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FEATURE ARTICLE

 

Every Week is the Biggest Week

By Aaron Brown

 

Last week could very easily be described as one of the biggest of the 2010 water polo season in Illinois. After all, the Fenwick boys' team made a strong statement with wins over Oak Park and Naperville Central after losing to both teams earlier in the year. Brother Rice still has not lost this season, as they beat Fenwick earlier this year and went undefeated at their own tournament over the weekend.

 

On the girls' side, Fenwick beat Latin and Naperville Central in overtime games, St Ignatius beat Naperville Central 6-5 on Thursday, lost to Lyons 9-7 on Saturday, while Lyons and Fremd still maintain perfect records in 2010.

 

And that's just the beginning...the list of other interesting results and exciting games from last week are staggering, but I'll leave the rest of those to be read on the blogs and scoreboards from the past week so I can get to my main point.

 


BOYS WATER POLO

 

While everything that happened in Week 7 was important, Week 8 could be even bigger. The key tournament on the boys' side is the annual event at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, a tournament that often times serves as a preview to the state tournament each year. This year should be no different.

 

On Friday night, #2 Fenwick takes on #4 Naperville Central at 6:10pm in a rematch from Saturday's 12-6 Fenwick win. In the next game at 7:00pm, #1 Brother Rice faces #3 Oak Park in the biggest test of the season for the top-ranked Crusaders.

 

Those two games, played at the host site of the 2010 state tournament, should give everyone a sense of where they stand as the postseason closes in. The next day should be just as intriguing, as the winners and losers of the above listed games could meet in the championship round on Saturday night. The rest of Stevenson Tournament is filled with potential state contenders, including Mundelein, New Trier, Palatine, and Stevenson.

 

But that's not all! On Monday night, Fenwick hosts #5 Latin in a major test for the Romans, who enter the contest with a 22-2 record.

 

On Tuesday, matchups like New Trier-Mundelein, Loyola-McHenry, and LWE-Sandburg fill out a schedule loaded with intriguing contests. And the rest of the week features games between H-F and Naperville Central, Latin and New Trier, and plenty of other matchups that should shed some light on how teams will fare when sectionals come around.

 


GIRLS WATER POLO

 

There are still plenty of questions surrounding the girls' side of things as well.

 

Fremd has also quietly amassed a perfect record in 2010, but they will face their biggest test of the season when they take on #4 Naperville Central at home on Thursday. Before that, they travel to #9 Mundelein on Monday night and must avoid looking ahead to the matchup with the Redhawks.

 

Speaking of Naperville Central, they continue the toughest part of their schedule when they play host to #8 McAuley on Tuesday.

 

Evanston, who have been on fire recently, face a huge test when they battle #3 Fenwick on Tuesday.

 

Tuesday night also features interesting matchups like the following:

 

#9 Mundelein vs #14 New Trier

#7 Loyola vs #18 Young

#21 Sandburg vs #23 Lincoln-Way East

#19 Wheeling vs #24 Hersey

 

From a coverage standpoint, I appreciate that none of the Top 25 teams play in a weekend tournament, thus allowing me a chance to figure out what happened earlier in the week. Although a fixture between Lyons and Mundelein is scheduled for early Saturday afternoon.

 


A NOTE ABOUT RANKINGS

 

With some interesting results from that past weekend, there was an expected reshuffling of the rankings on both the boys' and the girls' sides. Much of that was a result of head-to-head matchups and those results...in a way, it would have made just as much sense not to release any rankings until after next week's results (and especially next weekend's Stevenson Tournament).

 

Keep in mind that the rankings are used primarily as an indicator of who is playing the best water polo at the current time and not a prediction of who will play the best water polo when the most important time of the season rolls around...the postseason!

 

 

 

 

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