Recently in Water polo Category

Waubonsie Valley athletic director Mike Rogowski confirmed to The Heat Index on Tuesday that Luke Payette has been hired as boys swimming coach.

Payette, the former girls water polo coach at Neuqua Valley, spent the past three years as the head women's water polo coach at Carthage College.

He replaces Chad Ganden as the Warriors boys swimming coach. Ganden resigned in May to take a teaching job in Joliet.

With the prospect of spending three days in Philly in a few weeks as the grand prize, the Illinois Water Polo High School Summer League will hold its inaugural championship tournaments this weekend at Fenwick High School.

Well, that's half right. Only the boys champion will advance to the AWP State Series Challenge, which will be held in Philadelphia July 25-27. Sorry, girls, maybe next year.

League director Richard Marsh told The Heat Index on Wednesday that finding a national event for the IWP girls champion is a priority of the league.

"We couldn't get the commitment this year," Marsh said. "I know that's going to be a big push for next year, certainly from our side and also from the American Water Polo side, too."

As The Heat Index reported on May 20, Naperville Central's Kara Wilson, Naperville Central's Tyler Kelley and Naperville North's Conor Handley were voted to the Illinois Water Polo first team all-state team.

The all-state banquet was held May 29 in Elmhurst and the all-state winners were posted on the IWP Web site sometime in the recent past.

The Heat Index did make a few errors in its initial report. The most blatant mistake was leaving Waubonsie Valley senior Max Martin off the list. Martin was given honorable mention.

Also, Waubonsie Valley's Bailey Gucinski was not on the third team as The Heat Index reported. She was given honorable mention.

The last three IHSA state finals this particular part of The Heat Index has covered have gone like this:

Boys swimming: Neuqua Valley wins state title.

Water polo: Naperville Central boys finish as runner up.

Boys volleyball: Neuqua Valley finishes third.

So basically fourth place is as good as the next team I see can hope to achieve. Teams would be much better off with a Paul LaTour or a Brad Engel. Their mojo seems intact.

Neuqua Valley's John Mikuzis and Naperville Central's Kara Wilson were named Offensive Player of the Year on Thursday by, which released its All-Illpolo Teams.

Other individual award winners were: Central's Claire Fleming (most improved player), Central's Mark Menis (sophomore MVP), Central's Tyler Kelley (top junior goalie) and Naperville North's Conor Handley (most versatile player).

Naperville Central's Kara Wilson, Naperville North's Conor Handley, Neuqua Valley's John Mikuzis and Naperville Central's Tyler Kelley were voted to the first team all-state water polo teams on Monday, The Heat Index has learned.

The all-state teams will be honored on May 29 at the IWP High School All-State Awards Banquet at Diplomat West in Elmhurst.

Other all-state honorees on the girls side Neuqua's Chelsea Reczek (2nd team), Neuqua's Kathleen Patterson (3rd team), Waubonsie's Bailey Gucinski (3rd team), Central's Claire Fleming (4th team) and Allison Szott (4th team).

On the boys side, Central's Mark Menis and Ben Reasons made the second team, and teammate Bobby Rickert was voted to the third team. North senior Jackson Hill is on the fourth team. published its final boys and girls top-25 rankings on Sunday and there were some non-standard grades issued.

While the boys top four followed what happened at the state tournament, there were three state quarterfinalists that did not appear in the top eight of the rankings. Schauburg dropped to 20, Stevenson to No. 9 and York to No. 12.

The replacements were No. 8 Neuqua Valley, the sectional runner-up to state runner-up Naperville Central, No. 6 Homewood-Flossmoor, the sectional runner-up to No. 4 Sandburg and No. 7 Brother Rice, the runner-up to No. 3 Lyons.

Naperville North is 10th and Waubonsie Valley 15th, meaning their value is that of a sectional runner-up, despite both losing in the sectional semifinals.

On the girls side, Naperville Central slipped to No. 6 despite making the state semifinals (and losing twice) for the first time. Quarterfinalists H-F (9), Fremd (16) and Evanston (12) all fell out of the top eight.

The usurpers are No. 4 St. Ignatius, which lost to state champion Fenwick in the sectional final,and Sandburg (7) and Lyons (8), both of whom lost to defending state champion and state runner-up Mother McAuley in the sectional.

Neuqua was 10th and Waubonsie 14th.

Fenwick's boys team scored 490 goals this season in 33 games. By my toes, that's roughly 15 goals per game.

Sure that sounds like a lot o' offense, but it sounds like more if you break it down further.

The Friars had 17 games with at least 14 goals, including six with at least 20 goals (two this weekend), four games with 18 goals and two with 19 goals.

But none of that madness happened against Naperville Central.

"Fenwick, the whole year has been blowing out teams like 10-0 in the first quarter," said junior Ben Reasons. "We knew they weren't going to do that to us."

The Redhawks held the six-time state champs to 10 total in their championship game loss on Saturday night and to nine in a regular-season loss to the Friars.

"Our other game against Fenwick, we lost 9-5, you know," Central coach Bill Salentine said after finishing as state runner-up for the second time. "So holding them to what was it, 10? That's great for us. So I'm very proud of my boys. We got a lot of sophomores, a lot of juniors, only losing four seniors. It just shows us great things for the future."

Here's the bad news for the Naperville Central girls water polo team: Kara Wilson, the school's all-time scoring leader with 319 goals, including a school-record 106 this season and Sam Shamburek, the team's second-leading scorer with 53 goals just played their final game as a Redhawk.

Wilson was also the team leader in assists with 56, while Shamburek was fourth with 35 assists, including five this weekend at the state finals. The seniors combined for 12 goals and seven assists as they led Central to its first final four in school history.

The good news, The Heat Index thinks is that some of the others, the same ones that leaned on the seniors in the early going, have made it clear that 2008 was no flash in the pan.

Naperville Central athletic director Marty Bee told The Heat Index that the school will recognize both the boys and girls water polo teams for their state tournament runs at graduation ceremonies on Wednesday.

Since seniors take their final exams on Monday and graduation is scheduled for the stadium on Wednesday, there wasn't a lot of room on the schedule to do it any other time Bee said. He said the school does plan on another ceremony next winter during a basketball game over the holidays when most of the graduated players could attend.

Naperville Central lost 14-10 to defending state champion Mother McAuley on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the girls water polo state tournament in Lincolnshire.

Making their first appearance in the final four in school history, the Redhawks (23-12) fell behind 7-2 after one quarter and 9-4 at the half.

According to's live blog, Claire Fleming and Haley Nelson both scored three goals. Sam Shamburek scored twice. and Kara Wilson scored one goal apiece.

Central will play Stevenson in the third-place game at 5 p.m.

In a rematch of last season's state title game (and 2004), McAuley will play its rubber match with Fenwick, which beat Sandburg 11-8 in the other semifinal, at 8 p.m. The Friars and Mighty Macs have split the first six IHSA state championships.



Brad Engel

Brad Engel is the longest-tenured member of The Sun sports staff and has won several national and state awards in his coverage of preps as well as the Chicago Bears, Chicago Fire and general sports.

Patrick Mooney

Patrick Mooney covered politics, prep sports and professional baseball for several print and online media outlets before joining The Sun in August 2007. He concentrates on prep sports, writing features, profiles and breaking recruiting news.

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