February 17, 2015
2015 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 16, 2015, where I just
posted about nine months worth of research and development to the tune of
300 new pages/subpages with just a few weeks until a new season begins.
As the thirteenth year of coverage is underway, 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 University - Since the end of the
2014 season, Illpolo University has begun covering the efforts of former
water polo players from Illinois. After covering the boys' season in the
fall, Illpolo University will continue providing updates for the girls'
collegiate season this spring while the high school season also carries
2) T-Shirts/Merchandise - Following the efforts
of Kreative Clothing Company to make Illpolo-related shirts over the
summer, a plan is in the works to produce Illpolo Baller shirts this
spring. The Illpolo Mart is already setup and more information will be
sent out once the shirts are available.
3) Hall of Fame - The 2014 Hall of Fame class as
well as any additional inductees will be announced before the start of the
4) Podcast - After appearing on USA Water Polo's
Counter Attack Podcast last spring, there is a strong possibility that
a few Illpolo podcasts will be produced, time permitting.
5) Rankings - Once again, this year's rankings
will list the Top 50 teams each week. There will not be a separate
rankings page for all 90+ teams posted on the site.
6) Team Links - Instead of creating separate
pages for each team, Iinks will be provided that go directly
to each team's online schedule. That way, if changes are made to a team's
the season, viewers should be able to keep up via the team's updates.
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 2015 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) Three years ago, it was suggested that I charge a small fee
for readers to access the web site. Actually, it was also suggested around
nine 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 and now maybe my two-year old son). However, it 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 readily 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 2015,