explaining my seeds

February 19, 2007 on 5:13 pm | In analysis | 13 Comments

Okay, I’m not ready to finalize my suggested seeding for the state tournament yet because we don’t know at-large qualifiers yet. But on maybe the best day of the season – ice cup playoff Monday – I want to explain how I arrived at some of the current seedings. There have only been two major changes from the initial rankings, so I’ll deal with the groups in which the teams bunched, for me. The top five were fairly easy.

Public seeds 6-16
Comparing divisions and non-league schedules was difficult between the top NBIAL teams, the top Central Conference teams, and the top Morris County schools. Here’s what it came down to: Fair Lawn (6) and Montgomery tied, but Fair Lawn got the edge for its superior result against Steinert, which obviously was offset slightly by the differing results against Vernon, but that game seemed more an aberration than the rule. Fair Lawn was tough to judge this year. Strengthening the case for Fair Lawn at 6 was the 3-0 Ramapo (7) win over Bishop Eustace – one of the best wins by a public this year. That lifted NBIAL stock. Hillsborough (8) ended up at No. 8 because it finished ahead of Watchung Hills (9), which beat Montgomery (10) twice. That overcame Montgomery’s head-to-head win over Hillsborough. Chatham (11) had no marketable non-league wins and lost to Northern Highlands and Bridgewater, which kept it just below Montgomery – the Cougars’ big wins came in December. Glen Rock (12) also did not have many big wins, but it did beat Mendham (13), which beat Hopewell Valley (14), which beat Montgomery. Whew. But it was Hopewell’s only big win and came in December, so I left Montgomery higher than the Bulldogs. Middletown North (15) and Steinert (16) just didn’t have the wins to compete with that group, although the Lions’ win over Verona, which was competitive with the Cent. White teams, kept them ahead of the next bunch of teams.

Public seeds 17-27
I worked on these last night and dropped Wall a lot. Sorry, y’all. Here’s how I did it. Kinnelon (17), Pequannock (18), and Jefferson (19) were linked together – no bad losses, good league performance. Pequannock beat Westfield, so all three were ahead of Westfield and Summit. I gave Pequannock the edge because Jefferson’s non-league schedule, excepting Hillsborough, stunk. Mahwah (20) was the toughest to place, but I threw in the Thunderbirds ahead of Westfield and Summit because they tied Pequannock. I felt pretty comfortable placing Westfield (21) and Summit (22) next for playing in a tough division. Then I had a really tough time separating Ridgewood, Tenafly, Princeton, Park Regional, and Wall. Ridgewood (23) finished ahead of Tenafly (24) but split the season series, losing the last one. Princeton beat Ridgewood but lost to Tenafly. Regional tied Tenafly. I ended up with Ridgewood at 23 for finishing third in the Northern Red, with Tenafly just behind at 24. Princeton (25) just didn’t have enough results to justify being ahead of either of those. Then Park Regional (26) for tying Tenafly, with Wall at 27. Wall (27) dropped because the Knights lost to Middletown South (Princeton beat MidS), tied Manasquan, and Wall had one win over a team seeded 1-26, and that was part of a split with Middletown North. Outshooting Glen Rock (by a lot) just wasn’t enough to keep them very high.

Public seeds 28-51
I thought these were pretty easy, actually. West Milford (28) beat TRN, which beat Toms River East (29), which finished ahead of Rumson-Fair Haven (30). RFH beat Point Pleasant (31), which finished ahead of Brick Memorial (32). Cranford (33) lost to Old Bridge but was competitive in a tough division. Ramsey (34) beat Paramus but didn’t have much else to speak of, playing respectably with Chatham. The Rams were linked with Pascack Valley (35) after the teams split the season series. Paramus (36), Nutley (37), and Lakeland (38) made up the middle of the Northern White pack, all ranked ahead of Wayne Valley (39) because of Lakeland’s two wins over Wayne Valley. River Dell (40) lost to WV but beat Dumont (41), thus also placing ahead of Sparta (42). Roxbury (43) and Morristown (44) didn’t have much to crow about other than wins over Blue Division teams. WWPN (45) split with Lawrence (46) but played in a tougher division. WWPS (47) lost head-to-head against Lawrence. Johnson (48) lost to St. Joseph Hammonton, which was just behind WWPN. Passaic Valley (49) was 1-0-1 against Dayton (50), which finished behind Johnson. Jackson Memorial (51) did not beat a single state tournament team.

At-large teams: I would put Mountain Lakes just ahead of Summit; Middletown South just ahead of Princeton; Vernon just behind that; Verona just behind Pequannock; and Indian Hills just ahead of Lakeland. Based on where I would seed them, apparently I think Mountain Lakes, Middletown South, and Vernon should get in. We’ll see what happens.

That’s how I did it. I’m sure people will disagree, so post comments on here or email me; but that’s how I see it. Remember, seeding criteria only factors in games through Feb. 12.

Private seeds
If you’re still reading, you like private school hockey. I’ve barely thought about these rankings because I believe they’re much, much easier to do. Here we go.

  1. Delbarton – 1st place in the Gordon
  2. St. Peter’s Prep – 2nd place in the Gordon; loss to ND is forgiven
  3. CBA – 3rd place in the Gordon
  4. Seton Hall Prep – 4th place in the Gordon; I believe the argument can be made that St. Augustine Prep should go here. SHP has not done well in 2007. But I’ve heard from several coaches who say until you play a Gordon Conference schedule, you can’t claim this spot. I tend to agree. Also, all this really does is determine last line change in the quarterfinal.
  5. St. Augustine Prep
  6. Notre Dame – I don’t think this is very questionable
  7. Bergen Catholic – 5th in the Gordon Conference
  8. Pope John – 6th in the Gordon Conference
  9. Pingry – Great, great season. You could argue them ahead of BC and Pope John because Pingry beat Beard and Randolph, which are linked to BC and PJ, but I’m not willing to do it.
  10. Don Bosco Prep – 7th in the Gordon Conference; no bad losses after first game
  11. Bishop Eustace – 2nd in the Southern Red only behind St. Augustine Prep and very competitive loss to Notre Dame.
  12. Monsignor Donovan – 3rd in the Southern Red, very close to BE
  13. Montclair Kimberley – 1st in the Central White, beat Paramus Catholic
  14. Paramus Catholic – 1st in the Northern Red
  15. St. Joseph Montvale – 2nd in the Northern Red
  16. St. John Vianney – 8th in Gordon; lost to RBC and tied Middletown South
  17. St. Joseph Hammonton – beat Johnson, which ranks ahead of Passaic Valley
  18. DePaul Catholic – only marginally better than Passaic Valley

At-large teams: I can’t decide where to seed Morristown-Beard – it could be anywhere from ahead of Bergen Catholic (stretch) to right behind Pingry (reasonably high) to right below MonDon (reasonably low) … I would probably lean toward the last option; I would seed St. Joseph Metuchen just ahead of MKA for the December victory.


  1. Jon,

    I enjoyed reading your explanations as to why teams are where they are (and I look at both pubs and non-pub). I just can’t figure out the MoBeard infatuation (Ledger’s MM has the same). A bit of a tough schedule, but other than BC, they didn’t beat a decent team all year (at season’s end, neither Chatham nor PDS were playing very well). Guess we’ll see, but I still think MD, with only 3 losses (2 to SA) by a total of 5 goals should be above MB at least.

    Comment by db — 19 February 2007 #

  2. on the other hand, anything to get away from the SA opening round matchup would be a plus for any team.

    Comment by db — 19 February 2007 #

  3. mka won central white.

    EDIT: My bad, thanks for pointing that out.

    Comment by dairock — 19 February 2007 #

  4. I agree with the comment about Mo-Beard…they simply haven’t been that good this year. No at-large team should get a bye from the Preliminary Round. Both at-large’s should have to play in the Preliminary Round, because you shouldn’t be rewarded for finishing under .500, tough schedule or not.

    Comment by JJ — 19 February 2007 #

  5. Jon,
    Choosing between Hillsboro, Watchung Hills, and Montgomery is challenging. I believe that Watchung Hills should be ahead of Monty and Monty should be ahead of Hillsboro

    Comment by Joe Smith — 20 February 2007 #

  6. I think Monty should be ahead of hboro also, and WH above them. I think head to head means more in that scenario.

    Comment by sucuse8 — 20 February 2007 #

  7. st. joes metuechen should definitley be ahead of mka and st. joes montvale because they beat them both. the onle bad loss was the horrible 11-1 loss to Mon Don

    Comment by yo — 20 February 2007 #

  8. mo-beard is also not that good. don’t understand the facisination about them. The only good teams that they beat were chatam (public) and PDS who is also having another crap year. i also got the chance to see them play Hun at Iceland when they tied 4-4, and they were not impressive at all against a weak Hun.

    Comment by yo — 20 February 2007 #

  9. one more thing, why is depaul catholic getting into states, they also are a weak team and would not be surprised if they lost by 10 goals in the first round. They have one solid defenseman in SCott Steinel and a good freshman forward in JOey Redmon. Other than that they are a weak and too young of a team

    Comment by yo — 20 February 2007 #

  10. Where are the public 1-5 seeds?

    EDIT: They’re in the previous post. Click here for the link to my full list of suggested seeds.


    Comment by Ice Skater — 20 February 2007 #

  11. Mr Yardley
    there will always be questions on how anything is selected. thank you for making an honest effort and giving a website that gives us much information about hs hockey in an easy format. My question, how is wall above TRE, in your opinion, when TRE has a tie and shutout win over wall this year.

    Comment by p kane — 20 February 2007 #

  12. I still don’t see how you rank BC over PJ. I can understand it for the Gordon Cup, but not states. PJ has 23 points to BC’s 18. PJ also had a tougher schedule. That notwithstanding, they beat BC head to head. The PJ games against SPP and Delby were hard fought matches and the loss was by a 1 goal margin. Otherwise, I think you are pretty close on the others, although I am surprised by the MBS infatuation also.

    Comment by Carol — 21 February 2007 #

  13. Your blog is very interesting to read, i have just one or two opinions on ur seedings: Morristown at 44? they beat park regional at 26 5-2, also lost to pequannok 18 and jefferson 20 by 1 goal each in the final minute…
    Also Jefferson is far better then Pequannok, also beating them 2 out of the 3 times they played them

    Comment by miguel cabrera — 22 February 2007 #

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