Ignatius Holds Off #2 Naperville Central
By Aaron Brown
NAPERVILLE, IL -- There are two important
dates that many involved in Illinois high school water polo look forward to
1) Sectional Seeding
2) State Bracket Drawing
We know that the coaches will determine the seeding of
teams on Thursday via an online vote. This process is mainly based on
regular season performance up to this point of the season, with a major
factor being head-to-head performance between the teams participating in
each sectional. That makes figuring out the seeds and brackets somewhat easy
to predict, though there is still always an air of uncertainty until the
seeds are released and teams actually get to see who they have drawn as a
first round opponent in next month's playoffs.
Another date to look forward to involves an even bigger
and more random selection process: the state tournament bracket drawing.
When the IHSA completes this process in Bloomington for water polo and
several other sports, they basically make selections using a blind draw to
determine which sectional winners will play in the quarterfinal round at the
state tournament. The entire bracket is determined this way, meaning that
the first four sectionals selected will be placed on one side of a bracket,
while the next four sectional selections will play on the opposite side of
As we have seen in the past, the state bracket drawing
can have a huge impact on how the state finals will play out. There have
been several instances where two of the top teams in the state have met in
the quarterfinal round of the state tournament, ensuring that only one of
the teams had the the chance to play on the final Saturday of the season.
While it is true that the "best" team should always emerge as the state
champion regardless of who they have to play against leading up to the title
contest, most people would agree that it is preferable to see the top teams
in the state play on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd instead of
on a Thursday or Friday afternoon as one of four games.
As mentioned before, the date of the sectional seeding is
well publicized...Thursday, April 22. However, I have yet to receive any
response from the IHSA as to the date of the state bracket drawing. I have
always been interested in traveling to the site of the drawing to cover it
live, being a self-proclaimed journalist and all, but I still cannot
pinpoint the date of the drawing (just like every other season).
Regardless of the date of the announcement, rest assured
that illpolo.com will have all of the latest sectional news and information,
starting on Thursday with the sectional seeding and continuing with a state
tournament brackets once the drawing has been completed and the information
Until then...keep waiting in anticipation, just like I do
every season around this time in April.
I would love to cover the best possible games at the
state tournament and see the most deserving players and teams get a chance
to shine at the state tournament next month, so let's hope for the best when
the upcoming decisions are made!