Jonathan Yardley, webmaster
We had a bunch of new faces in the Top 10 this year, with St. Peter’s Prep finishing second and publics West Essex and Ridge crashing the party thanks to the Red Devils’ cup victory and West Essex’s public final upset. Privates dominated the top 13 spots as usual, but several White Division teams crashed the lower end of the party in a parity-filled year for the publics. While the Central Red proved to be the state’s strongest divisions, tough teams like Montclair, Bridgewater-Raritan, and Bayonne disappointed in the state tournament and failed to crack the Top 20. The Mennen Division was extremely tough but surprisingly failed to place one of its two public powers in the championship game. The Gordon Conference suffered its weakest year in existence, placing just five teams in the Top 20 (Mennen and Southern White(!) had four, Central Red and Southern Red each had three, Northern Red one). Half of the Gordon teams finished behind expat Bishop Eustace.
Check out the White/Blue Top 20 ranking for lower-division teams.
Top 20 (final records)
1—Seton Hall Prep (19-9-1, 11-3 Gordon Conference) Last Week – 3
State Tournament: defeated West Essex 8-0 for NJSIAA championship
Pirates came through when it mattered most with exceptional defense in tough parochial bracket.
2—St. Peter’s Prep (25-4, 13-1 Central Red) Last Week – 12
State Tournament: lost to Seton Hall Prep 3-1 in parochial final
Marauders rebounded from McInnis Cup defeat with 3-2 upset of top-ranked Delbarton in semifinals.
3—Delbarton (20-4-5, 11-0-2 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Week – 1
State Tournament: lost to St. Peter’s Prep 3-2 in parochial semifinals.
Mennen Cup champion Green Wave fell to outstanding performance from Billy Dwyer in semis.
4—CBA (17-9-1, 8-5-1 Gordon Conference) Last Week – 4
State Tournament: lost to Seton Hall Prep 2-1 in overtime in parochial semifinals
In a season forever marred by off-ice controversy, the Colts could not beat Seton Hall when it counted.
5—Bergen Catholic (15-7-3, 9-3-2 Gordon Conference) Last Week – 2
State Tournament: lost to Seton Hall Prep 2-1 in parochial quarterfinals
Gordon Cup champion Crusaders victimized in the seeding process by early-season struggles.
6—West Essex (18-7-4, 5-4-4 Central Red) Last Week – 13
State Tournament: beat Ridge 2-1 to win first public title; lost 8-0 to SHP in championship
Knights rode hot goaltender to public title against a superior Ridge team before crashing hard in the final.
7—Ridge (19-5-3, 9-3-2 Central Red) Last Week – 9
State Tournament: lost to West Essex 2-1 in public final
McInnis Cup champion Red Devils would have made the overall final a better game.
8—Don Bosco Prep (15-9-1, 8-5-1 Gordon Conference) Last Week – 6
State Tournament: lost to St. Peter’s Prep 4-3 in overtime in parochial quarterfinals
Ironmen made the huge leap to the Gordon Conference but ended up with the same No. 8 ranking.
9—Bishop Eustace (17-3-1, 11-2-1 Southern Red) Last Week – 7
State Tournament: lost to CBA 5-0 in parochial quarterfinals
Handchen Cup champion Crusaders validated record with first-round upset of St. John Vianney.
10—St. John Vianney (14-7-2, 10-4 Gordon Conference) Last Week – 5
State Tournament: lost to Bishop Eustace 3-1 in parochial first round.
Lancers finished second in regular season but went two-and-‘cue in postseason play.
11—Pope John (20-5-1, 12-0 Northern Red) Last Week – 8
State Tournament: lost to Delbarton 5-0 in parochial quarterfinals
Lions proved they can compete with the top teams but are still a step away.
12—St. Augustine Prep (18-3-2, 11-1-2 Southern Red) Last Week – 10
State Tournament: lost to Pope John 3-2 in overtime in parochial first round
Hermits were just 1-3-2 against NJSIAA private schools.
13—Morristown-Beard (12-6-5, 7-2-4 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Week – 11
State Tournament: lost to Bergen Catholic 5-1 in parochial first round
Crimson tied Delbarton twice in regular season but fell 3-2 in Mennen Cup final.
14—Middletown North (23-6, 11-3 Southern White) Last Week – 14
State Tournament: lost to Ridge 6-2 in public semifinals
Dowd Cup champion Lions knocked off Randolph 3-2 for program’s biggest win.
15—Morris Knolls (18-8-2, 7-5-1 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Week – 16
State Tournament: lost to West Essex 5-4 in public semifinals
Golden Eagles beat Randolph twice in regular season but fell in disgrace to rival Wessex.
16—Randolph (14-8-3, 7-4-2 MCSSIHL Mennen) Last Week – 17
State Tournament: lost to Middletown North 3-2 in public quarterfinals
Rams struggled to score all year but were still one of the state’s deepest public schools.
17—Toms River South (19-7, 11-3 Southern White) Last Week – 15
State Tournament: lost to West Essex 6-2 in public quarterfinals
Indians escaped Fair Lawn upset but failed to really challenge West Essex.
18—Montgomery (19-9-1, 9-4-1 Southern White) Last Week – NR
State Tournament: lost to Ridge 4-3 in public quarterfinals
Cougars played everybody tough all year, staying with Ridge before falling.
19—South Brunswick (14-11, 6-8 Southern Red) Last Week – 18
State Tournament: lost to Morris Knolls 6-4 in public quarterfinals
Vikings lost by just a goal to BE in Handchen Cup but could not overcome MoKnolls.
20—Rumson/Fair Haven (15-9-2, 8-4-2 Southern White) Last Week – NR
State Tournament: lost to South Brunswick 2-1 in overtime in public round of 16
Bulldogs strong all year but could not pull off the tourney upset.
Best of the Rest (ranks 21-32, alphabetically)
St. Joseph’s Metuchen