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FEATURE ARTICLE

 

#3 St 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 in mid-April:

 

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 the bracket.

 

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 becomes public.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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