Jonathan Yardley, webmaster
Here are the final Top 20 rankings for the 2002-’03 season. Gordon Conference teams remained atop the list, but Red Division teams like Don Bosco Prep and Brick Memorial moved into the Top 10, while Ridge and South Brunswick represent the state’s White Divisions. Brick Memorial’s inclusion was symbolic of a strong Southern Conference, while three Mennen Division teams make their division the second-strongest in the state.
Check out the White/Blue Top 20 ranking for lower-division teams.
Top 20 (final records)
1—Bergen Catholic (21-1-2, 9-1-2 Gordon Conference)
State Tournament: Defeated Randolph 6-4 for second state championship.
Gordon Cup champs have been the best team all year long.
2—Seton Hall Prep (16-7-3, 10-2-2 Gordon Conference)
State Tournament: Lost to Bergen Catholic 2-1 in parochial final.
Pirates came up big in the semifinals against Delbarton and played well in parochial final.
3—Delbarton (24-3-1, 13-0 MCSSIHL Mennen Division)
State Tournament: Lost to Seton Hall Prep 3-2 in overtime in parochial semifinals.
Held off Randolph’s challenge to win another Mennen Cup; SHP loss was harsh end to a strong year.
4—CBA (18-5-3, 7-3-3 Gordon Conference)
State Tournament: Lost to Bergen Catholic 4-1 in parochial semifinals.
Semifinal performance disappointing especially because of the what-ifs surrounding DeCeuster.
5—St. John Vianney (16-8-2, 6-5-3 Gordon Conference)
State Tournament: Lost to CBA 4-3 in overtime in parochial quarterfinals.
Lancers were close on so many occasions, losing three of five games in overtime.
6—Randolph (24-6, 9-3 MCSSIHL Mennen Division)
State Tournament: Defeated Brick Memorial 7-0 in public final; lost to BC 6-4 in state final.
The class of public schools all year, the Rams cruised to a deserved title before a memorable third period.
7—Hudson Catholic (12-9-5, 6-4-4 Gordon Conference)
State Tournament: Lost to Seton Hall Prep 3-1 in parochial quarterfinals.
Only team to beat Bergen Catholic relied on Drago too much to be a contender.
8—Don Bosco Prep (16-9-1, 10-2-1 Northern Red)
State Tournament: Lost to Delbarton 4-2 in parochial quarterfinals.
Ironmen were up and down, but played well in big games, including upset of Seton Hall.
9—Brick Memorial (18-9, 6-6 Southern Red)
State Tournament: Lost to Randolph 7-0 in public final.
Mustangs proved to be Southern Red’s strongest entry with a memorable run to the public final.
10—Brick Township (9-12-4, 3-8-3 Gordon Conference)
State Tournament: Lost to Brick Memorial 3-2 in public quarterfinals.
Hate to rank them this high, but the Green Dragons remained a solid outfit despite a down season.
11—Ridge (22-2-2, 12-0 Central White)
State Tournament: Lost to Randolph 7-1 in public semifinals.
Red Devils made history, losing only to champion Randolph and representing White Div. teams everywhere.
12—West Windsor-Plainsboro North (23-4-1, 13-1-1 CVC Valley)
State Tournament: Lost to Brick Memorial 4-1 in public semifinals.
Top CVC squad won Mercer County title, but lost nerve and discipline against Noonan in the semis.
13—Pope John (14-3-3, 11-1-2 Northern Red)
State Tournament: Lost to Hudson Catholic 1-0 in parochial first round.
Lions played a horrifically weak schedule, but their only losses were to DBP and HC.
14—Morris Knolls (17-8-3, 8-4-1 MCSSIHL Mennen Division)
State Tournament: Lost to Ridge 7-3 in public quarterfinals.
Golden Eagles had only one bad loss all season, losing five of eight games to Randolph or Delbarton.
15—St. Joseph’s Metuchen (7-14-1, 3-10-1 Gordon Conference)
State Tournament: Lost to Don Bosco Prep 3-1 in parochial first round.
Falcons are tough to rank lower because of their schedule and mixed success against DBP and SPP.
16—St. Augustine (10-6-1, 8-2-1 Southern Red)
State Tournament: Lost to CBA 3-2 in parochial first round.
Hermits won the tough Southern Red, but need a better non-league schedule to prepare for the postseason.
17—Montclair (11-10-4, 8-4-2 Central Red)
State Tournament: Lost to Fair Lawn 2-1 in public first round.
While state tourney exit was disappointing, Central Red playoff title was most important factor.
18—St. Peter’s Prep (13-9-3, 9-4-1 Central Red)
State Tournament: Lost to Bergen Catholic 6-1 in parochial quarterfinals.
Marauders won a deserved regular season title in the Central Red, but were very inconsistent.
19—Tenafly (16-6-4, 8-2-3 Northern Red)
State Tournament: Lost to WWPN 2-1 in overtime in public quarterfinals.
A weak division yes, but the Tigers reached the final eight of the public tournament as a young program.
20—South Brunswick (17-5-2, 5-1-1 Southern White)
State Tournament: Lost to Randolph 4-2 in public round of 16.
Vikings get the nod as the top White Division team for season-long supremacy, victimized by tough seeding.