With the 2022-2023 high school season now over, Pass Tha Ball takes a final look at the results of the four national polls (links below). Montverde Academy (FL) took this title by virtue of finishing first in two polls and placing second in the remaining two for a cumulative score of 98 points (maximum 100). Missouri's Incarnate Word Academy (currently on a 100-game win streak) and Sierra Canyon School (CA) each received one first place vote. Edmond North (OK) was the only other undefeated team in this group of 25 where a school received 25 points for a first place vote to one point for a ranking of number 25.
Why the split?
While we can only speculate, it appears MaxPreps and SBLive went with one-loss (to Sidwell Friends of DC) Montverde due to overall strength of schedule capping its season off with a come-from-behind win over New York's Long Island Lutheran (for a second time this year) in the recent Geico High School Nationals. Blue Star Media likely placed greatest value on the undefeated season of Incarnate Word which did defeat quality teams from California, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Oregon but did not have the overall degree of scheduling difficulty of the schools ranked ahead of them in this composite poll. One-loss Sierra Canyon beat Sidwell Friends (DC) and split with Etiwanda (CA). However, the loss prevented them from winning the Southern California Open Division. The ESPN poll likely viewed Sierra Canyon's overall body of work as more significant than the season-ending loss.
By the results of these four polls, one can conclude this was not a year when one team was clearly the best and if so the glory was rightly shared.
Last year vs this year
In the 2021-2022 season, Sidwell Friends (DC) finished first in all polls but Blue Star (which went with Incarnate Word). Last year's case for Sidwell Friends (undefeated while playing multiple nationally ranked teams) as mythical national champions was far stronger than that for Incarnate Word that had no nationally ranked teams in its win column while also being undefeated. In fact, the Sidwell Friends resume of wins against no losses in 2021-2022 was one of the strongest in recent years.
Links to individual polls below:
Blue Star Media:
Poll of Polls (final) for 2022-2023 high school season with point count (maximum 100) and number of first place votes:
1. Montverde Academy (FL) 98 (2 first place votes)
2. Long Island Lutheran School (NY) 92
3-4. Etiwanda High School (CA) 90
3-4. Sierra Canyon School (CA) 90 (1 first place vote)
5. Sidwell Friends School (DC) 85
6. Incarnate Word Academy (MO) 81 (1 first place vote)
7. Archbishop Mitty High School (CA) 72
8-9. La Jolla Country Day School (CA) 63
8-9. St. John Vianney High School (NJ) 63
10. Hoover High School (AL) 58
11. Lone Peak High School (UT) 53
12. Sacred Heart Academy (KY) 51
13-14. Hazel Green High School (AL) 49
13-14. The Webb School (TN) 49
15-16. Desert Vista High School (AZ) 35
15-16. Morris Catholic High School (NJ) 35
17. Centennial High School (NV) 32
18. Edmond North High School (OK) 26
19. Duncanville High School (TX) 23
20. Paul VI High School (NJ) 22
21-22. Conway High School (AR) 17
21-22. Nazareth Academy (IL) 17
23-24. Clovis West High School (CA) 14
23-24. Washington High School (IN) 14
25. Mater Dei High School (CA) 12
Of the 25 above schools, 17 were listed in each of the final polls. If you believe the above results, California was the strongest state as to highest quality team strength with six slots taken followed by New Jersey with three.