February 15, 2014
2014 Season Promises To Be Epic
There was a time back in 2003 when I spent one weekend
putting together the first version of the illpolo.com 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 15, 2014, where I just
spent an entire weekend creating 150 individual team
pages with each team's schedule and links to each page throughout the
As the twelfth year of coverage begins, it seems
appropriate to provide an update to let you know about the important
site news and information related to this year's high school
water polo coverage:
1) Illpolo App - An app is now available on Android
and other tablet devices for
the 2014 season. The app will include the latest news, daily
schedule/scoreboard, rankings, contact info, and quick
views of the latest Twitter, Facebook, and web site info all in one
2) Hall of Fame - Water polo has been an official IHSA sport
in Illinois since 2002. As such, we decided to put a more modern twist on
recognizing athletes, coaches, and others with our own version of a Hall
of Fame. Inductees will be announced in early March.
3) College Page - The college page lists all
active collegiate water polo players participating in an NCAA sport. Plans
for a list of club players is also in the works.
4) Rankings - This year's rankings will list the
Top 50 teams each week. There will not be a separate rankings page for all
5) Podcast - Time permitting, I am hoping to
produce 3-4 audio podcasts throughout the season. Stay tuned for more
6) CPS Schedule - Since there are 27 teams
playing water polo in the CPS this season, I have created a separate page
for their complete conference schedule that can be found via the link on
the standings page.
Current e-mail address
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 2014 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 info that can help with
the accuracy of the preseason lists, please help us get things right by
sending in corrections.
3) Two years ago, it was suggested that I charge a small fee
for readers to access the web site. Actually, it was also suggested around
eight years ago and a 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
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 that can ensure as many players and teams get recognized. E-mail, text, tweet, retweet,
call, fax, or send information via carrier pigeon...whatever form of
communication that you can use will go a long way in helping the site progress.
Don't be shy about spreading the word about high school water polo in
6) On a personal note, I have increased job
responsibilities, a 2-year old son, and more teams to cover for a sport
that features boys' and girls' seasons at the same time. If there is any
lag 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 and caffeine is always available), but at least be aware of that
fact and send information when you can
to pitch in and help out.
Best of luck in 2014,