Tuesday, April 05, 2011

HS Eastern's and Western's

So I have been pretty focused on PA Youth Ultimate, something I know I need to change, but, given that I see that everyday, it is hard not to be.  Sorry for that, I will try to do a little more coverage of other areas, but, I will definitely be guessing.  Unless someone helps by directing me to highlights or some kind of coverage of other areas.

Let's take a look at USA Ultimate Eastern's and Western's.  First off, let's not get overly excited as to what these tournaments are, invitational tournaments of teams that were in the previous year.  In order words, teams that have yet to prove themselves in the current season.  

Teams are invited in based on a paper application and how they finished last year at the State Championship tournament.  It is rare that young teams win State Championships, so, in essence, graduating seniors win the right for the younger players to play at a tournament that confuses most other sports.  Ever hear of a HS Baseball team bragging about winning a regional tournament?  No?  Me either.  I hear tons of boasting about State Championships, but these regional tournaments really don't mean anything more than great tournaments like Amherst Invitational, Paideia Cup, Hopkins Hustle, or Madison Mudbath.

I am not saying they are a bad thing.  I am just really looking forward to the day, in about 3 years, when USA Ultimate exits the regional tournament model and fully embraces the State Championship as the end of the line for HS teams.  Then, those other tournaments, like Amherst, Paideia, Hopkins, and MudBath, become even more sought after, and followed HS tournaments.

With that said, I think I should give my (way-too-early) predictions of the final standings for HS Eastern's and Western's.  To save me some grief, I am only predicting top 4 finishers.

HS Eastern's Girls:
Ok, this one, I think I have the best chance of predicting, because I have already seen a bunch of these teams.  YHB is very good, they split their squad at their own Invite and still won, beating Columbia (after CHS beat the other half of YHB Girls) at universe despite an injury to one of their better players.  Allerdice simply kicked everyone's butt last weekend at Keystone Classic, in some windy, and very uphill, conditions.  But, Amherst Girls are coming, and as Larry Bird famously said "So, who's coming in second?"  (Paideia has graduation this weekend, and wil end their season at the O'Hara Invite)
1. Amherst
2. YHB
3. Allerdice
4. Watchung Hills

*Check out O'Hara Invite at the end of April to see Paideia match up with Amherst, Watchung Hills, YHB, and probably Allerdice, and really see how good those teams are.

HS Eastern's Open:
So, keep complaining, but Pennsbury is out.  USA Ultimate allowed them to put a bid in, but ultimately, they decided to keep them out.  Paideia is not in for the same reason the Girls are out, graduation is that same weekend.  There is still some decent competition.  YHB has been whipping everyone, USN has lost only 4 games (2 to Paideia) and I have yet to see Columbia or Amherst play a game (against HS teams...)  Radnor has put up some impressive wins, but I mean, really, who have they played?
1. Columbia
2. Amherst
3. YHB
4. USN

*Born2Dive and Paideia Cup are on the weekend, April 16, tune in to both to see some fantastic Ultimate.

HS Western's Girls
Now I really have to guess.  8 teams playing, 7 from DiscNW.  I can't seem to find anything about Summit, though I have no doubt they are a worthy team.  Looking at the standings for the Girls League in DiscNW, The Northwest School is simply pulverizing everyone, only giving up an average of 3 goals a game.
1. Northwest School
2. Seattle Academy
3. Nathan Hale
4. Summit (because, hey, why not?)

HS Westerns' Open
I read a lot of Western teams complaining that noone writes about them.  Do you want to know why?  Take a look at the teams that are going to Westerns' and try to find out something, anything about them.  I have been searching for a while now, and I have very little.  Also, Louisiana and Minnesota, I feel bad for you guys, long journey to Oregon, Philly would have been so much cooler.  At least Catholic should come out with some medals, in what I am betting will be the best game of the weekend.
1. Catholic
2. Northwest School
3. Franklin
4. Summit (host team, gotta show some love)

Ok, make me look stupid, give me your predictions.