2016 High School Power Rankings (Boys) [Presented By CUT Camps]

What a season!

Amherst Regional High School takes on Carolina Friends School in the Finals of Paideia Cup 2016. Photo: Christina Schmidt -- UltiPhotos.com
Amherst Regional High School takes on Carolina Friends School in the Finals of Paideia Cup 2016. Photo: Christina Schmidt — UltiPhotos.com

The article is presented by CUT Camps; all opinions are those of the author. Please support the brands that make Ultiworld possible and participate in CUT Camp!

Although we are announcing these decidedly later than we planned to, the 2016 High School Boys Power Rankings are finally here! These are a look back at last season (not a predictive set of rankings for the coming one) and are based on season results, coaches input, and subjective analysis. Stay tuned for the Girls Edition tomorrow!

With the High School National Invite announced for June 2017, we will be closely monitoring high school results throughout the fall and spring. Biweekly power rankings will begin in February. If you expect your team to be competitive this season and want to be considered for a bid to the National Invite, please get in touch with Arnoush “Java” Javaherian.

1. Amherst Regional (Amherst, MA)

Resume: Northeasterns Champion, Massachusetts State Champion, Paideia Cup Champions

Key wins: Carolina Friends, HFC, Paideia, Hopkins
Key losses: None
Last Year’s Rank: #12

Amherst put together one of the most dominant seasons in recent high school history with an undefeated run1 through 2016 to a Massachusetts state championship, a Northeasterns title, and a head-to-head win over the obvious number two team in the country, Carolina Friends. Luke Webb highlighted a team stacked with talented seniors that will flood the college division this season.

2. Carolina Friends (Durham, NC)

Resume: Southerns Champion, North Carolina Champion

Key wins: East Chapel Hill, HB Woodlawn
Key losses: Amherst, HB Woodlawn
Last year’s rank: #1

Led by the most dominant duo in the division, Carolina Friends continued to play elite high school ultimate again in 2016, dropping just one spot from their #1 ranking last season. Liam Searles-Bohs and Dillon Lanier were the nucleus of this Triangle area team and were just a point away — they lost to Amherst 13-12 in the Paideia Cup final — from retaining their number one spot. With Lanier headed off to Carleton this fall, Searles-Bohs will be the ‘face of the franchise’ as he enters his senior season. There will be a lot of eyes on his college decision — he’s one of the biggest recruits in years.

3. East Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)

Resume: Southerns Runner-ups, North Carolina State Runner-ups

Key wins: Paideia, HB Woodlawn, Yorktown, Center Grove
Key losses: Carolina Friends
Last year’s rank: #18

East Chapel Hill was the Steve Young to Carolina Friends’ Joe Montana. ECH had a tremendous season, but was stuck behind some generational talent on their cross-town rivals. Tyler French and Sean Murray were particular standouts for a team that was destined to be the bridesmaid this year in the South.

With a number of juniors (including French) returning in 2017, the upcoming season looks bright for East Chapel Hill.

4. Neuqua Valley (Naperville, IL)

Resume: Centrals Champion, Illinois State Champion

Key wins: Edina, Center Grove
Key losses: Edina, HFC
Last year’s rank: #5

It was another strong season for Neuqua Valley, who rebounded from a loss to Edina in the Neuqua Knockout finals to take the team down twice at Centrals and claim the regional crown. Ben Swiatek and Dylan Power were superb this year, and Swiatek is back for his senior season in 2017.

5. Edina (Edina, MN)

Resume: Minnesota State Champions, Centrals Runner-ups

Key wins: HFC, Neuqua Valley, Hopkins
Key losses: Neuqua Valley
Last year’s rank: #22

Edina made a big jump in 2016 and was the favorite to come away with a Centrals Regional title, but a crossover loss to Neuqua Valley sent them into a brutal semifinal with Holy Family Catholic while NV had a cupcake game in the opposite semi. Tired legs came up short to Neuqua in the Centrals final. Otherwise, Edina had a banner year, including a crushing victory at Minnesota States. Sam Hammar was a superstar this season.

6. Lower Merion (Ardmore, PA)

Resume: Pennsylvania State Champions

Key wins: Pennsbury, Columbia
Key losses: Pennsbury, Amherst
Last year’s rank: NR

After being thoroughly dominated by crosstown rival Pennsbury all season, Lower Merion got the last laugh with a 15-13 win in the Pennsylvania State Championship final. That capped off an excellent season in which they lost to just two teams: overall #1 Amherst and Pennsbury.

Lower Merion finished the year with some high honors: five of their players made the All-State team, including 1st Teamers Alex Atkins, Eddie Scott, and Griffin Kao.

7. Holy Family Catholic (Cincinnati, OH)

Resume: Ohio State Champions, Centrals semifinalist

Key wins: Neuqua Valley, Hopkins
Key losses: Amherst, Edina, Carolina Friends, Paideia
Last year’s rank: #9

Although Holy Family Catholic didn’t end up with a ton of signature wins this season, their losses all came to some of the best teams in the country. They easily won the Ohio state title again this year and just came up short to Edina in the semis at Centrals. They lost to Carolina Friends by one in the Paideia Cup semis.

Jordan Monnin was a stone cold beast for HFC this year and the home-schooled conglomerate remains a consistent presence at the elite end of the high school scene.

8. Pennsbury (Yardley, PA)

Resume: Philadelphia City Champions, Northeasterns Runner-ups, Pennsylvania State Runner-ups

Key wins: Lower Merion, Columbia
Key losses: Amherst, Lower Merion, Westfield
Last year’s rank: #2

Despite finishing the year with a whole lot of wins, 2016 didn’t flash quite the same success for Pennsbury as 2015, when they claimed the Northeast crown and dominated the regular season as well. This season, Pennsbury came up short in big games — the Northeasterns final, the PA State Championship final, and late bracket games at Born To Dive and Amherst Invite — all season long. That’s not to say they weren’t a very good team; clearly they were. Mac Rushing was a standout player for the team and went on to lead DEVYL to the finals of YCC this summer.

9. Lakeside (Seattle, WA)

Resume: DiscNW Washington State Champions, 3rd place at Seattle Invite

Key wins: Franklin, Roosevelt, Northwest
Key losses: Franklin
Last year’s rank: NR

Lakeside made a surprise run through the DiscNW Washington State Championships back in the fall and claimed the title with a 13-11 win over Franklin. Because Washington contains the bulk of its single-gender high school ultimate to the fall, Lakeside has little connectivity to the rest of the country. But the top team out of Seattle is always a force to be reckoned with, and the team looks poised to have another big season after dominating this year’s Seattle Invite despite missing two top cutters on Sunday.

10. Paideia (Atlanta, GA)

Resume: Georgia State Champions, Southerns Semifinalist

Key wins: HFC, Grady
Key losses: East Chapel Hill, Grady, Hopkins, Amherst
Last year’s rank: #10

Paideia stays put at #10 for the third straight season after another solid year as the top team in Georgia. Paideia’s luster as a truly elite program has begun to wear off, though, as the competition in the Southern region continues to expand; Triangle area teams have, for now, supplanted Paideia. But the consistency of excellence that Paideia has shown over the years is a feature that schools around the country all aspire to match. Stan Birdsong was a standout for Paideia this year and heads off to Carleton for his first college season.

11. Franklin (Seattle, WA)

Resume: DiscNW Washington State Runner-ups, Seattle Invite Champions

Key wins: Lakeside, Roosevelt, Northwest
Key losses: Lakeside
Last year’s rank: NR

Franklin finally got past Northwest last season in the DiscNW Washington state semifinals after years of coming up short against the powerhouse program. Perhaps the elation of that win explains why they ended up losing to a Lakeside team they had beaten back at Seattle Invite. Regardless, Franklin had a great season and would have stacked up very nicely with out-of-region competition.

12. HB Woodlawn (Arlington, VA)

Resume: Virginia State Champions, Southerns Semifinalist

Key wins: Carolina Friends, Yorktown, Grady
Key losses: East Chapel Hill, Carolina Friends, Yorktown
Last year’s rank: NR

HB Woodlawn had a great year, building from a slowish start at He4She to get a win over Carolina Friends at YULA Invite to a strong Southerns performance where they only lost to the two finalists to a Virginia state title over Yorktown (who had walloped them 12-6 back in March).

The team might take a step back this year as their three 1st team All-State players — Adam Norrbom, Gus Norbomm, and Ted Sither — all head off to college (Virginia Tech, William & Mary, and Oregon, respectively).

13. Grady (Atlanta, GA)

Resume: Georgia State Runner-ups, 5th place at Southerns

Key wins: Paideia, Yorktown
Key losses: CFS, Edina, Neuqua Valley, Paideia, HB Woodlawn
Last year’s rank: NR

Grady had two wins over Paideia heading into Georgia States, but got blown away by them 13-4 in the State championship final. It was still a strong season for Gauntlet, and they return some key contributors — Drew Di Francesco and John Roorbach — in 2017. Noah Li, a leader for Grady and a YCC captain for the Atlanta ATLiens, is off to the University of Georgia this year.

14. Roosevelt (Seattle, WA)

Resume: Seattle Invite Runner-ups, DiscNW Washington State Championship semifinalist, Seattle Public School League Champion

Key wins: Franklin, Ingraham
Key losses: Lakeside
Last year’s rank: #13

Roosevelt won the Seattle Public School League playoffs over Franklin, avenging a loss from the finals of the Seattle Invite, and secured a high seed heading into the State Championships. There, they came up short against the eventual champions, Lakeside. Taken together, it was a strong year for Roosevelt, and they have a case for being ahead of Franklin in the rankings.

15. De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis, MO)

Resume: Missouri State Champions

Key wins: Center Grove
Key losses: Fishers
Last year’s rank: NR

De Smet won their ninth straight Missouri state championship this year and a pair of wins over Center Grove landed them solidly in the middle of the top 25 this season. The 15 man team also won the B Division at the Neuqua Knockout.

16. Hopkins (Minnetonka, MN)

Resume: 4th at Centrals

Key wins: Center Grove, Paideia
Key losses: Amherst, HFC, Neuqua Valley, Edina, Paideia
Last year’s rank: #4

It was a down year for Hopkins after a dominant 2015. They finished fourth at Centrals, had (by their standards) a dreadful Minnesota States showing, and struggled against elite competition this season. Drew Pearson had an impressive season.

17. Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

Resume: California State Champions, Westerns Runner-ups

Key wins: South Eugene
Key losses: Roosevelt
Last year’s rank: #23

Berkeley shone as California’s best this season, but couldn’t snag a Westerns title as they lost in the final to Roosevelt. Star players Jeremy Dolezal-Ng and Colby Chuck are soon to be standouts in college ultimate as they head off to Cal Poly SLO and Oregon, respectively, this fall.

18. North Penn (Lansdale, PA)

Resume: 3rd place in Pennsylvania States

Key wins: Franklin Regional
Key losses: Lower Merion, Pennsbury
Last year’s rank: NR

North Penn couldn’t do much against the top two teams in Pennsylvania, getting routinely crushed by Lower Merion and Pennsbury. But against everyone else, they finished the year undefeated. Jason Wherry was excellent for the team in his senior season.

19. Westfield (Westfield, NJ)

Resume: New Jersey state champions, Quarterfinalist at Northeasterns

Key wins: Pennsbury, Columbia
Key losses: Lower Merion, CFS, Columbia
Last year’s rank: NR

Westfield upset the long-time New Jersey powerhouse Columbia in the NJ Championship game and closed out a strong season that included a win over Pennsbury. Kevin Tsui will return to lead the team after his selection to the 1st All-State Team as a 16 year old as Connor Russell heads to UNC Wilmington for college.

20. Lone Peak (Highland, UT)

Resume: Utah State Champions

Key wins: Lakeside, Roosevelt
Key losses: CFS, East Chapel Hill
Last year’s rank: #11

Like many Utah-based teams that don’t compete on Sunday, Lone Peak doesn’t always get the best from their competition. They have some nice wins over top Seattle teams and some strong results against Triangle area teams, but it’s often difficult to contextualize those games. Still, it is clear that Lone Peak is a very talented team that might have top 10 potential.

21. Yorktown (Arlington, VA)

Resume: Virginia State runner-ups, Southerns quarterfinalist

Key wins: Columbia, HB Woodlawn
Key losses: Columbia, East Chapel Hill, HB Woodlawn, Grady
Last year’s rank: NR

After a six point win over HB Woodlawn in March, Yorktown looked poised to claim a Virginia State Championship, but fell to Woodlawn in the final, 12-11. That must have been a disappointing finish to an otherwise solid season, including a 4-2 appearance at Southerns.

22. Columbia (Maplewood, NJ)

Resume: New Jersey state runner-ups, Northeasterns semifinalist

Key wins: Yorktown
Key losses: Lower Merion, Pennsbury
Last year’s rank: #25

A historic high school program, Columbia moves up three spots in this year’s rankings, although they were surely hoping to claim another New Jersey title. Alex Rafkin (headed to Carleton) had an excellent season. The team nearly made the Northeasterns final, but lost by one to Pennsbury in semis.

23. Nathan Hale (Seattle, WA)

Resume: Westerns semifinalist

Key wins: Summit
Key losses: Franklin, Roosevelt
Last year’s rank: NR

Another solid team from Seattle lands in this year’s top 25. They lost by just one to eventual champion Roosevelt in the Westerns semifinals and hung tough with top Seattle teams all year.

24. Marcus (Flower Mound, TX)

Resume: Texas State Champions

Key wins: N/A
Key losses: N/A
Last year’s rank: NR

Marcus continued their domination of the Texas high school scene in 2016. Considering the Texas YCC team’s top 10 finish this summer, it seems quite plausible that Marcus would stack up nicely against out-of-state teams. It certainly doesn’t hurt their resume to have crushed a bunch of college teams at a tournament in March.

25. York (Elmhurst, IL)

Resume: Illinois State Runner-ups

Key wins: Center Grove
Key losses: HFC, Neuqua Valley, Hopkins
Last year’s rank: NR

A key win over Center Grove at Centrals vaulted York into the final spot in the top 25. It didn’t hurt that they played Neuqua Valley within one in the Illinois state championships final.


  1. Assuming you exclude their 5-2 performance at a college tournament! 

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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