El Estoque

The payoff of playoffs

Christian Fatoohi

The MVHS Varsity Boys Water Polo team missed the CCS Playoffs when they lost to Los Gatos last year. But with great determination and the addition of new players, the boys will fight hard this fall season to achieve their goal: to redeem their spot in the Playoffs.

To most, Aug. 25 means the start of yet another school year—quizzes, exams, homework, the whole shtick. But for water polo, the date takes on a novel meaning: a new beginning, and quite possibly redemption.  
 
“It’s a clean slate… a little more wide open, a little more unpredictable,” varsity water polo coach Ron Freeman said. The addition of at least three ambitious sophomores to the varsity team and the revival of morning practices all attest to this clean slate. It also sends a clear message: the varsity team has its sights set on attending CCS, the playoffs which they barely missed last year. Every year, only the top four teams get a chance to compete in CCS. As a result, it is not so much the struggle for making first, second, or third place that really matters, but the mad scramble to make fourth. The winning team makes it to the playoffs, the loser doesn’t. Last year, a loss to Los Gatos barred the MVHS varsity water polo team from competing in the CCS playoffs.

“We really should have won, and every time we played that team, we always lost by one point in overtime,” says senior varsity player James Lin. “It was really disappointing.”

 Despite all the possibilities this fall season may bring, however, mediocrity is not one of them. The team held practices twice a day during the week of 8/18/08 and also carries out the tradition of morning practices throughout the season.
 
“I think this year is going to be a lot better than last year,” Alumnus Kevin Tsui said. “We have a lot more returning members and a lot more people who actually know how to swim.”
 
The Matadors have been in the upper ranks of the De Anza division for the past 15 years, and they are going to fight to the last goal to claim their spot for the CCS in the fall.