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ILLPOLO.COM


Latest News

 

January 31, 2016

2016 Season Promises To Be Epic

By Aaron Brown

 

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 on the Internet at the time. The first games of the season were played on March 10 of that year, I added a few scores to the site out of boredom...

 

...fast-forward to February 14, 2016 when I will likely post nine months worth of research and development to the tune of 420 new pages/subpages with just a few weeks until the 2016 season begins.

 

As the fourteenth year of water polo coverage in Illinois gets underway, it seems appropriate to provide an update to let you know about the important site news and information related to the 2016 water polo coverage:

 

Latest Updates

1) Illpolo University - Since the end of the 2014 season, Illpolo University has been 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 approaches.

 

2) T-Shirts/Merchandise - The second edition of the Illpolo Baller shirt will be released early in the 2016 season and will be available for purchase in The Illpolo Mart.

 

3) Hall of Fame - The 2016 Hall of Fame class as well as any additional inductees will be announced before the start of the 2016 season.

 

4) Podcast - After appearing on USA Water Polo's Counter Attack Podcast two seasons ago, there is a 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. The rankings will be updated by February 14.

 

6) Team Links - Instead of creating separate pages for each team, links will be provided that go directly to each team's online schedule. That way, if changes are made to a team's schedule throughout the season, viewers will be able to keep up via that specific team's updates.

 

7) Giveaways - Various items (coffee, Baller shirts, pizza, water polo bears, hats, mini polo balls, gift cards, USAWP autographs and trading cards) were given away during the 2015 season. Expect more of the same this year!

 

8) Player Spotlight - A new feature that includes an action shot of a current player along with a brief interview may be included on the web site in 2016. Click here for an example.

 

9) Instagram - We will be asking our readers to submit pictures that can be posted on Instagram that highlight the 2016 water polo season once the season begins. Follow @illpolo on Instagram.

 

Practice Begins
February 29

Opening Night
March 9


Head Coaching Openings
Lane Tech (Girls)

Waubonsie Valley (Girls)

...if there are any other openings, please submit ASAP

 

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 2016 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) Four 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 donations 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 three-year old and three-month 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 Illinois!

 

6) On a personal note, I have increased job responsibilities, grad classes, two young ballers 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 these issues and send information when you can to pitch in and help out.

 

Best of luck in 2016,

Aaron Brown

illpolostaff@gmail.com

 

 

 

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