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Feature Article


March 4, 2014

10 Wishes For the 2014 Water Polo Season

By Aaron Brown


As the countdown to the first day of the 2014 water polo season was winding down, I decided to make a list of ten wishes that I hope will come true during the new season:


1) Sectional Assignment Fairness

Every year, there seems to be confusion regarding the sectional assignment process. My wish is that these issues will be solved and there won't be any confusion by the time the assignments are released. My specific wishes: don't split up boys and girls teams from the same school, don't let teams who haven't played an official game take up a sectional spot before either withdrawing or forfeiting their first round game, don't preach "geographical" reasons for the assignments and then list a TBA Sectional where you have no idea who will be the host, and don't preach "geographical" reasons for the assignments and then make decisions like not sending Palatine to the Fremd Sectional, which is located in Palatine.


2) Top Teams Don't Play in the State Quarterfinals

Every year, it seems like two of the top teams get matched up in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament, ensuring that the losing team will not get to play for a trophy on Saturday. My wish is that the luck of the draw results in a balanced set of pairings for this year's event.


3) All Coaches Submit All-Sectional Ballots

Several candidates for All-Sectional and All-State honors were shutout from the voting as a result of their own coaches not turning in sectional ballots. My wish is that all coaches submit the required forms and that no player is unfairly left unrecognized for their efforts.


4) Avoid Weather Cancellations

Last season, both snow and rain forced across-the-board game cancellations twice during the 2013 season. Many of those games were unable to be rescheduled. My wish is that Mother Nature will cooperate during the water polo season.


5) Add a Day to the State Tournament

My dream of having separate weekends for the boys' and girls' state tournament events probably won't come to fruition this year, but how about adding another day to the state tournament festivities? Play the quarterfinal rounds on Wednesday and Thursday, the semifinal rounds on Friday, and the state finals and consolation games on Saturday. With a state title on the line, my wish is that all of the teams are fresh and rested for the biggest game of the season, not hopping in the water after enduring a 12-hour day away from home after playing in a semifinal game earlier in the day.


6) Sectional Hosting Decisions

My wish is that all sectional hosts have been declared by the time the sectional assignments are made. Last year, as in previous years, a "TBA" sectional was still listed at the time the teams were divided up. And, of course, make sure every sectional is played in an all-deep facility.


7) More Coaches/Teams Send Information

Some teams and players will have every one of their games and performances reported on the web site. Others will get little to no coverage at all. My wish is that every team and/or coach will submit game information so as many players can get recognized for their efforts as possible. I also wish that I can get these scores by 11:00pm so I can go to bed at a decent hour and continue to perform my "real" job.


8) 1,000 Twitter Followers

The Facebook page has well over 1,000 likes, but now my wish is that the @illpolo twitter account can surpass that number as well to allow more people to get the latest news and updates about the sport as soon as they happen. Plus, you'll have chances to win free pizza and other items via random contests and trivia questions.


9) One Million Page Views

The web site has generated over one million page views for the past two seasons. Not bad for a high school sport that lasts only three months. My wish is that the same sort of interest keeps this streak alive and that players and teams across the state get the recognition they deserve.


10) Support for Coverage

There are many things that you can do to help support the coverage, which in turn helps the players get their well-deserved recognition. My wish is that more people will participate by submitting a score, spreading the word about the web site, making a donation, or doing anything else that can help the sport continue to thrive and keep this coverage going through Year #12.


















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