4AA 2017-2018

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karl(east)
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4AA 2017-2018

Post by karl(east) » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:37 pm

Since yesterday's 2AA thread got some people going, I'll start another one.

Hill: defending champs, though they upset their way to State, and these past couple years they haven't quite had the depth of their better teams a few years back. Can they repeat, and if so, can they improve on the recent 2-and-outs at State?
White Bear: return some decent pieces and have a rush of good upcoming talent. But they are White Bear.
Stillwater: last year was supposed to be their year, and pretty much everyone graduated, but it's a deep program with more good youth players coming up. Any chance?
Anyone else capable of joining the party?

kniven
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Re: 4AA 2017-2018

Post by kniven » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:44 am

karl(east) wrote:Since yesterday's 2AA thread got some people going, I'll start another one.

Hill: defending champs, though they upset their way to State, and these past couple years they haven't quite had the depth of their better teams a few years back. Can they repeat, and if so, can they improve on the recent 2-and-outs at State?
White Bear: return some decent pieces and have a rush of good upcoming talent. But they are White Bear.
Stillwater: last year was supposed to be their year, and pretty much everyone graduated, but it's a deep program with more good youth players coming up. Any chance?
Anyone else capable of joining the party?
I watched the Ponies and Bears Bantam aa games in the barn against Cloquet last year. Lots of up and down the ice skill-lots of fun to watch. Esse and Housley played each other every year there for a while. The both of them had a great relationship. I think the Bears, Hill, and Stillwater in that order.

BP
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Post by BP » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:06 pm

4AA will be interesting, as 3 teams have a legit shot at it and a lot of the teams have a lot of young guys that will be competing for a lot of playing time. The usual middle of the pack clubs (Tartan, Woodbury, Roseville, and Mounds View) will all battle it out for 4-7 seeds.....and then NSP and Irondale at the bottom again. Here is how I see it:

1) White Bear - return some talent (but a big Bob is graduating in nets) as their returning Chase Hamstad returns. Add in a great sophomore class that won the AA title and you now have a nice mix. Sags will have some tough decisions come November. But can the young Bears make the transition to HS or are they 1-2 years away?

2) Hill-Murray - The Jake Begley era is over and Hill will be decimated by graduation. But Hill will do what they do - somehow reload and come out of nowhere to be a section contender. Ben Helgeson takes over as the team leader up front and he'll need to carry the offense early and often as young guys adapt to varsity hockey. Hill does have two young goalies that played in HP 16 and 17 - some of the better talent in the section in nets. Can Lechner piece mail another section title when everyone will be doubting them?

3) Stillwater - Like Hill-Murray, Stillwater graduated a ton. Didn't live up to expectations last year with the section title runner-ups, but Coach Doman has another highly talented Bantam group coming in, led by the electric Noah Tussey. Can the young Ponies match the Bears and Pioneers young line-ups?

4) Tartan - Same story - graduated a decent amount, but return some big players. Tartan is always poised for upsets during the season and give section opponents all they can handle. Can they find enough scoring to get them some wins come end of February?

5) Mounds View - some line returning players up front and on the blue line is what gets them to the 4 seed. New head coach Adam Schmidt comes over from rival Irondale and will have more pieces to work with. Couple that with a nice A Bantam team and they have a chance to get the 4 seed. Are the Mustangs on the way up?

6) Woodbury - Another team that was hit hard by graduation and another team that will have to reload with sophs. Generally have good numbers and they find a way to be in the 4-6 mix.

7) Roseville - The Raiders return a good mix of players and are always tough to play in the opening round. With the 7 seed, they could out muscle a young 2 seed in WBL, Hill, or Stillwater with their older/stronger guys.

8) North St. Paul - The Polars return a lot of scoring - but they have to prove it against tougher opponents. Coach Peasley is starting to build a little momentum in the program at the HS level. Are the Polars deep enough to jump into a 5-7 seed?

9) Irondale - Tough loss for the Knights in Coach Schmidt going to Mounds View. The Knights play physical, but unfortunately aren't deep enough to jump into the top 8 seeds. Looks like another play-in game year for the Knights.
Last edited by BP on Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

CHI-TOWN HOCKEYDAD
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Post by CHI-TOWN HOCKEYDAD » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:12 am

BP wrote:
3) Stillwater - Like Hill-Murray, Stillwater graduated a ton. Didn't live up to expectations last year with the section title runner-ups, but Coach Doman has another highly talented Bantam group coming in, led by the electric Noah Tussey and Charlie Strobel. Can the young Ponies match the Bears and Pioneers young line-ups?
Strobel is going to H-M

BP
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Post by BP » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:39 pm

CHI-TOWN HOCKEYDAD wrote:
BP wrote:
3) Stillwater - Like Hill-Murray, Stillwater graduated a ton. Didn't live up to expectations last year with the section title runner-ups, but Coach Doman has another highly talented Bantam group coming in, led by the electric Noah Tussey and Charlie Strobel. Can the young Ponies match the Bears and Pioneers young line-ups?
Strobel is going to H-M
TY

Trout
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Post by Trout » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:39 am

NEXT YEAR is the Bears year (isn't that always the case!)

Realistically, this section will be one of the worst in AA next year and all 3 teams have a chance to win the section but not much chance beyond that.

Not that it means much, but Stillwater and Hill have each won 2 of the last 4 section tournaments with each winning one in an upset and one that was expected. This may give Stillwater a little confidence that they can do it again. Doman seems to be able to get them to believe. This will be his least talented group (certainly youngest) since joining so it will be a different coaching job for him.

2 and 3 years from now is a different story this section will be very very tough even if a few of the top kids' exit as these groups are deep. Strobel leaving hurts Stillwater but their issue won't be offensive and scoring it will likely be defense. My guess is the bears will lose something from their bantam group as well.

Keys for next year:

1. Nobody has a goalie with any experience. 3 top Sr. Goalies in the state were on these 3 teams last year and nobody has a backup that has proven anything. Stillwater probably has the best of the bunch coming up so that may be an advantage to them. Hill will likely bring one in. Bears have a group of them and one has to step up.

2. Bears have the best of the Sr. classes and are the most talented of the 3 for next year. Really should be theirs to take. Their top line will be a group of seniors that have played together for 3 years now and should have a banner year.

3. HM always beats the bears and probably will again. 2 nice D. in Oberly and Petronack. Offensively...will need to have some kids step up to help Helgeson. Will see who is on the team next year...you never know who will show up at Hill.

4. Stillwater will be lucky to be .500 next year but will still be better and more talented than the rest of the section. Last year 16 Srs. were the only players who played consistently and the Jr. class is very weak (none played consistently only 1 sophomore played much that was Raleigh at defense). JV went undefeated or close to it as some reasonable talent was pushed down because of the big Sr. class but will need to get experience at varsity to go with a very good bantam class. Ponies will likely be playing a bunch of Jrs. and Sophs next year. Will be better by the end of the year and could be dangerous if they progress but will be very very young.

This has become much more of a 3-way rivalry rather than just bears and pioneers as it was in past years. Makes it more interesting. Will see if Hill and Stillwater can get their schedules together and start playing regular season games...would make it even more interesting.

The Exiled One
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Post by The Exiled One » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:46 pm

BP wrote:5) Mounds View - some line returning players up front and on the blue line is what gets them to the 4 seed. New head coach Adam Schmidt comes over from rival Irondale and will have more pieces to work with. Couple that with a nice A Bantam team and they have a chance to get the 4 seed. Are the Mustangs on the way up?

9) Irondale - Tough loss for the Knights in Coach Schmidt going to Mounds View. The Knights play physical, but unfortunately aren't deep enough to jump into the top 8 seeds. Looks like another play-in game year for the Knights
Hayes is likely an upgrade for Irondale. Schmidt may or may not be a downgrade for Mounds View.

Not saying the Knights will be contenders, but they should do better than 7-18 and they'll have a decent chance of getting seeded 8th or better.

stpaul
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HM

Post by stpaul » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:38 pm

CHI-TOWN HOCKEYDAD wrote:
BP wrote:
3) Stillwater - Like Hill-Murray, Stillwater graduated a ton. Didn't live up to expectations last year with the section title runner-ups, but Coach Doman has another highly talented Bantam group coming in, led by the electric Noah Tussey and Charlie Strobel. Can the young Ponies match the Bears and Pioneers young line-ups?
Strobel is going to H-M
Can anyone confirm that Charlie Strobel and Dylan Godbout are at Hill-Murray? Their dads are amongst HM's all-time greatest players.

jg2112
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Re: HM

Post by jg2112 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:12 pm

stpaul wrote:
CHI-TOWN HOCKEYDAD wrote:
BP wrote:
3) Stillwater - Like Hill-Murray, Stillwater graduated a ton. Didn't live up to expectations last year with the section title runner-ups, but Coach Doman has another highly talented Bantam group coming in, led by the electric Noah Tussey and Charlie Strobel. Can the young Ponies match the Bears and Pioneers young line-ups?
Strobel is going to H-M
Can anyone confirm that Charlie Strobel and Dylan Godbout are at Hill-Murray? Their dads are amongst HM's all-time greatest players.
Strobel is at Hill-Murray. Not sure about Godbout.

inthetwine
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Post by inthetwine » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:27 am

Trout wrote:NEXT YEAR is the Bears year (isn't that always the case!)

Realistically, this section will be one of the worst in AA next year and all 3 teams have a chance to win the section but not much chance beyond that.

Not that it means much, but Stillwater and Hill have each won 2 of the last 4 section tournaments with each winning one in an upset and one that was expected. This may give Stillwater a little confidence that they can do it again. Doman seems to be able to get them to believe. This will be his least talented group (certainly youngest) since joining so it will be a different coaching job for him.

2 and 3 years from now is a different story this section will be very very tough even if a few of the top kids' exit as these groups are deep. Strobel leaving hurts Stillwater but their issue won't be offensive and scoring it will likely be defense. My guess is the bears will lose something from their bantam group as well.

Keys for next year:

1. Nobody has a goalie with any experience. 3 top Sr. Goalies in the state were on these 3 teams last year and nobody has a backup that has proven anything. Stillwater probably has the best of the bunch coming up so that may be an advantage to them. Hill will likely bring one in. Bears have a group of them and one has to step up.

2. Bears have the best of the Sr. classes and are the most talented of the 3 for next year. Really should be theirs to take. Their top line will be a group of seniors that have played together for 3 years now and should have a banner year.

3. HM always beats the bears and probably will again. 2 nice D. in Oberly and Petronack. Offensively...will need to have some kids step up to help Helgeson. Will see who is on the team next year...you never know who will show up at Hill.

4. Stillwater will be lucky to be .500 next year but will still be better and more talented than the rest of the section. Last year 16 Srs. were the only players who played consistently and the Jr. class is very weak (none played consistently only 1 sophomore played much that was Raleigh at defense). JV went undefeated or close to it as some reasonable talent was pushed down because of the big Sr. class but will need to get experience at varsity to go with a very good bantam class. Ponies will likely be playing a bunch of Jrs. and Sophs next year. Will be better by the end of the year and could be dangerous if they progress but will be very very young.

This has become much more of a 3-way rivalry rather than just bears and pioneers as it was in past years. Makes it more interesting. Will see if Hill and Stillwater can get their schedules together and start playing regular season games...would make it even more interesting.
Stillwater and Hill may struggle at the start of the season, but will improve as the year goes on, Sager coached teams are as good as they are going to get the first game of the season, and never improve.

BP
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Re: HM

Post by BP » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:59 pm

jg2112 wrote:
stpaul wrote:
CHI-TOWN HOCKEYDAD wrote:
BP wrote:
3) Stillwater - Like Hill-Murray, Stillwater graduated a ton. Didn't live up to expectations last year with the section title runner-ups, but Coach Doman has another highly talented Bantam group coming in, led by the electric Noah Tussey and Charlie Strobel. Can the young Ponies match the Bears and Pioneers young line-ups?
Strobel is going to H-M
Can anyone confirm that Charlie Strobel and Dylan Godbout are at Hill-Murray? Their dads are amongst HM's all-time greatest players.
Strobel is at Hill-Murray. Not sure about Godbout.

Both are at the school.

TheNightman
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Post by TheNightman » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:36 pm

Looks like Carroll and Jennrich will be back for White Bear, how about Hamstad?

Also looks like Newpower and Rose, two of the best players from the state champion bantam team are out in New Jersey?

inthetwine
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Post by inthetwine » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:06 am

Does anyone know if any players have left WBL, or if there are any loses from last years bantam team?

Wblhcky2424
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Post by Wblhcky2424 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:13 pm

inthetwine wrote:Does anyone know if any players have left WBL, or if there are any loses from last years bantam team?

Rosters are out for WBL (haven't been split into varsity and JV yet) there will be 11 players from the State championship team including Owen Gallatin ( UMD commit), two of the top forwards in Sam Newpower and Billy Rose and goalie Tyler Steffens, they lose Cam Berg but his plan was to always play tier 1. Of the players that played varsity last year, the first line of Hamstad, jennrich and Carroll all return, they've been on the same line since 10th grade. Defenseman Zach Dorneld who is a junior this year, left to play AAA in Sioux Falls

Trout
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Post by Trout » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:10 am

Given all the talk about Hill losing to Hastings, it seems to be a good time to revisit this section! Maybe the weakest section in the state in AA this year!

#1 - WBL - Not much chance they aren't #1 even if Stillwater were to pull off an upset in a rivalry game vs. WBL or if they drop another one like they did to Century they have the #1 wrapped up. Funny part of it is the mess below they may have to play Stillwater or Hill early on. In sections, those teams have proven with some close games against good teams they could be tough outs.

2-4 (Toss Up)
Stillwater - Best win of the bunch beating CEC - Tough schedule (by the end of the year 12 games against teams that will have been listed in top 10 during the year. Beat Mahtomedi who has beaten both Hill and Tartan. Bad loss to East Ridge (who also beat Tartan...) Still has to play STA Holy Family EP Cretin WBL. Likely .500 team or a little above if they take care of business with the teams they should beat.

Hill - Toughest Schedule. Not many projected wins left on the schedule. Likely finish under .500. Tartan game and a signature win or two put them at the top of this bunch. If they lose too Tartan and get no big wins...could be 4 or even 5.

Tartan - Extremely weak schedule. Lost to Maht in OT ... Hill game is the key to seeding. Lost to Crookston and tied TRF. The only real game left is Hill. Any loss for them moves them down IMO

Irondale - Lost to Tartan and Mounds View. beat Blaine. Has the toughest part of their schedule coming up so if by chance they get a signature win or two they could actually make some noise (season ends with Centennial, Andover, ER, FL, MG).

Mounds View - Beat Irondale. Still plays Stillwater (again), WBL, Tartan Cretin and Mahtomedi. If they do something could change the mix.

Pretty ugly overall at this point in the season for 4AA.

goldy313
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Post by goldy313 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:07 pm

WBL is the #1 seed, good thing they are in 4AA because other than maybe 5AA they wouldn't be a #1 seed.

Stillwater is a top 3 seed......after that it is a mess. Tartan and Irondale both have really good goalies and therefore are hard to count out of any game.....can they score 2 or 3 though to win is the question. Irondale's schedule at the back end could make or break them.....playing close games and getting a win here and there could be huge for their confidence going into sections.

In 1AA and 4AA we could be looking at perennial section finalists playing in semifinal games.....Lakeville vs Lakeville and WBL vs Hill.

Playing in the Metro East and NWSC may give those teams an advantage over those in the weaker Suburban East.

I still think this is the most wide open section in AA and the most entertaining.

inthetwine
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Post by inthetwine » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:11 pm

goldy313 wrote:WBL is the #1 seed, good thing they are in 4AA because other than maybe 5AA they wouldn't be a #1 seed.

Stillwater is a top 3 seed......after that it is a mess. Tartan and Irondale both have really good goalies and therefore are hard to count out of any game.....can they score 2 or 3 though to win is the question. Irondale's schedule at the back end could make or break them.....playing close games and getting a win here and there could be huge for their confidence going into sections.

In 1AA and 4AA we could be looking at perennial section finalists playing in semifinal games.....Lakeville vs Lakeville and WBL vs Hill.

Playing in the Metro East and NWSC may give those teams an advantage over those in the weaker Suburban East.
If it were today, I would guess,
1. WBL
2. Tartan
3. Stillwater
4. Hill
5. Moundsville
6. Irondale
7. NSP
8. Woodbury
9. Rosevile

I still think this is the most wide open section in AA and the most entertaining.

The Exiled One
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Post by The Exiled One » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:19 pm

The Exiled One wrote:Not saying the Knights will be contenders, but they should do better than 7-18 and they'll have a decent chance of getting seeded 8th or better.
Feeling good about this prediction! Tough loss last night with :07 left to go in overtime. :(

inthetwine
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Post by inthetwine » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:51 am

inthetwine wrote:
goldy313 wrote:WBL is the #1 seed, good thing they are in 4AA because other than maybe 5AA they wouldn't be a #1 seed.

Stillwater is a top 3 seed......after that it is a mess. Tartan and Irondale both have really good goalies and therefore are hard to count out of any game.....can they score 2 or 3 though to win is the question. Irondale's schedule at the back end could make or break them.....playing close games and getting a win here and there could be huge for their confidence going into sections.

In 1AA and 4AA we could be looking at perennial section finalists playing in semifinal games.....Lakeville vs Lakeville and WBL vs Hill.

Playing in the Metro East and NWSC may give those teams an advantage over those in the weaker Suburban East.
If it were today, I would guess,
1. WBL
2. Tartan
3. Stillwater
4. Hill
5. Moundsville
6. Irondale
7. NSP
8. Woodbury
9. Rosevile

I still think this is the most wide open section in AA and the most entertaining.

1. WBL
2. Stillwater
3. Hill
4.Tartan
5. Moundsview
6. Irondale
7. NSP
8. Woodbury
9. Roseville

elliott70
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Post by elliott70 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:04 pm

You heard it here first -
Tartan to state.

inthetwine
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Post by inthetwine » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:59 pm

elliott70 wrote:You heard it here first -
Tartan to state.
After what I saw against Hill last night, I don't think so, but anything can happen. I wouldn't bank on White Bear either, but they are the best of the section.

Trout
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Post by Trout » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:27 pm

Heading down the stretch...WBL on top, no question.

Hard to see any scenario that Hill and Stillwater aren't 2 and 3 given they both have a couple of quality wins and completely different quality of opponent over the season as compared to Irondale and Tartan.

WBL 4 remaining games - Mostly middle to lower level competition. Will that hurt them or give them confidence?

Hill - 3 tough games but I would argue are winnable. If they pull out a win or two they could gain some confidence. 0-3 may hurt their confidence and maybe drop them below Stillwater. They also seem to be gaining some players (Strobel is back on the ice) and Pierre has been an obvious improvement!

Stillwater - 3 very tough games (top 6 in the state) in their last 4 games in the coming week. Have multiple season-ending injury's / departures so reshuffling the deck is going to be interesting. 6 goal win over F-lake was also interesting. Any big win may catapult them into the 2 spot. If they lose all 4 remaining games it is possible they drop some.

Tartan has a relatively weak schedule left so not sure they can do much to help themselves here

Irondale has a few tough games left so they may be able to jump up with a nice win or two combined with someone faltering in front of them.

East Side Pioneer Guy
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Post by East Side Pioneer Guy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:51 pm

There is no benefit to being 2 as opposed to 3. Given that WBL isn't that overpowering, there isn't much difference between 3 & 4 either. Beat them in the semis, beat them in the final, there's not much difference. Five through eight is really irrelevant, unless you draw WBL. They have proven vulnerable in the first round.

While this may well be the most open or balanced section, it's not very interesting. To be interesting requires interesting teams, and WBL barely qualifies.

If Hill isn't in the final, no way I'll go. For one, none of these is anything to write home about. And given that the game is at Aldrich, it's only worth the hassle if A) your team is in it or B) it's features two quality teams. That's the draw back of having this game at Aldrich, it's a big barrier to the more neutral fans.

inthetwine
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Post by inthetwine » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:55 pm

East Side Pioneer Guy wrote:There is no benefit to being 2 as opposed to 3. Given that WBL isn't that overpowering, there isn't much difference between 3 & 4 either. Beat them in the semis, beat them in the final, there's not much difference. Five through eight is really irrelevant, unless you draw WBL. They have proven vulnerable in the first round.

While this may well be the most open or balanced section, it's not very interesting. To be interesting requires interesting teams, and WBL barely qualifies.

If Hill isn't in the final, no way I'll go. For one, none of these is anything to write home about. And given that the game is at Aldrich, it's only worth the hassle if A) your team is in it or B) it's features two quality teams. That's the draw back of having this game at Aldrich, it's a big barrier to the more neutral fans.
Other than there is no benefit to 2 or 3, the rest of this post makes no sense at all.

Sparlimb
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Post by Sparlimb » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:05 am

inthetwine wrote:
East Side Pioneer Guy wrote:There is no benefit to being 2 as opposed to 3. Given that WBL isn't that overpowering, there isn't much difference between 3 & 4 either. Beat them in the semis, beat them in the final, there's not much difference. Five through eight is really irrelevant, unless you draw WBL. They have proven vulnerable in the first round.

While this may well be the most open or balanced section, it's not very interesting. To be interesting requires interesting teams, and WBL barely qualifies.

If Hill isn't in the final, no way I'll go. For one, none of these is anything to write home about. And given that the game is at Aldrich, it's only worth the hassle if A) your team is in it or B) it's features two quality teams. That's the draw back of having this game at Aldrich, it's a big barrier to the more neutral fans.
Other than there is no benefit to 2 or 3, the rest of this post makes no sense at all.
Makes sense to me. I'll be at Mariucci watching those two section finals because there are teams that can do something at state. 4AA is looking like 2 and out again. Hill is terrible, so WBL better take advantage and win it this year. They don't get that many chances anymore.

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