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ILLPOLO.COM


Feature Article

 

February 22, 2013

A New Decade of Coverage Begins

By Aaron Brown

 

There was a time back in 2003 when I spent one weekend putting together the first version of the illpolo web site. The plan was to compile a list of teams and schedules and then let it sit as a resource, since there wasn't much else available at the time on the Interwebs. The first games of the season were played on March 10 of that year, so I added a few scores to the site out of boredom...

 

Fast-forward to February 18, 2013...eleven years later...where I just spent an entire weekend creating 140 individual team pages with each team's schedule and links to each page throughout the site.

 

As a new decade of coverage begins, it seems appropriate to provide a State of the Union-type update to let you know of some important changes and information related to this year's high school water polo coverage:

 

The Improvements

1) Team Pages - Each team has their most recent schedule listed on the site. These can be accessed from a variety of pages like the rankings, standings, and preseason previews. I don't plan to update the scores on each individual page, but I said the same thing eleven years ago about the overall schedules and we see how that turned out.

 

2) Blog Organization - I have created weekly blog pages that will contain easier-to-locate links to game recaps if you wish to go back and find recaps from certain games or days throughout the season.

 

3) More Articles - The preseason will feature previews, Dark Horses, Sleepers, Players to Watch, Top Matchups and more. Also, expect more feature articles to come throughout the regular season and into the postseason.

 

Practice Begins
February 25

Opening Night
March 4

 

New email address

illpolostaff@gmail.com

 

New sponsor

Kiefer

 

Upcoming Updates

-Sleeper Teams

-Rivalry Watch

-Players to Watch (Preseason Volume I, II, III)

 

Comments

1) The preseason rankings are an indicator of where teams left off at the end of last season and are not a prediction of where teams will end up at the end of the 2013 campaign. A lot has happened since last May, so expect a lot of changes to occur after so many players have improved their skills during the offseason.

 

2) There are always a few players who either get mistaken as having graduated and others who did graduate yet still appear in the preseason previews. If you have any information that can help with the accuracy of the preseason lists, please help us get things right by sending in corrections.

 

3) Recently, it was suggested that I charge a small fee for readers to access the web site. Actually, it was also suggested around seven years ago and few more times in between, and my response then and my response now are always the same: NEVER!

 

There is no way I could limit access to the great high school water polo athletes in Illinois and the recognition they so richly deserve for their extraordinary efforts.

 

4) Of course, if you like the coverage and can afford to make a donation to keep the site afloat so players can get the recognition they deserve, it is greatly appreciated. Click the Donations link for more information.

 

5) Physically, Illpolo.com is a solo effort (aside from the occasional editing help from my wife). However, it definitely requires a community effort from anyone who is willing to send game information and other helpful tidbits can ensure as many players and teams get recognized as possible. E-mail, text, tweet, retweet, call, fax, or send information via carrier pigeon...whatever form of communication that you use can  help the site progress, so don't be shy about spreading the word about high school water polo in Illinois.

 

6) On a personal note, I have increased job responsibilities, an 11-month old son, and more teams to cover for a sport that features boys' and girls' seasons at the same time. If there is any dropoff in the coverage, it won't be for lack of trying or motivation, but be aware that there are outside forces and no backup plan or replacement for me in the event I get stuck at work or have some sort of family issue. You probably won't notice anything different (since I can just skip sleeping), but at least be aware of that and send information when you can to pitch in and help out.

 

Best of luck in 2013,

Aaron Brown

illpolo.com

 

 

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