1. Canisius boys swimming. The team that finished second in last year’s final winter Power 10 is off to a strong start with wins over Cathedral Prep and St. Joe’s and a great showing at the Viking Invitational in Cleveland, where Harvard-bound senior Jack Boyd won both the 200 and 500 freestyles in automatic All-American times and senior Luke Otto broke the school and league records in the 200 individual medley.
2. Cardinal O’Hara girls basketball. The Hawks rightly moved into large-school poll territory this year after adding Jontay Walton from now-closed Holy Angels, but they are still rolling along with an undefeated mark that includes a nice home win over No. 2 Jamestown.
3. Nichols hockey. Playing their usual elite-level schedules, the Viking girls have started 13-2-3 while the boys (8-5-3) notched an extremely impressive win over Ontario superpower St. Andrew’s in December.
4. Canisius basketball. No. 1 large school owns a big win over Olean. Canisius and St. Joe’s play their first meeting of the season at 1 p.m. Saturday at Canisius College. Get your tickets at either school this week; a sellout is anticipated.
5. Clarence wrestling. Starting where it finished last year, at No. 1 in the large school poll, thanks to three returning Section VI champions and three top-ranked wrestlers in Western New York.
6. East and Olean boys basketball. The pollsters have had Olean on top; this week it became East. Our vote has remained with Olean but this is a fun debate that many expect to be continuing right up until the Class B overall at Buffalo State.
7. Niagara-Wheatfield boys hockey. In first place in Division I of the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation, but it is crowded at the top with Williamsville North yet to lose and Canisius off to a good start – never mind St. Joe’s and Timon, who are off to .500 starts.
8. Sweet Home and Lancaster indoor track. Sweet Home owns nine of the top rankings in WNY; Lancaster owns eight.
9. Falconer wrestling. No. 1 small school is undefeated at 14-0, including a double-digit win over No. 2 Lew-Port.
10. Kenmore and Lancaster/Iroquois girls hockey. In the early going, Kenmore has the points to claim first place this week, but Lancaster/Iroquois has yet to lose.