Today I begin ranking the Reach championship-winning clubs for the modern SchoolReach era. The rankings from the CBC era are found here.
The SchoolReach subscription program began right after the final CBC episodes of 1985. Schools enrolled to get sets of questions that were used either for intramural/interschool tournaments or local TV productions. Ontario teams were very active in these “lost” years. By 1988, a graduated regional/provincial/national system was re-established, with the help of coaches like Eric Stewart (BC), Chris Zarski (AB), Patricia Beecham-Cooper (ON), and Hans Budgey (NS). A few tournaments had television coverage, but national championships were done off-air in the early 1990s.
The teams for today’s set of rankings come from this part of the modern era. The clubs ranked 13-18 all had their one national title in the ’80s or ’90s and none returned for another nationals appearance (as far as I can tell). Most are inactive now.
Part 1 of the modern era rankings (sorry, I can’t make a numbered list start at 13):
- 13. Bell (ON)
- 14. Frontenac (ON) [up 2]
- 15. St. Joseph’s (ON) [down 1]
- 16. Earl Haig (ON) [down 1]
- 17. Tagwi (ON) [up 1]
- 18. Memorial Composite (NS) [down 1]
All of these teams were in the bottom 6 in 2015, but here’s my reasoning for the shuffles:
Frontenac had the single most dominant year of any of these teams. Their 1999 provincials R-value of 175% is not fully verified (derived from margins of victory rather than raw points), but was the best on record until Lisgar this year. At nationals, they beat national regulars (for the 1990s) Saunders 600-410 in the final; that is the highest championship-winning score and the highest combined score in a final. Frontenac deserves a little boost, but not as high as Bell, who could sustain some provincials appearances into the 21st century.
The Tagwi-Memorial swap is minor. Originally, Memorial had the edge because of their follow-up victory over the NAC champs from the U.S., but Tagwi never got their opportunity to try it. It was another disappointment for the Tagwi champs, coming after the fact that they never got the Reach trophy due to it being stuck in legal ownership limbo between Kate Andrews HS and the reincarnated SchoolReach program. Anyway, I have now given Tagwi the slight edge because their club remained active far longer than Memorial.
Next time, I’ll review the 7th to 12th place clubs. That cluster of teams, who mostly had their success near the turn of the millennium, will see the most change.