Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ranking The Conferences

Sorry Island and Interior, but the road to the championship is going to go through the lower mainland again this year. The two strongest conferences are easily the East and West. Lets take a look:

The number one ranking goes to the West. Here is the projected order of finish:

  1. Hugh Boyd
  2. Seaquam
  3. Windsor
  4. Handsworth
  5. Sentinel
  6. Burnaby Central

The top four could very well re-arrange themselves by the season's end. Any one of these four teams is championship quality. The conference schedule will provide plenty of big game experience headed into the playoffs. Sentinel is a wild-card this year but has historically been pretty tough down the stretch. Burnaby Central has a lot to prove. Tier 2 would have been a good move for that program.

The number two ranking goes to the Lower Mainland East. Projected order of finish is:

  1. Lord Tweedsmuir
  2. Mission
  3. South Delta
  4. Earl Marriot
  5. Rick Hanson
  6. Langley
  7. Frank Hurt

Frank Hurt is for all purposes at the start of a rebuild. It is going to be a tough campaign for the Hornets in 08. Langley is the wild-card in the division. Last year's squad could make a solid argument for being the most physical team in the division. Most of them return and coupled with the move to a larger school and a veteren atmosphere around the program, they should not be taken lightly by anyone. LT is the reigning king of the division and until they are unseated it is the Panthers followed by the rest of the pack. The reason for a second place divisional ranking is the fact that the West has possibly four serious championship contenders and the East has LT and possibly Mission. You can never say never in AA HS football but I'll stick to my guns on this one.

Third Place goes to the Island. Projected order of finish as follows:

  1. Ballenas
  2. John Barsby
  3. Timberline
  4. Nanaimo District
  5. Belmont
  6. Parklands

Until the Island can raise the competitive bar across the board, it will remain in the third slot. The addition of Timberline to the Island AA conference and the move by four programs to a Tier 2 division gives this conference hope. During the previous two years the Island was way too polarized between the haves and the have nots. The regular season just did not provide enough big games for the playoff bound teams to be ready for the big dance when the time came. This year has things headed in the right direction as Timberline's return to AA Ball will go a long way towards changing all that. Nanaimo District has also matured as a program and further solidifies the conference. Belmont is moving in the right direction as well and has the roster to bludgeon opponents. Parklands thus far as a program has demonstrated that it ought to have entered tier 2 in 08. No one has seen them on the field yet so this could be a premature remark, but I doubt it. Ballenas is the team to beat in this conference and Barsby is probably the team that can challenge them the hardest. Again, Timberline and Nanaimo District should not be discounted. Belmont has to discover the finnesse dimension of the game in order to break in to the top four. Look for the number one and two seed off the Island to play tough in the playoff tournament.

The Interior gets a fourth place ranking. Projected order of finish:

  1. Clarence Fulton
  2. OKM
  3. W.L. Seaton
  4. Westsyde
  5. Valleyview
  6. Vernon
  7. Norkam
  8. Penticton

The return of the Maroons! This has always been a very good quality program that is a dangerous adversary in the playoffs. This squad has the potential every year to run deep into the playoff tournament. The Interior Conference got better the day Fulton announced its return. OKM has a very dynamic quarterback and a lot of quality players returning with him for 08. On average, the rest of the pack is more talented and competitive than in year's past. With Fulton raising the bar in the division a surprise squad could emerge in time for the November tourney. It will surely be fun to watch this group develop during the season.

No comments: