Wow, has it been 11 years?

 It certainly has — at the end of each of the last 11 academic school years, the sports staff has bravely made out our list of the top 16 varsity teams from each school year.

 People love polls, and we figure no one has a better pulse on the tri-county athletic scene than the sports staff. So we figured why not? Let’s list the top 16 teams of the year. That first list after the 2008-09 school year had the Linden boys cross country team at No. 1 and included seven Fenton and Holly squads.

 Since then, 48 varsity teams have made our list at least once, only one team has been on all 11 lists (we’ll talk about that in a future edition), four others have been on at least 10 polls, and seven different teams have topped the poll at No. 1. With each poll, at least one new team made the top 16 for the first time.

 That’s enough of a summary right now. In today’s edition we’ll detail the bottom six squads of our 2018-19 Tri-County Top 16 Teams.

 No. 16 - Linden softball: The squad started the season with a 5-4-1 record, but this team filled with only sophomores and juniors started putting it together. The squad went 21-5 the rest of the season and posted a 14-2 co-championship record in the Metro League. The Eagles also won a district crown, defeating Lake Fenton and Goodrich en route to the title.

 This is Linden’s first time in our top 16 since placing third in 2012-13 after making it to the state semifinal.

No. 15 - Linden boys basketball: This is the first time the Eagles have ever been on the poll. Linden flirted with posting an undefeated Metro League season until a loss to Clio in the second-last game of the year. Linden finished the season with a 15-1 Metro record, two games ahead of Clio. The Eagles also beat the Fenton Tigers three times, beating them in the district. Linden’s season ended in the Division 1 district championship game, falling to Howell in overtime. Howell advanced to the state semifinals.

 No. 14 - Fenton boys swimming and diving: The Tigers won their eighth straight Metro League title, posting a 5-0 dual record. At the Metro meet, the Tigers crushed it as well, scoring 242 more points than second-place Swartz Creek/Flushing.

 The Tigers also earned eight different individual entries and three relay entries into the Division 2 state swim meet, with three entries making it to the second day. The Tigers scored 17 points, earning 25th place overall.

 The Fenton boys swim team has been in our final 16 poll seven of the last eight  years.

 No. 13 - Fenton boys soccer: Seven fall teams will eventually earn a spot on this list, giving the fall season the most entries in the top 16. The Tigers finished the Metro League season with a 7-0-1 record, earning a league title. They spent a good chunk of the season ranked in the top 10. Fenton won a district title, beating the Linden Eagles for a third time during the season in the process.  

 The Tigers have been on our list only three times, finishing as high as fourth on our 2016/17 list.

 No. 12 - Fenton girls track and field: The Tigers  dominated the Metro League, going 8-0 in duals and then scoring 200.5 points, 64.5 points ahead of second-place Flushing. The Tigers won seven of the 17 events at the league meet.

 The Tigers took third at the regional meet, earning two regional champions (Hanna Chapin in the pole vault and Cassandra Campbell in the 300 hurdles). The Tigers placed 32nd at the state meet.

 No. 11 - Lake Fenton boys cross country: The Blue Devils are the first of three cross country squads on our list. Lake Fenton didn’t capture the Genesee Area Conference title, but had an outstanding postseason. Lake Fenton captured its first-ever Division 2 regional championship, beating out Goodrich to earn the crown.

The battle went to a sixth-runner tiebreaker. Once at the state meet, the Blue Devils placed 14th at Michigan International Speedway. One of the teams they did better than was one of our area powers, the Linden boys cross country team.

 Lake Fenton boys cross country has made our list each of the last three seasons, taking 13th in each of the previous two years’ polls.

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