11-12 Section 4AAA Preview

This is the 21st preview in my 2011-2012 season preview series.  In this preview, we look at section 4AAA.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Defending Champion: St. Paul Johnson

Predicted Seeding
  1. St. Paul Johnson
  2. St. Thomas Academy
  3. St. Paul Central
  4. Hill-Murray
  5. St. Paul Highland Park
  6. Simley
  7. St. Paul Harding
  8. South St. Paul
Minor changes in 4AAA with Mahtomedi moving up to AAAA.  St. Paul Central moves in along with Simley to put the section back at 8 teams.  This is still Johnson's section to lose as they are the 3 time defending champs.  St. Thomas Academy has enough experience and discipline to give the Govs a run but I think Johnson is too deep in the end.  Central, Hill-Murray and Highland Park all fit in the middle.  With Marcus Taylor-Knighten, Will McDonough and Montrell Williams I see Central as the best of those 3.  Central can possibly steal the 2 seed with a win at St. Thomas Academy over the holidays.  Hill-Murray won't be any fun to play with center Dave Simmet.  Highland Park's guards Deon Bradley and Ty'Shaun Williams give them enough to scare in a first rounder.  Hill-Murray hosts the season opener with Central and then visits Highland Park (size vs speed in that one) before Christmas in a pair of games that will be big in the seeding process.  The bottom 3 are all in rebuilding modes.  I'll put Simley as the best of the rest with wing John Spillane, Dillon Kaup inside and shooter Sam Stensgard.  Simley and Harding will determine their seeds at the Trinity holiday tournament.   

Sleeper: Hill-Murray. I totally missed on Hill-Murray last year picking them 5th in league (went 16-0).  Nobody in the section has a matchup for center Dave Simmet.  Their 2-3 zone gives people fits and Dick Ghizoni is a very underrated coach.  Beating good Tartan teams 4 straight times isn't to be ignored.  Side Note: Johnson has knocked Hill-Murray out of the playoffs the last 4 years but at least 2 of those have been very good games.  Could very likely happen again this season.

Section Winner: St. Paul Johnson. They've been there and done that with 3 straight titles.  I think they're too athletic for the rest of the section.

1 comment:

  1. Dick isn't underrated in the coaching community. His teams at St Agnes were feared. He has built a good program at a hockey school. No one wants to play his teams in the playoffs.


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