2015 High School Power Rankings (Boys)

The 2nd edition of the High School Power Rankings is here!

The 2015 Southerns High School Regionals trophies.
Photo: Christina Schmidt — UltiPhotos.com

After yet another year of competition, Ultiworld is back with its second edition of the High School Power Rankings. This year’s rankings focused more on the quality of opponents defeated, overall win percentage, and, of course, some coaches’ input.

1. Carolina Friends (29-3 — Durham, NC)

Resume: Southern Region Champion, YULA Invite Champion, North Carolina State Champion, Paideia Cup Champion

Key wins: East Chapel Hill, Lakeside x2, Hopkins, Jacobs, Independence, Carrboro x3, Paideia, Neuqua Valley, Chapel Hill x2
Key losses: Lakeside
Last Year’s Rank: 2

Carolina Friends beat every team in the top 10 that they faced this season at least once. Suffice it to say that they proved they were the best in the country this year. The scary thing about the Durham based team is that they could arguably be better next season. They’re only losing two seniors, and most of their key contributors were juniors and sophomores. It stands to reason that another year of club play will only help their roster.

2. Pennsbury (22-2 — Yardley, PA)

Resume: Born to Dive Champion, Amherst Invite Champion, Northeastern Region Champion, Pennsylvania State Championship Runner-Up

Key wins: Amherst Regional, Lexington x2, Radnor x4, Columbia
Key losses: North Allegheny
Last Year’s Rank: 6

Pennsbury’s record is good but their schedule shows they aren’t much of a traveling team. It’ll be interesting to see what happens if they get an invite to Paideia Cup next year. One tournament that the Yardley team should consider playing in next year is the YULA Invite. As the northernmost tournament that a lot of teams from North Carolina play, that could be their chance to prove their just as good as the rest. One win against CFS is all it would take for Pennsbury to find themselves as the best in the country next year.

3. Carrboro (25-3 — Carrboro, NC)

Resume: QCTU Champion, YULA Invite Runner-up, North Carolina State Championship Runner-up

Key wins: East Chapel Hill x4, Chapel Hill x2, Blackman, Grady x2, Lakeside
Key losses: CFS x3
Last Year’s Rank: NR

If you look at Carrboro’s record excluding their losses to Carolina Friends, you will find that they are undefeated. For a team that was unranked and virtually unnoticed for all of last season, a third place finish in the country is a big jump. Carrboro didn’t have big wins over out of region teams, but they didn’t have to when their in region competition is arguably the toughest in the country. One could confidently say that if CFS didn’t exist, the Clams would be number one in the country. If only.

4. Hopkins (21-3 — Minnetonka, MN)

Resume: Central Regional Championship winner, Minnesota State Champions, Hopkins Hustle Runner-up

Key wins: Memorial, HFC, Neuqua Valley, Jacobs x2, Paideia
Key losses: Jacobs, CFS, Lakeside
Last Year’s Rank: 5

Hopkins record proves they are the absolute top of the Central Region, and their invite to Paideia Cup this year shows the program’s pedigree. Their losses include CFS (no introduction needed), Harry D Jacobs (Hopkins won the season series 2-1), and the good version of Lakeside (more on them later). Other than that this team is virtually spotless.

5. Neuqua Valley (18-6 — Naperville, IL)

Resume: Rivertown Throwdown Winner, Central Regional Championship Runner-up

Key wins: Paideia, Lexington, Independence, HFC x3, Monarch, Memorial, South Eugene
Key losses: CFS, Hopkins, Lexington, Lone Peak
Last Year’s Ranking: 24

The Naperville based high school has the impressive distinction of being the only team to beat a team from every region this year. Neuqua’s schedule was the most colorful, allowing them to test themselves against all sorts of opponents. They emerged on the other side as the second best team in their region and 5th in the country.

6. Northwest (9-1 — Seattle, WA)

Resume: Washington Boys State Champion, Western Regional Championship Runner-Up

Key wins: Berkeley, Atascadero
Key losses:Roosevelt
Last Year’s Ranking: 4

Another year, another thin sample size from the Western teams. The Northwest School maintains its high spot due to their quality wins over the rest of the region. Had they not lost to Roosevelt in the Western Regional final they would have extended their undefeated streak to four years.

7. Lakeside (17-7 — Atlanta, GA)

Resume: Paideia Cup Runner Up, Juniors Terminus Champion, QCTU Runner-Up

Key wins: Hopkins, Carolina Friends, Grady, Chapel Hill, Paideia x2, Grady, Catholic High, Lexington
Key losses: CFS x2, Carrboro, Blackman, Paideia
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

Lakeside’s victory against Carolina Friends looks very nice despite their 1-2 record against them, and the rest of their schedule is quality as well. At Paideia Cup, Lakeside held off all challengers on their way to the final against CFS. Their head-scratching finish at Southern Regionals is forgiven based on the excellence of the rest of their season.

8. Harry D. Jacobs (17-9 — Algonquin, IL)

Resume: Hopkins Hustle Champion, Neuqua Knockout Runner-Up

Key wins: South Eugene, Monarch, Hopkins, Lakeside
Key losses: North Allegheny, Hopkins x2, CFS, Edina
Last Year’s Ranking: 19

Had Jacobs gone to Regionals, it seems possible they would have been able to climb within the top five of this list. Despite that, the team finishes in the top ten after beating two top ten teams and a host of other teams on this list. They had the great mix of owning in-region matchups and getting good wins against other top ranked teams.

9. Holy Family Catholic (23-6 — Cincinnati, OH)

Resume: Rivertown Throwdown Runner-up, Ohio State Champion

Key wins: Center Grove x2, North Allegheny, Blackman, Independence, Monarch, Edina, Lone Peak
Key losses: Neuqua Valley x3, Hopkins, Jacobs
Last Year’s Ranking: 1

Losing their 2014 class transformed HFC from the unstoppable force of nature it was last season to a team that is still a definite force. In the Central Region they’re a level below the top three teams (Hopkins, Neuqua, and Jacobs) but in that second tier they are the best. To earn their spot Holy Family beat teams ranked below them and only lost to ones ranked above.

10. Paideia (15-4 — Atlanta, GA)

Georgia State Champions, Juniors Terminus Runner Up, Southern Regional Championship Runner Up

Key wins: Independence, East Chapel Hill, Catholic, Lakeside
Key losses: Lakeside x2, Carolina Friends, Lexington, Neuqua Valley
Last Year’s Ranking: 10

Paideia finishes in the exact same place as last year despite an improved showing at Southern Regionals. They dominated in state while holding their own against top teams. Paideia’s struggles against Lakeside show that their state and region are only increasing in competition.

11. Lone Peak (15-3 — Highland, UT)

Resume: Utah State Championship Runner-Up

Key wins: Neuqua Valley, Jacobs, De Smet
Key losses: HFC
Last Year’s Ranking: 17

Much like BYU in the college division, Lone Peak finds itself having immense talent that’s forced to play around the rest of the countries’ schedule. That leads to losses such as their defeat at the hands of HFC on Friday. Forced to play six games in one day, Lone Peak simply lost steam. Their single loss in the state championship could show that the state of Utah is improving its ultimate talent level, but that’s for next year to decide.

12. Amherst (11-2 — Amherst, MA)

Resume: Northeastern Regional Championship Runner Up

Key wins: Columbia, Lexington
Key losses: Radnor, Pennsbury
Last Year’s Ranking: 14

Amherst improves on last year’s 14th place ranking thanks to dominating the region and showing they were in the top tier of Northeastern competition. It helps that in-state revival Lexington went to Paideia Cup and played solid, suggesting that Amherst too would matchup well against the other teams in the country.

13. Roosevelt (8-5 — Seattle, WA)

Resume: Western Regional Champion

Key wins:Northwest, Summit
Key losses: N/A
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

Roosevelt gets the nod here as a result of ending the Northwest School’s three year winning streak and taking the Western Regional Championship. They have a win over Summit High School, but like the rest of the teams from the West Coast their schedule is a bit bare.

14. Lexington (10-6 — Lexington, MA)

Key wins: Neuqua Valley, Paideia
Key losses: Neuqua Valley, Lakeside, Pennsbury x2, Amherst
Last Year’s Ranking: 11

Lexington was a proven force all year, they just couldn’t handle the better teams in their region. Their showing at Paideia Cup reinforces that this is a team that deserves to be one of the top teams in the country.

15. Blackman (16-4 — Murfreesboro, TN)

Resume: Tennessee State Champion

Key wins: Independence x2, Jacobs, Center Grove, Lakeside
Key losses: Carrboro, Paideia, East Chapel Hill
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

Blackman probably isn’t a top 15 team talent-wise, but their season certainly points to that result. They owned the matchup against in-state rival Independence and beat two top ten teams in Jacobs and Lakeside. Top that off with quality losses to Carrboro, Paideia, and East Chapel Hill and it all adds up to a great season for the Tennessee State Champs.

16. Radnor (14-6 — Wayne, PA)

Resume: Amherst Invite Runner-Up

Key wins: Amherst, Columbia
Key losses: Pennsbury x4
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

The 2014-2015 Radnor team has a very big what if after a great season. What if this team had gone to Northeastern Regionals? Would they have been able to beat Amherst again? Or maybe even get over the hump and finally beat Pennsbury? Thanks to the long distances some teams must drive for in-region competition we will never know.

17. Summit (9-3 — Bend, OR)

Resume: Oregon State Champions

Key wins: South Eugene x2
Key losses:South Eugene, Roosevelt
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

Summit comes in at 17th despite a small sample size. Based on match ups it seems Storm is at least better than South Eugene (who held their own against top ten teams at Paideia Cup). How would they hold up against strong out-of-region competition?

18. East Chapel Hill (19-6 — Chapel Hill, NC)

Key wins: Grady, Yorktown, Columbia, Chapel Hill
Key losses:Carrboro x3, Carolina Friends, Paideia, Chapel Hill
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

East Chapel Hill has the unfortunate situation of being stuck in a state that contains Carrboro and Carolina Friends, but still managed to put together a great season. If you take away those two in-state rivals, it’s feasible for this team to have several tournament victories under its belt.

19. South Eugene (8-9 — Eugene, OR)

Resume: Oregon State Championship Runner Up

Key wins: Summit, Ballard
Key losses:Summit x2, Franklin, Berkeley, Paideia x2, Lexington, Neuqua Valley, Jacobs
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

South Eugene is on the list despite a losing record. Why? One, the Seattle Invite results aren’t in and those could drastically change their record. Two, the majority of those losses came from the Paideia Cup, where they faced only teams ranked in the top 15.

20. James Madison Memorial (14-8 — Madison, WI)

Resume: Wisconsin State Championship Runner-Up

Key wins: Monarch, Center Grove
Key losses: Neuqua Valley, Hopkins, Monarch, Chapel Hill
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

Memorial had a few rough results in the early part of the season. They struggled at YULA Invite as they tried to work new players into their system, but they finished as one of the best teams in the country. They matched up well against top teams, beating Monarch High School and Center Grove. They struggled against the very top of the Central Region teams, but they had enough good wins to earn this spot.

21. Monarch (14-8 — Louisville, CO)

Resume: Colorado State Champion

Key wins: Memorial, Franklin
Key losses:Neuqua Valley, Memorial, Jacobs, HFC, Roosevelt x2
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

Unlike a lot of teams in the West, Monarch traveled the country a bit this season. This allowed them to get some games against out of region teams in, boosting their record. They held their own at Western Regionals and their main losses are only to Memorial and teams in the top 15.

22. Edina (20-10 — Edina, MN)

Resume: Granite City Classic Champion

Key wins: Center Grove
Key losses: HFC, Jacobs, Neuqua Valley
Last Year’s Ranking: 25

Edina has a nice amount of in-state wins, but it was when they matched up against the region’s best that they struggled. They are stuck behind a lot of good teams both in-state and in-region, but they are deserving of their spot.

23. Berkeley (9-9 — Berkeley, CA)

Key wins: Nathan Hale, South Eugene, Atascadero
Key losses: Northwest, Roosevelt, Summit
Last Year’s Ranking: 8

Berkeley stays in the top 25 thanks to their decent showing against Western teams. They didn’t dominate their state, which took away a lot of the easier wins some other teams have, but they have quality victories against good teams in their region.

24. Center Grove (7-6 — Greenwood, IN)

Key wins: Harry D Jacobs, Independence
Key losses: Neuqua Valley, HFC, Blackman, Edina, James Madison Memorial
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

Center Grove just missed the cut last season but got in this year thanks to some quality early season wins. All six of their losses came to teams ranked above them. They still await the Indiana State Championship coming up this weekend; they’ll be the heavy favorite.

25. Columbia (15-5 — Maplewood, NJ)

Resume: New Jersey State Champions

Key wins: Masconomet, Yorktown, HB Woodlawn
Key losses: Radnor, East Chapel Hill, Pennsbury, Amherst, Chapel Hill
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

Columbia sneaks into the final spot on this list thanks to their diverse schedule (mostly Southern and Northeastern teams), their solid win percentage (75%), and their hot finish at Northeastern Regionals. The longest running ultimate team in the country claimed a 14th state championship in 15 years, and rounds out the list as the 25th best team in the country.

Just Missed the Cut: Independence (TN), Franklin (WA), Atascadero (CA), Catholic (LA), North Allegheny (PA)

  1. Xavier Stewart

    Xavier Stewart is a freshmen at Towson University studying English. He played for four years Baltimore Polytechnic high school and currently play's for Towson's B-team, Bamboozled. He can be found on Twitter @yescoolwow.

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