. This blog has no league or team affiliation so its difficult to get the required response to do it properly.

  4. I've heard rumors that the Committee has expanded and more people are helping with the rankings. Is that true?

    1. The Committee does receive some game and team insights from a few coaches and fans, but the rankings are done by the Committee.

  5. Who exactly makes up the comittee?

  6. Why won't you let us know who you are?

    1. It's a safety issue and it's more fun

    2. Congrats! As a fan of HS polo for the past few years, I am really happy to see some structured blogging to raise awareness. You rock!

      Truth be told, I am a bit concerned about Curtis over Mtnview after the Portland tourney. But that will work itself out...

      I can't help being amused by queries of your identity by ANON posters.

    3. Thanks. You're right, the rankings work themselves out over time. For now, I weighted results against common opponents in regular season games a little more than the results in Oregon. Normally, head to head competion would take precedence, but I know by past experience that teams may not be at full strength for a Sunday tournament game and teams tend to play their bench a little more than usual.

  7. Would it be possible to get a North vs. South All-star game this year?

    1. It's a great idea, but it might be more difficult than you might think. My guess is that insurance is a problem. Some of the north teams insurance coverage is through USA Water Polo and will only cover individuals in sanctioned events. I'm sure there is a solution but it adds to the complication of holding a All-Star game. Love to see it happen.

    2. The problem really comes in that WIAA will not allow "All Star" teams. As the south ADs model their policies off of WIAA, I do not see this happening any time in the near and not so near future. Insurance should not be an issue this year due to agreements between teams, USAWP, and their schools...

  8. I would love to see that! I don't know why the WIAA would have anything to do with it since WaterPolo is not WIAA sanctioned, at least that is what I have been told.
    How about some out of league games? Any Coaches up for it? That would be great to see, just for fun.