The best time of the year is back with MIAA top 20’s! The first set of rankings is here, but this set of rankings are solely based off of expectations and more accurate rankings will continue weekly as the season gets going. Something interesting to note is that my rankings last year ended up being pretty accurate! BC High was my number 1 rank all season long and they managed to squeeze by my second ranked Pope Francis in the title game. I expect far more parity this season, making my job much harder! Enjoy and let me know what you think!
1: BC High – The Eagles enter the season at the top as they are the reigning Super 8 champion. They had an absolute dominant team last season, but lose some of their best players heading into this season. Entering the season, there is plenty of room at the top for BC High’s challengers.
2: Xaverian – Xaverian enters the season after an extremely impressive run in the Super 8 last season. They fell to the eventual champion BC High in the semi-finals. 2 of their top 3 point scorers return, but graduate their top two goalies. They play an extremely hard schedule, which helps their chances each year when competing for a Super 8 bid.
3: Hingham - The Harbormen are the first public school listed in this edition of the top 20. They enter every season with high hopes as they have been one of the most successful teams in the MIAA over the past few seasons.
4: Arlington – The Spy Ponders are right behind Hingham when it comes to public school dominance. They finished last season with a 15-5-3 record and a birth into the Super 8. They graduate 9 seniors and return a solid roster.
5: Pope Francis – The Cardinals have lost the Super 8 championship in back-to-back seasons. In true controversial fashion, Pope Francis beat BC High last year in the winner’s bracket of the Super 8, but fell in the championship game in overtime. This shows just how close they have been. This year’s team enters the season with the same goal, win the Super 8.
6: Duxbury – Last season, the Dragons won the division 1 championship at the TD Garden after sitting around waiting for the Super 8 championship to end in dramatic fashion. Duxbury went on an impressive run to close the season last year and can look to keep going as they bring back a solid roster.
7: Canton – The Bulldogs are up very high in the rankings to start the season this year after an unbelievable run last year. Canton showed everyone that they should have been in the Super 8 after dominating the division 2 tournament and completing their undefeated season. It will be interesting to see if they can keep up their dominance and push for a bid into the Super 8 this season.
8: St. John’s Prep – The Eagles enter the season returning most of their top scorers. They went on a very impressive run in the playoffs as they lost to Winchester in the D1 north championship. With their strong schedule, St. John’s Prep will always have a chance at the Super 8 and if not, an opportunity to make a good run in the playoffs.
9: Barnstable – The Red Raiders are one of my surprise teams up at number 9 on the rankings. Their youth program has been dominant in bringing up players into the high school program. They finished last season strong with a playoff win before falling to Duxbury in the D1 south semi-finals. Keep an eye out for Barnstable.
10: Austin Prep – The Cougars had an awesome season last year as they finished 14-6-3. They failed to get a win in the Super 8 last year, but getting there is an accomplishment in itself. They return a solid roster as they look to live up to their expectations gained from last season.
11: Catholic Memorial – The Knights play one of the hardest schedules in the MIAA, resulting in a well-rounded team come playoff time. They went 14-8-1 last year, but look for a bigger win total this year as they return some of their top players from last year.
12: Framingham – The Flyers had a very good season last year as they made it into the Super 8 and managed to get a win over Marshfield while there. Mike Tersoni graduated which hurts them as he was one of the most electric players in the MIAA last year.
13: Andover – The Golden Warriors had a solid playoff run last year before losing to St. John’s Prep in the D1 north semi-finals. They play one of the harder schedules for a public school in the division 1 north. They return a solid grouping of juniors who will look to build on last year.
14: Winchester – Winchester fell to Duxbury in the D1 finals last year as they had already clinched the D1 north title. They lose a lot of their top players, but look to build off their positive experience from last season.
15: Marshfield – The Rams won their play-in game into the Super 8 last season, but failed to make any damage while they were there. They lost a lot of upperclassmen, but they should be able to continue to dominate their league.
16: Franklin – The Panthers came out of nowhere last year in the D1 south tournament and made a run all the way to the championship game. They return a solid grouping of players as they look to win that championship game next time around.
17: Needham – The Rockets had a 14-8-1 record last year, but failed to register a playoff win. They return a solid combination of goalies and forwards as they look to make a deeper playoff run this year.
18: Billerica – Billerica slid into the D1 north tournament last season with a 12-7-5 record. As they entered the tournament, they recorded 2 victories over Chelmsford and Melrose before losing to Winchester. They return a few of their top players as they look to build off of their playoff success.
19: St. Mary Lynn – The Spartans recorded an impressive 16 wins last season, but unfortunately could not get any playoff wins as they lost their Super 8 play-in game and then fell to St. Johns Prep in the first round of the D1 north tournament. They had no senior goaltender last year, which will be a good building point for this year.
20: Melrose – The Red Raiders started last season on fire as they were the last division 1 team to be undefeated. They stumbled towards the end of the season, but they return a healthy number of players as they could make noise again this year.
Best of the rest: Braintree, Falmouth, Bishop Fenwick, Reading, Bridgewater-Raynham