2022 CT Wiffs Review: Top 15 Teams
In a year that saw a record number of teams compete, completing the CT Wiffs Review search for the "best" backyard team was not an easy one. That statement, in of itself, is a good thing. There was so much talent and classic performances throughout the State this year that confining the list to only 15 teams felt sinful at times. Despite the restrictions of the rankings, I feel like the teams listed below are a great representation of the best that mustered their way through the 2022 season. With many of new teams taking to the rankings for the first time, this list is ought to drive some interesting conversations. But I will leave that to the masses, now ONWARD with the show!
Before going through with the ranking results, there a few guidelines that everyone should be aware of with regards to the selection of teams. (P.S.: If your "deserving" team did not make the list, it may be that it did not meet one of these guidelines.)
* Teams were selected from known backyard leagues that host games in the State of Connecticut. Active leagues were verified in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to: active social media accounts with post(s)/content pertaining to the 2022 season, active website with updated game scores, standings, statistics, and or article(s); release of season results and/or statistics to the Connecticut Wiffle®Ball League in the event that such results are not publicly available
* All information pulled for these lists were current and accurate per each league's statistics data as of September 1st, 2022
* Data used for these rankings may not be complete, as some leagues included in this list have not made any announcement regarding the completion of their season
* Teams from the Connecticut Wiffle®Ball League are NOT included in these rankings; these rankings are to highlight the best teams from the "backyard" leagues that played in 2022
* Teams are based on, but are not limited to, the following: win-loss record, standings finish, runs for (RF)/runs against (RA), notable win/loss streaks during the season, notable impact player(s), postseason results
With ALL of that out of the way, here are the CT Wiffs Recap Top 15 Teams of 2022!
Number 15: Oppo Tacos
2021 Ranking: Not Ranked
League: Stamford Wiffleball League (SWBL) - Stamford
Team Captain: N/A
Standings Finish: 1st Overall
Record: 17-7 (Regular Season)
Team Accolades: SWBL Spring Championship Series Appearance
Notable Player(s): Andrew Leonard
In the Stamford Wiffleball League, no team was as consistently dominant throughout the 2022 season than the Oppo Tacos. Powered by the phenomenal pitching performances of Andrew Leonard and company, the team finished with the league's best regular season record with 17 wins. En-route to their regular season championship, the Tacos were among one the better run-preventing teams in the entire State of Connecticut: the team only allowed 68 runs (2.83/game), more than double what the next-best team allowed (the second-placed Knuckleballers with 141 runs, 5.87/game).
The team's strong performances were consistent all season, with their winning ways carrying them swiftly through the postseason and into the SWBL Spring Championship Series. While falling to the Knuckleballers for the league title, the team's strong creditability of talent and gap to their competition made them more of an appropriate choice to be included into the Top 15 team rankings for 2022.
Number 14: Coast Guard
2021 Ranking: Not Ranked
League: Wiff Or Be Wiffed (WOBW) - New Caanan
Team Captain: Matthew Balkun
Record: 10-2 (Regular Season)
Team Accolades: WOBW Championship Series Apperance
Notable Player(s): Matthew Balkun
Reigning champions of the Wiff Or Be Wiffed League, the Coast Guard entered the 2022 season as one of the most solid teams in all of Connecticut backyard Wiffle®Ball. Despite expecting to miss one of their key players - Ian Nicholas - the WOBW had no double-guesses towards placing them at the top of the preseason power rankings as a favorite to repeat.
While missing out on the Top 25 Players due to a lack of available statistics, team captain Matthew Balkun had himself a second-straight strong season to lead the team's success from the flat hill. Balkun's strong efforts helped lead a balanced cast to a 10-2 regular season record and a top seed in the postseason. Getting Nicholas back to the team got the rest of the team to jell together, and very few thought that this group was beatable.
But were they able to take it home in the end? Unfortunate for them, 2022 would not be their year. The Guard lost a heavily-favored matchup to the Boy Scouts in the WOBW Championship Series, failing to put a bow on their red-hot season. Without a championship win and the ability to finish the season on a high note - let alone more detailed metrics to break down the team's performance throughout the season - I cannot put the team any higher in the rankings. Even without a repeat title in their hands, Balkun's ability to bring the team to a strong performance on the season as a whole deserves a good place in this year's rankings.
Number 13: Silver Stallions
2021 Ranking: Not Ranked
League: Darien Wiffle Ball League (DWBL) - Darien
Team Captain: Will Monohan