There wasn’t any room at the top for movement in the final installment of the Friday Night Drive power rankings for the spring season.
Loyola finishes in the top spot, surviving a gauntlet like schedule that featured six opponents that finished with a combined nine losses, six of which came courtesy of the No. 1 team.
And while Loyola took the top spot, a strong case could be made for either of the two teams that reside in the No. 2 (Lincoln-Way East) and No. 3 spots (Warren). The consensus, however, indicated that these three teams were a cut above.
Probably the most interesting movement came near the bottom of the top 10 where a number of teams from the CCL/ESCC all collided for much of the season. It was hard to get a true feel for any of these squads as they routinely beat up on each other and results seemed to argue for a different candidate to move up or down every single week.
In retrospect, St. Rita probably should have been higher ranked all along, especially after being the only team that really pushed Loyola in a game all season. Brother Rice, Marist and Mount Carmel all lurk in the same area with a razor thin margin separating them in each and every week of the season.
Newcomers, or in this case returners, to the poll were St. Charles North at No. 15 and Wheaton North at No. 16. Both emerged with wins over foes on the final day of the season in the DuKane Conference’s showdown games held at Northern Illinois. It seemed only fitting that in a conference where nothing was certain all year that the final results were a bit surprising as well.