Water Polo 2019

swimfan

Member
Water Polo starts this month. Predictions anyone? It looks like St. Charles lost the bulk of their team to graduation. Who will challenge for the top spot this year?
 

rjones

Member
UA will dominate Ohio and win their 8th state title. It will be a surprise if it's even competitive. JJ is developing into the top coach in the state and has the program on a roll.
 
I'm not sure that I can agree with you rjones. Both X and St. Charles have significantly higher numbers of participants in their programs. That is especially important in high school water polo because most have never played before high school. It takes a couple of years just to develop the basic skills. That's why coaching is so very important. Teaching the skills and the strategy are essential. Having consistently high participation numbers in the program is critical. St. Charles typically has 35 to 40 players and X generally has 50 to 60. That is why year in and year out X and St. Charles are favored to win the championship. This year is no exception. Although St. Charles appears to have lost a lot of players from last years championship team, they return the top goalie in the state and more quality depth than any other team. Their JV team won the state last year for the third year in a row. I think its hard to bet against them to repeat this year. I agree that JJ Spangler has developed into a fine coach, but tops in the state??? Not sure about that so long as Geoff Gear continues to coach. He combines knowledge of the game, mastery of the skills with a superb temperament and skill to interact with high school aged boys. His record is second to none - 8 state titles with 3 different programs. In the 12 years he's coached St. Charles he has 5 state championships and 2 runner up finishes. Those have come in the last 9 years. The numbers are especially impressive since he started from scratch at St. Charles. The club team before he took over had no legitimate coaching and existed primarily for swimmers to work out together in the fall. 3 years of mediocre finishes is not astonishing when building a program. Since then St. Charles is consistently the best or one of the best teams in the state and competes well with the schools in Michigan where water polo is a more established sport. So long as Gear stays at St. Charles expect them to contend for the title each year.
 

swimfan

Member
I agree with thedutchman, X and SC are the powers in Ohio. I pick SC to repeat (the Gear factor is hard to overcome). We should get an idea after SC & X play in an early tournament at Rockford, Michigan. The field includes always powerful Rockford and the defending Michigan state champ Hudsonville. If SC & X perform well in that group, expect them to be the finalists for the state crown in Ohio.
 
That's an interesting question, Wahoo. Canton Glen Oak had a team until a few years ago, but they were the only Northeast Ohio team. I had heard a year or so ago that St. Ignatius was starting a team. Nothing seems to have come of that. I suppose its a matter of interest and access to facilities. Apparently there just has not been the interest. It takes a lot of effort to start a team. That becomes all the harder when there are not other teams in the area. In reality until Ohio schools commit to building the pools necessary growth in high school water polo will be limited. I suggest that it's not a coincidence that water polo has grown dramatically in Michigan as more deep water pools were built at Michigan high schools. The same would happen in Ohio. At present the only schools with deep water pools I'm aware of are Mason, X, and Princeton. UA will have one when its new high school opens.
 

rjones

Member
Bears started their season in Napoleon last weekend. In a likely preview of state final St.X upset UA 5-7. Meanwhile the JV Bears crushed St. Charles 13-6. The dominance begins!
 

aquacard

Member
Nice opening week end. Not sure how much we learned about the top teams. SC sent its B varsity. Not sure if X had its top team there. UA's freshman looked pretty good. SC couldn't swim with them, but X could. This weekend in Rockford should give an idea of how X and SC match up. Both will definitely play their A squads. UA will be competitive, but don't think they can beat X or SC. Sorry rjones...I don't think they will dominate this year. Future does look promising.
 

aquacard

Member
Interesting weekend in Rockford. St. Charles won its group but lost to the winners of the other groups - Dexter and Hudsonville. Dexter topped SC by a single goal, but Hudsonville (the defending Michigan state champions) beat the Cards 5-15. Hudsonville game was competitive until the last 3 or 4 minutes when Hudsonville scored 6 or 7 unanswered goals. Meanwhile St. X finished 2-2 on the weekend. They were second in their group beating Okemos 10-4, but losing to Hudsonville 10-4. They beat West Ottawa on Saturday, but lost to Rockford.
 

rjones

Member
JV Bears impressive at Sycamore Saturday. They slaughtered X 20-1 and Oakwood 17-4. Baby Bears - they divided the JV team beat Sycamore 13-7 but lost to an older X team 8-4. Look out for UA!!
 

rjones

Member
UA goes unbeaten in Mason. The Bears beat St. X in a deep water pool. UA eased up in the 4th quarter or it wouldn't have been so close. The JV is tied by St. Charles. Both teams keep getting better and better. Leaving the state next week to find some competition.
 
An entertaining Ohio Cup this past week end. All the Ohio teams attended. Dexter (out of Michigan) took home the cup with an overtime victory over St. Charles. (3 of St. Charles' 5 loses on the season have been by a single goal to Dexter.) I believe that was the first overtime final in the Ohio Cup. St. Charles look dominant against the Ohio teams. St. X finished 4th (second among Ohio teams). UA was 5th losing only to Dexter in the preliminary round. Expect one of those three to win the state title with the edge to SC from what I saw at the Ohio cup.
 

aquacard

Member
An entertaining Ohio Cup this past week end. All the Ohio teams attended. Dexter (out of Michigan) took home the cup with an overtime victory over St. Charles. (3 of St. Charles' 5 loses on the season have been by a single goal to Dexter.) I believe that was the first overtime final in the Ohio Cup. St. Charles look dominant against the Ohio teams. St. X finished 4th (second among Ohio teams). UA was 5th losing only to Dexter in the preliminary round. Expect one of those three to win the state title with the edge to SC from what I saw at the Ohio cup.
Based on the Wild Knight Invite this past weekend, St. Charles is the overwhelming favorite to repeat as state champion in domineering fashion. Both X and SC divided their varsity squads into A & B teams. St. Charles Varsity A squad won all its games by 10 or more goals including defeating both of X's teams. SC's top varsity has only lost to the number 1 & 2 ranked teams in Michigan this season, 3 times to Dexter (number 2) all by 1 goal and 1 time to Hudsonville the number 1 ranked team. Meanwhile the Cards Varsity B team beat UA on Sunday. Earlier last week SC soundly beat UA in dual matches. Last year SC cruised through the state tournament winning their games by lopsided scores. Expect the same this year. And although their JV squad began the year slowly, they look like they will likely claim their 4th straight JV Championship.

UA will dominate Ohio and win their 8th state title. It will be a surprise if it's even competitive. JJ is developing into the top coach in the state and has the program on a roll.
Sorry rjones, but it doesn't look like the Bears will begin their domination this year. Number 8 will have to wait.
 

swimfan

Member
Don't count your chickens before they hatch aquacard, it's not October yet!! Bears will rule!!!
So rjones, is UA just getting everyone overconfident? They went 1-2 down at the Packer last weekend. They'll need to up their game to finish top 2 in state tournament. At this point it looks like no one in Ohio will challenge SC. Expect the Cards to dominate the state tournament again this year like they did last year. Prediction: SC will win its 8th before UA does.
 
St. Charles is looking like a prohibitive favorite to repeat as champion. Like the typical Gear coached team they have improved throughout the season. It looks like they will be playing their best polo in October. I believe that their varsity A is unbeaten against Ohio teams. Indeed their varsity B's only loss was to St.X in the beginning of the season. It seems very unlikely that an Ohio team can top them. But then again, that's why you play the game. Good luck to all as we move to the post season in October.
 

aquacard

Member
Nice day of water pole Saturday in Columbus. St. Charles hosted its Novice Tournament. Both St. Charles and UA played 2 teams. Not certain how UA divided their squad, but SC played a Freshman team and a JV. Both UA teams manhandled the SC Frosh. SC JV won its 3 games beating one of UA's teams in the process. UA's Gold team won all 3 of its games. The upcoming JV Championship may be quite competitive. Walnut Hills the newest team in Ohio was there. Although they did not win any of their games nice to see them compete. The Columbus Hawks and New Albany rounded out the field for JV. UA hosted varsity matches with again SC playing 2 squads. Both Worthington teams and Cincinnati Princeton completed the field. Both St. Charles' teams were unbeaten. All in all a good day of polo. Reinforced the conclusion that St. Charles is the top team in Ohio. Ohiowaterpolo.com set forth its rankings last week based upon intra-Ohio play. The rankings are as follows:

1. Columbus St. Charles
2. Cincinnati St. Xavier
3. Cincinnati Sycamore
4. Cincinnati Princeton
5. Thomas Worthington
6. Upper Arlington
7. Toledo St. Francis
8. Worthington Kilbourne
9. Napoleon
10. Milford
11. New Albany
12. Dayton Oakwood
13. Sylvania
14. Mason
15. Cincinnati Walnut Hills
16. Columbus Hawks

That looks about right, although UA probably should rate higher. Anyway the margin between St. Charles and the rest of the teams in Ohio remains significant. Like last year they should win the state tournament handily. An argument can be made that the second best team in the state is SC's B varsity. The only loss St. Charles has to an Ohio team was its B varsity to St. X at the Napoleon tournament in August. I suspect that would not be the result if the 2 teams played today. Unfortunately, the gap seems to be widening between St. Charles and the rest of the teams. That is a reflection of two things. First with the exception of St. X no team has as many players. Second, no one has a coach as good as Geoff Gear who proves year in and year out that he is the best teacher of the game in Ohio. An upset of the Cardinals in the state tournament, although good for high school water polo in Ohio, would be shocking!
 

rjones

Member
An upset of the Cardinals in the state tournament, although good for high school water polo in Ohio, would be shocking!
Prepare to be shocked aquacard. October is when the Bears get serious! The JV will win the championship first followed by the varsity. You are correct UA is badly underrated by ohiowaterpolo.com. That will change after the tournament. Look out for the Bears!!!
 

swimfan

Member
At least your consistent rjones, consistently wrong! UA went 1-2 in their weekend tournament. The 2 losses were to the divided St. Charles teams. So do you really expect the Bears to beat an undivided SC team? That's wishful thinking at best. Cardinals will win state tournament with ease. UA only hope for second is if it's on the other side of the bracket and even then they will have to play their best polo to make it to the final. My prediction is that X will face off against SC for the title.
 
The final rankings and accordingly the seedings for the state tournament are out. They are as follows:
1. Columbus St. Charles
2. Cincinnati St. Xavier
3. Cincinnati Sycamore
4. Columbus Upper Arlington
5. Thomas Worthington
6. Cincinnati Princeton
7. Toledo St. Francis
8. Napoleon
9. Dayton Oakwood
10. Worthington Kilbourne
11. Milford
12. Sylvania
13. Mason
14. Cincinnati Walnut Hills

St. Charles has the easiest route to the title with third seeded Sycamore and sixth seeded Princeton on its side of the bracket. X will have to deal with UA, Thomas and StF on its side of the bracket. Still expect SC and X in the final. While X could stumble with UA or Thomas filling the spot on that side of the bracket, it would be a major upset if SC is not in the title game. My prediction of the final standings is:
1. Columbus St. Charles
2. Cincinnati St. Xavier
3. Thomas Worthington
4. Cincinnati Sycamore
5. Napoleon
6. Columbus Upper Arlington
7. Dayton Oakwood
8. Milford
9. Toledo St. Francis
10. Cincinnati Princeton
11. Cincinnati Walnut Hills
12. Mason
13. Worthington Kilbourne
14. Sylvania
 

rjones

Member
You must be insane dutchman! Sixth place!!! The Bears will win the tournament. No one has played as challenging a schedule as UA. This weekend they are tuning up for the championship by playing the top teams in Michigan. The Bears will dominate. Fortunately for SC they have a cakewalk to the finals where they will meet and be dominated by the Bears. Be forewarned...this is UA's championship in 2019. They'll take their 8th crown. The girls will return to the top this weekend!
 

swimfan

Member
Well rjones you're at least half right. UA's girls did take the title. Congratulations to them and to all the girls teams for a competitive state tournament. Hopefully the boys will provide an equally entertaining tournament. I have to agree with dutchman though, this is St. Charles' tournament to lose. Although I don't think UA will finish sixth, I don't expect them to get through X to the final. I see them finishing 3rd. X could pull the upset, but I'm predicting SC by 3 to 4 goals in the final. Good luck to all!!
 

aquacard

Member
As projected St. Charles won the state championship. However it was far more competitive in the final game than predicted. UA had an outstanding tournament, playing their best polo of the year. They led SC by 3 at the half. SC came back with a strong third quarter and took the lead by 2. SC maintained that lead for most of the fourth quarter although UA closed it to one goal with 2 seconds left in the game. A very competitive final with strong defense by both teams. SC's goalie made a fabulous save in the fourth quarter when he came out of the cage and stuffed UA on a counter to maintain the 2 goal lead with about a minute and a half left in the game. St. X finished third, Princeton fourth and St. Francis fifth. Congratulations to all for a wonderful tournament. SC now has 6 titles in the last 10 years.
 

rjones

Member
Sixth place, ha! dutchman. St. Charles was fortunate that the Bears ran out of time. Over all UA was the best team in the state. They had the toughest road to the final, not the cupcakes that St. Charles had. Heck SC's players had extra rest built in by the schedule and then they had such weak opposition that they rested their starters all through the tournament. Even then they only eked out their victory over the Bears. Next year will be a very different story. Just as in swimming UA will begin asserting dominance in water polo once again! Look out Ohio the Bears are on the prowl!!!
 
St. Charles has the easiest route to the title with third seeded Sycamore and sixth seeded Princeton on its side of the bracket. X will have to deal with UA, Thomas and StF on its side of the bracket. Still expect SC and X in the final. While X could stumble with UA or Thomas filling the spot on that side of the bracket, it would be a major upset if SC is not in the title game. My prediction of the final standings is:
1. Columbus St. Charles
2. Cincinnati St. Xavier
3. Thomas Worthington
4. Cincinnati Sycamore
5. Napoleon
6. Columbus Upper Arlington
7. Dayton Oakwood
8. Milford
9. Toledo St. Francis
10. Cincinnati Princeton
11. Cincinnati Walnut Hills
12. Mason
13. Worthington Kilbourne
14. Sylvania
Actual Final Standings
1. Columbus St. Charles
2. Columbus Upper Arlington
3. Cincinnati St. Xavier
4. Cincinnati Princeton
5. Toledo St. Francis
6. Cincinnati Sycamore
7. Dayton Oakwood
8. Milford
9. Thomas Worthington
10. Napoleon
11. Mason
12. Cincinnati Walnut Hills
13. Worthington Kilbourne
14. Sylvania

UA played very well and certainly outperformed my prediction. To my surprise they had a competitive final with St. Charles. Well done Bears! Thomas lost to StF in a tight opening round match. That placed them in the loser's bracket -- meaning finishing 9th was the highest they could achieve. StF had a good tournament as well, finishing higher than I expected. Princeton played well to finish fourth. In the finals SC was senior dominated which may mean that they will not be favored to retain the crown next year. Although the 2018 team was senior dominated as well, and repeated as champion this year. It will be interesting to watch as I believe that UA primary players are underclassmen. Also, they won the JV tournament. Next year may be the year for UA to return to the top of the state. Of course expect SC and X to be around as well.
 

aquacard

Member
All-state selections announced. St. Charles understandably had the most selections. Thomas Lennox from St. Charles was named player of the year.

Remaining selections for first team honors are as follows:
Chris Edwards, St. Charles, Keegan Graham, St. Xavier; Avery Voss, Upper Arlington; James DiSalle, St. Francis; Charlie Harper, Sycamore; & goalie Seth Miller, St. Charles.

Second team selections:
Alex Nash and Will Elsrod, St. Charles; Aiden Powers, St. Xavier; Ben Fribourg, Sycamore; Jake Meyer, Upper Arlington; Edward Imm, Princeton; & goalie Bob Wise, Sycamore.

Third Team selections;
Donnie Richardson, St. Charles; Jacob Carver, Thomas Worthington; Matthew Marks, Milford; Kirk Karbowsky, St. Xavier; Andrew McDaniel, Princeton; Levi Spring, Napoleon; & goalie Ben Dawson, St. Xavier.

Honorable Mention:
John Lundstedt, Walnut Hills; Oliver Soper, Mason; Hunter Johnson, Columbus Hawks; Reece Disalle, Sylvania; Cole Miller, Oakwood; Andrew Winget, Worthington Kilbourne.
 
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