Where to begin...
Capital Conference. Olentangy Orange, my personal favorite, and seemingly odds on favorite to repeat has begun to stumble? After shredding Watterson 10-0, they droped a game they needed to win, against Upper Arlington. Now Upper is no slouch in the Capital Conference, but Upper is not in the same class as Orange. This loss is a disappointment, and at 5-1 its out right embarrassing. Champions win games they need to win, they win the games they are supposed to win. This is what we are looking at across the state right now. Heading into district play there are gross break downs of in team disiplan, players being ejected and DQ'd, teams not playing to their potential. This is the time when Champions are in full stride, and ready to roll. The odds on State Champion favorite this is tracking on a perfect course.
Orange will advance to States
In the NHC Toledo St. Johns is that odds on favorite. Mike Hays and the Titans have to be laughing at the Sylvania Northview loss to Findlay. Down 2 players who were DQ'ed for the weekends games, banned from practice and one gone for the year on the heels of his 2nd DQ. The Wildcats as predicted fell to the Trojans 4-3. There is just not any foreseeable waythe defending champions will be able to make out of district play. Findlay has lost a player now to a DQ that occurred during the BG-Findlay game. All this when BG is getting their stride. A stride that has eluded them in the past years. Goalie Tanner Fausnaugh plays a true hybrid style in net. Playing well outside the paint, with good angles he leaves to little are for shooters. His form nothing like that of Nate Gays big body, playing a bit a deep. People can argue, but Fausnaugh now has an impressive .91 Sv%. The BG forwards are skilled, swift skaters unafraid to shoot and battle in the corners, or behind the net. I will not doubt that BG makes an interesting run in the district games, and next year you ought to just make they are in the top three to start the year.
Toledo St. Johns will win the State Title.
Cleveland...oh Cleveland. Your killing me! HaHa. Every year your coaches all do so well getting your teams to peak at this point. It really messes with the predictions, and just proves how wide open the conferences are. So again a wild weekend. We have US over Eds 5-2 and 1-0 over Shaker. Eds over Ignatius 5-2, Holy Name over Hudson 2-0 and Hudson over Mentor 5-4 OT.
League Stats have Walsh and Holy Name Tied at 7-2-1 for first, with Walsh way out ahead in GF at 48 and Holy name at 35. I have to say Rocky River I had my hopes, but its just not be this year, youve improved, and are looking to remain a threat, but sorry, not this year. As much it really could happen, Walsh will be heading to states, and will play SJJ for the Championship
North west Cleveland. Aye, yi, yi.... oh what a tight race with in districts, St Ignatus and Eds again at the top, with the Red Raiders tied with Eds for Second. The Raider did falter, loosing to both Ignatius and US in their last two outings. Any of these three teams is capable of reaching states. Ignatius and Ed's have the clear advantages with culture. While all indicators now point at Ignatius being in states, my gut is me telling Shaker.
Shaker will reach states but fall to Walsh.
So my final Rankings are
1. St. Johns (1-1)
2. Walsh (4-1)
3. Shaker ( 10-1)
4. Olentangy Orange ( 27-1)
5. St. Ignatius ( 5-1)
6. Holy Name (24-1)
7. Sylvania Northview (30-1)
8. Olentangy Liberty (50-1)