THL’s Week 2 Power Rankings (Division I)
There were a number of great games this week and we’ve learned a lot since this time last week. Top teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack and we have a much clearer idea of where teams stand. St. Mark’s and Dallas Jesuit are separating themselves at the top of the pecking order. Westwood slides up after a strong win over Houston Christian and Highland Park slides down a bit after their loss to Westlake.We may have been a bit ambitious last week putting Southlake so high in the rankings last week as they were convincingly beaten by St. Mark’s this week, and their win against EHS doesn’t look as strong as it once did. We have dropped them from our top 10 this week but we have a feeling that they will climb back in, over time.
- Dallas Jesuit: Dallas Jesuit revealed with their 17-1 drubbing of EHS last week that Episcopal Houston may not be as strong as previously thought, and they continue to hold our #1 spot due to their high volume of quality wins, although a strong argument could be made for St. Mark’s here. Their defense is a known strength but questions remain on whether or not they have the depth of firepower to win it all this year. We’ll find out more about how they and St.Mark’s stack up against one another when Jesuit takes on a common opponent – Southlake – this Thursday.
- St. Mark’s: St. Mark’s holds strong at the #2 spot in our Power Rankings this week after the 16-2 run-away win they had against Southlake. Signs are pointing to this being the year for the Lions to win it all, as they appear to have the most balanced, well-rounded team in the state, but we haven’t seen enough from them yet to overtake Dallas Jesuit for the #1 spot. Their first real test will come on Friday when they host Westlake – which will show us just how good both of these teams are right now.
- The Woodlands: It was a big week for the Woodlands and they have firmly solidified their #3 spot in the rankings after impressively beating Strake Jesuit on Thursday, dismantling Austin High 19-3 on Saturday, and squeaking past Westlake on Sunday. Their potent offense will cause problems for every team they face and they appear to have tightened up on the defensive half of the field, which doesn’t bode well for their upcoming competition.
- Westlake: Westlake has shored up some of their earlier-season inconsistencies and they looked formidable this weekend, beating Highland Park 10-9 on Saturday in a game that, for much of the game, was not as close as the score indicates. They followed it up with a very close game against the Woodlands on Sunday where they played at a high level for much of the game. They will only get stronger when their standout starting goalie returns to the lineup later this season, but they face huge tests this weekend against St. Mark’s (Friday) and ESD (Saturday).
- ESD: An argument could be made that ESD should be higher in the rankings after an impressive 11-3 win over a strong Hillcrest team, but there’s not a large enough body of evidence on them yet to justify such a move. We’ll know a lot more about this team soon as they take on a solid Plano West team this Tuesday and host a visiting Westlake on Saturday.
- Westwood: Westwood has been very quiet this season after a big off-season which saw them beat the Woodlands at the UT Tournament – until now. They beat a talented Houston Christian this weekend 6-5 in a close game. They have solid play at every position and are a difficult opponent for any team. Westwood has an easier stretch now, facing a couple of Division II teams before starting their District play against rival Anderson on March 8th.
- Coppell: The shimmer has largely been lost from their win over EHS and a 16-1 win over Alamo Heights this weekend doesn’t offer much more insight into where this team currently stands. We have put them over some talented teams for now, but we’ll learn a lot more about Coppell after Tuesday’s game against Hillcrest.
- Houston Christian: They lost to a strong Westwood team this weekend but they failed to capitalize on some quality scoring chances that could would have made the game’s outcome turn in their favor. Their offense looks formidable but there may be some lingering questions on the defensive half of the field. Saturday’s game against a Kinkaid team that just won a quality game over Cy-Fair will give us more insight into how good Houston Christian is at this point in the season.
- Highland Park: Highland Park looked very solid in their 16-7 win over Austin High Friday night, but the Woodlands beat the same Austin High team 19-3 and Highland Park appeared to be a much different team in their 10-9 loss to Westlake on Saturday. Their youth may be the cause of their inconsistencies. They were also traveling without some key defenders and standout attackman Nico Cancemi. We have a feeling that they will climb up in the rankings as the season wears on, but we have them at #9 based on their play this week. HP gets some time to re-group before taking on ESD on March 6th.
- Strake Jesuit: They lost to the Woodlands on Thursday 10-5 but came back with a 13-6 win over visiting Cedar Park. There are some teams right on their heels for the last spot in our rankings, but Strake is holding on by a thread to the #10 spot this week.
On the cusp: Southlake, Plano West, Kinkaid, St. John’s
We create our Power Rankings each week before tallying the results of the Coaches Poll, and it’s always interesting to see where the differences lie. Were we guilty of a few reaches? A few snubs? What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!