TopOfTheCircle Region of the Year

Every year at summer hockey events, I get asked what areas are the best in the nation, where the best recruits are, and so forth.

Some of my answers are pretty set in stone, except when it comes to which region I thought showed the most improvement or excellence in a single hockey season.

This list takes some of my recollections from as far back as 1996 as to which areas I thought did an outstanding job in playing, promoting, or developing the game.

Year Region State Note
1996 Hunterdon & Warren County NJ Won five out of 16 NJSIAA sectional championships; sent three to the finals
1997 CIF San Diego Section CA San Pasqual just one of many great teams in the region
1998 State of Maryland Prep schools (Roland Park, Bryn Mawr) and public schools (Severna Park, BCC), excelled
1999 PIAA District 3 PA Harrisburg-Hershey-Lancaster triangle produced great teams
2000 Cecil County MD Elkton, Rising Sun, North East make serious state tournament noise
2001 Lancaster County PA Lititz Warwick, Lancaster Mennonite swept PIAA championships
2002 State of North Carolina East Chapel Hill joins Charlotte Country Day & Durham Academy as powerhouses
2003 PIAA District 2 PA Wyoming Valley West, Wyoming Seminary, Lake-Lehman, and Crestwood all shone
2004 Kent and Sussex County DE Two "downstaters" -- Cape Henlopen and Caesar Rodney -- made the final
2005 Louisville KY Assumption, Sacred Heart teams shone in out-of-state tourneys, U. of Louisville hosted NCAAs
2006 Winston-Salem NC Reynolds High School wins 1st state title since 1926; Wake Forest makes 7th straight Final Four
2007 PIAA District 4 PA Mifflinburg, Selinsgrove go deep in Class AA tournament, with Mifflinburg winning it
2008 CIF San Diego Section CA Close competition amongst area schools; a seven-loss team made a sectional final