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DII Club Season Starts with New England Openers

Friday Aug 28, 2009 in Amateur Competitions Division II Clubs

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The DII club season begins this weekend with New England seeing a full slate of four league games. Newly-promoted Middlesex joins a league that was pretty tightly-wound in 2008 – five of the eight teams had winning records in 2008, and the top three clubs all ended up deadlocked at 27 standings points, forcing points difference to separate them.

One of those, South Shore, has jumped up to DI, but Hartford and Providence are back and ready to battle it out. Providence made the national playoffs, but lost both their games to finish in the lowest four. Hartford didn’t make nationals.

Both are hoping to build on last year. Providence say three longtime backline players retire, and their forward pack has been hurt by work-related relocations.

They have talent, but depth is a serious question.

Hartford, for their part, felt they could have done well nationally, but faltered at the wrong time.

“The guys have matured a bit,” said Hartford coach Daniel Dionne. “We’ve got a bunch of kids I coached at college who are coming along. We did feel we were unlucky last year; I thought we’d do a lot better than we did. It’s a true test of sports in that we were denied a few times because we stumbled or a team snuck up on us, and that’s why you play the games. Overall it was a very trying experience and I expect a little bit more this year.”

Speaking of expectations, a huge rainstorm is expected in New England this weekend, which will play havoc with any prognostications. New England DII, like DII around the country, remains a crapshoot.

But we’re willing to gamble. With the season beginning we offer our preseason top 20. In this Top 20 we make a few assumptions. In many regions the top DII clubs move up to DI, but that is not always the case. We understand defending national champs East Palo Alto will not be moving up, but we are assuming that Back Bay will in SoCal. Arizona teams will not move up, and neither will the top teams in the Mid-Atlantic.

In the Midwest, both Indianapolis and Milwaukee Westside Harlequins have moved up.

Here, then, is our list:

2009-2010 Preseason DII Club Rankings
1. Tempe
2. East Palo Alto
3. Lancaster
4. Brandywine
5. Albuquerque
6. St. Louis
7. South Side Irish
8. Tulsa
9. Tampa Krewe
10. Hartford
11. Red Mountain
12. North County
13. Baton Rouge
14. San Antonio
15. Wisconsin
16. Portland (Ore.)
17. Snake River
18. Fresno
19. Milwaukee
20. Queen City

- Alex Goff

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