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MWPA Week 7 Boys Poll

The Michigan Water Polo Association has released the week seven top ten with several pivotal games left to play this week.

A breakdown of the week that was for each team is below.

#1 Hudsonville Eagles

Undisputed and unanimous, the Eagles are still right on top. They took out Grand Haven, Okemos, Birmingham Seaholm, East Kentwood and Ann Arbor Pioneer over the course of the week and save for that 6-3 win over Pioneer, didn't play within 10 goals of anyone. Their record remains perfect and one postseason win will make them the first team to 30 wins this year, which only one other boys team currently has a chance to reach. Josh Ahrendt's team has a date with history if they keep playing like this.

#2 Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles

Their trip West a week ago appeared to light a fire under Ashley Hower's team as they streamrolled through seed weekend with a 39-4 score differntial. They have just one regular season game left on the docket with ELHL, before walking into the District 4 tournament as the top seed. Nothing is predictable a this time of the year, but the Eagles have the look and the tools of a team that can be a problem on June 11th if they can reach the top of the mountain.

#3 Rockford Rams

The Rams have moved up into the #3 spot after a near perfect weekend. While Pioneer and Rockford tied for the SECOND time this season, the Pioneers had a loss to an unranked team in there and thus Rockford, one win away from an unbeaten District 2 regular season, sits here in the polls. They Dispatched Seaholm, Okemos, East Kentwood, East Grand Rapids and ELHL last week playing every one of them at an eight or more goal margin. Craig Peterman's squad is very much alive in the hunt headed into the postseason.

#4 Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers

In large part, the Pioneers didn't move down far after their loss to unranked Birmingham Seaholm because the voters saw Don Packard playing a little chess in the contest. The Maples built a 5-1 lead and bled out the clock in a 9-8 Seaholm win even after Packard set the Dawgs on the Leafs. It's was a good opportunity for a Pioneer team, who hasn't been behind often, to execute playing from behind. They rebounded for a tie with Rockford, defeated East Kentwood, and fell in a 6-3 loss to #1 Hudsonville - but those Pioneer Hudsonville scores have been largely slim margined. Look out for the Pio's in the postseason.

#5 Jenison Wildcats

They were idle last week while shorthanded, but the J-Cats come out of the break and have seed games on Monday and Wednesday. Tonight's contest with Grand Haven will do the most to determine how District 1 finishes. The two teams have played once - a 3-0 Jenison win, but that was three weeks ago and the Buccaneers are back to full-strength. This should be one of the best games in the MWPA tonight, as Jason Sweedyk's Wildcats heads for the lakeshore to face off with the Buccaneers.

#6 Birmingham Groves Gators

The Gators took to the poll just once last week in an 11-3 loss to Ann Arbor Pioneer, and have one regular season game remaining - a date with a school a little less than two miles down the same road in longtime rival, Birmingham Seaholm. The Gators have hosting rights in what will determine the District's top seed, which is key here - should Walled Lake advance past Friday, they've given Groves a couple of close contests this season and have excellent goalkeeping. A win tonight keeps Groves on the opposite side of the bracket from the Cobras. The top seed out of District 3 is key in a chance to make it back to states for Bob Sala and Steve Curry's Gators.

#7 ELHL Co-Op

In just a one-game week, ELHL fell to Rockford on the road to wrap up their district seeding. They still get Ann Arbor Skyline on the road (tonight) and Okemos at home (tomorrow) to wrap up the regular season as Madi Zink's Co-Op could use some good vibes going into a challenging District 2 tournament, but they have been largely very good agains that district. At 4-1, they are the second seed and are locked into being a regional quarterfinalist. To make states, they'll have a big fight on their hands, but it is certainly, more than possible for ELHL.

#8 East Grand Rapids Pioneers

Their regular season is in the books - and the Pioneers are third in District 2 with wins over Okemos, Mason/Grand Ledge, and East Kentwood to their credit. Raheem Brown's EGR squad is locked into a first round match-up with Mason/Grand Ledge for a bid to Regionals and the District Semi-Finals, where a win earns them an opportunity to avenge an earlier loss to ELHL. They have all week to prep for the biggest weekend of their year, so far.

#9 Ann Arbor Huron River Rats

The Rats remain on the rise. Throw out their win-loss record, Paul Barnett's squad has been hard to play against, have great young talent, and did defeat teams behind them and now outside of the poll to be here. They have terrific strength of schedule, and a huge opportunity this week as they have Dexter in a district seed game which will finalize the District 4 tournament positioning. The River Rats play in one very hard district with two teams in the top four, but can certainly make some noise with a couple more wins in the next week.

#10 Birmingham Seaholm Maples

Fear the Leaf! They managed a big win over #3 Ann Arbor Pioneer this week at the Rockford tournament. Give Assistant Coach Joe Perham a lot of credit, as he guided the bench on Friday night in a match-up with one of the state's all-time great coaches in Don Packard. While the Maples ran into a couple other very good teams later, they managed a win over Okemos as well and now, have an opportunity to face off with rival Birmingham Groves to lock up the District's top seed. Tonight's should be a very interesting watch, as Josh Stephens' squad is trying to chart a path back to the state tournament.

On the Line: Grand Haven (101), Okemos (64), Zeeland (41)


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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. Polls will be updated Monday's at 11 am (Girls) and noon (Boys) ET. Inquiries on the poll can be directed to the chat feature on the MWPA website. Answering times may vary.

What is On the Line?: On the Line is the first three teams outside of the MWPA Poll. Coaches vote weekly during the season.

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