Our Super 10 rankings: a change for the better

by C. Jemal Horton

This year, we enter our fifth season publishing our Boys and Girls Super 10 basketball rankings.

The rankings, which recognize the top high school hoops squads in Mecklenburg County, have been a hit – both for their accuracy and, well, those occasions we’ve been a bit off the mark with our selections. Either way, readers have looked to our rankings as a barometer of sorts, using them as a guide for which players and coaches are worthy of their attention.

As Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s sports editor, I’m pleased to say we’re continuing our efforts in earnest this season.

This year, however, our approach has changed a bit.

In the past, we have included all Mecklenburg County teams in our rankings. Now, though, we will limit the field solely to those schools that follow an eight-semester rule for players, giving them four years to complete their athletic eligibility. In other words, if a school allows players to “reclassify” to a grade they’ve already completed, it will not be included in our Super 10 rankings.

This was a difficult decision, because our staff knows that players of all ages and grades work extremely hard to do well on the court. In the end, however, we believe it’s more important that the playing field is as level as possible. And I believe there’s too much of a disparity between a team that allows players who potentially are 19 years old to compete against a team that has 14-year-old freshmen and 18-year-old seniors.

So this season, highly regarded teams such as Davidson Day School, south Charlotte’s United Faith Christian Academy and Victory Christian Center will not be candidates for the Super 10. The United Faith boys squad, some of you might remember, is our two-time defending Super 10 champion and has the pieces to win a third consecutive state title.

Although the aforementioned teams won’t be listed among our Super 10, we’ll still cover them as diligently as we have before with our in-depth feature stories, game reports and weekly notes. In addition, players on those squads who are proven to be in their correct grade will be candidates for our well-received Super Teams; reclassified players, however, will not.

This season, there’s a chance that we might inadvertently include a team in the Super 10 rankings that allows reclassified players. If you see such an error, please bring it to our attention. We’ll gladly do the appropriate investigating and make any necessary adjustments.

Our changing of the rules this season has nothing to do with being for or against any team; it’s all intended to do what’s best for the young athletes.

And here’s hoping every team, including the ones with fifth-year players, have strong seasons.

2010-11 Preseason Boys Super 10

Rank    Team                       Last year’s record
1.    Charlotte Christian                     29-5
2.    Butler                                           14-13
3.    West Charlotte                          20-10
4.    West Mecklenburg                    15-14
5.    Olympic                                        19-8
6.    Harding                                      16-16
7.    Berry                                            22-3
8.    Mallard Creek                            8-14
9.    Myers Park                               16-10
10.    Vance                                        19-6

2010-11 Preseason Girls Super 10

Rank    Team                          Last year’s record
1.    Butler                                         26-4
2t.    Hopewell                                 23-5
2t.    Providence Day                      24-6
4.    Mallard Creek                          16-8
5.    Berry                                          23-5
6.    Charlotte Catholic                   25-4
7.    Harding                                     18-8
8.    Ardrey Kell                              15-12
9.    Hickory Grove                         24-5
10.    Lake Norman Charter          19-4

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