MWPA Announces Week 3 Boys Top Ten Rankings
The Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA) has released their Week 3 Boys Top Ten rankings. Check out the breakdown of each squad below.
#1 Hudsonville Eagles
It would appear until someone can top them, the Eagles will maintain their unanimous first place seat. Out of a possible 3000 poll points this season, the Eagles have 2984 and have been unanimously ranked first in each of the last two polls now. The Eagles are 4-0, they opened with a 10-goal win over current #2 Rockford, and last played in an 18-1 win over East Kentwood last Monday. Josh Ahrendt's Eagles have played just one game within five goals, a four-goal win over current #3 Ann Arbor Pioneer.
#2 Rockford Rams
Craig Peterman's Rams treated themselves to a 2-0 district start this past weekend in mostly comfortable style with a 40-12 scoring margin. They gave up eight goals to now #10 Okemos, but the Chiefs came in hungry after waiting until this weekend to play their first game. The Rams had to squeak by #5 Grand Haven on the road in overtime this week (9-8) but again, the Rams found a way to win it and are now 8-1 and tied for second most wins of any boys team in the state (with Dexter), with their only loss coming to #1 Hudsonville.
#3 Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers
The Pios had a busy week with five games and like they've done mostly this season, they won them all. Their closest was an 8-5 win over Birmingham Groves (the second identical score in a week). They sprinted out to a 3-0 lead in District four at the seed tournament, toppling #6 Ann Arbor Skyline and rival #7 Ann Arbor Huron by a combined 19 goals. Don Packard's Pioneers lead the state with 10 wins and a purely ridiculous 6-2 mark against top ten teams.
#4 Dexter Dreadnaughts
The defending state runners up were on a warpath this week. They beat #7 Ann Arbor Huron by 16, and cruised at the district seed tournament with a pair of wins that netted a +31 goal differential. Brian Semple's Dreads are 8-1, tied for the second most wins in the state, and have a very nice 4-1 record against top ten ranked teams this season. The Dreadnaughts (what an excellent mascot, right? Very menacing.) will get a big time test when they see #3 Pioneer for the second time this season. The Pioneers won the first meeting 7-6 back on April 9.
#5 Grand Haven Buccaneers
Bill Hamm's Buccs went 2-1 with big margin wins over Jenison and Portage this week. Hard to criticize their only loss, as the took the #2 Rockford Rams to OT and fell 9-8 and showed they can play with the upper-tier with no problems. They've played a pair of solid games with Rockford so far this season. The Buccaneers will see #8 East Grand Rapids and #6 Birmingham Groves this week.
#6 Birmingham Groves Gators
The Gators continued to play solid polo this week. They kept it close with #3 Pioneer, falling 8-5 for the second time in four days, but rebounded for district wins over troublesome Grand Blanc (6-5) and previously rolling Lake Orion (15-3) to settle into a 2-0 start in District 3. Bob Sala's Gators have drawn tons of respect as they've played a challenging and well-traveled schedule, and have given none an easy day.
#7 Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles
Ashley Hower's Eagles struck for a big time win over #7 Ann Arbor Huron (13-3) after falling 12-2 to #4 Ann Arbor Pioneer this week, and got off to a 2-1 start in the East side gauntlet of District four. It gets no easier this week as they get #6 Birmingham Groves for the second time this season on Tuesday. The Eagles have stabilized after an up-and-down start, they're 5-1 in their last six games.
#8 East Grand Rapids Pioneers
What did we learn this week about the Pioneers? Probably that their former All-State keeper for East Kentwood head coach (Raheem Brown) has channelled his energy into the fiery Paul Williams in goal. Williams was a rock as the Pioneers got off to a 3-0 district start, and showed off a cannon, scoring twice from his own goal this weekend (on several shot attempts). It wasn't just Williams either, the Pioneers as a whole were rock solid with a 4-0 week. Their last game against a ranked opponent was a 6-5 loss to #5 Grand Haven.
#9 Birmingham Seaholm Maples
There is a small sample size for Josh Stephens' Maples this season, but looking at comparatives, the Maples stack up solidly. They returned to action after 16 days off and beat Lake Orion (who had been rolling) 16-5. They fell 9-5 to Grand Blanc who also gave #6 Birmingham Groves some trouble this week.. The Maples get some big tests this week: a rivalry match-up with Groves tonight (Monday, April 26) and a rematch with Grand Blanc on the road.
#10 Okemos Chiefs
Allow them to re-introduce themselves...the Chiefs returned to action for the first time this season and it was into the frying pan right away with a match-up with #2 Rockford. The Chiefs held their own for much of the first half before the Rams stepped on the gas. Greg Kohler's Chiefs rebounded for wins over East Kentwood and Mason Grand/Ledge for a 2-1 start in District 2. The Chiefs went through stretches of extremely strong polo mixed with some rust to be expected after a long, long layoff.
On the Line: Ann Arbor Huron, Grand Blanc, Zeeland
What is "On The Line?": The first three teams outside the MWPA Poll in terms of percentage points - listed for context.
Understanding the Poll: The poll, open to all MWPA Head Coaches, is ranked via a point-percentage scoring model. The points column is percentage of points scored by voters against the maximum total, which is based on number of voters. The period that would signify percentage has been dropped off the beginning of each number.
Unanimous first place ranking nets a score of 1,000 points.
Coaches vote weekly during the season. Polls will be updated Monday afternoons at 12 pm ET. Inquiries on the poll can be directed to the chat feature on the MWPA website. Answering times may vary.