Boys water polo teams hosts John Schmitt Tournament

Nicolet Danese

The boys use the John Schmitt tournament to practice for their upcoming season

It’s noon on Sept. 9. While most students eagerly await the lunch bell, 15 boys are already in the pool passing around water polo balls waiting for the referees to show up.  From Sept. 9 to Sept. 11 the boys water polo team hosted the top 32 schools in northern California for a tournament in memory of former water polo player, John Schmitt.

On Sept. 9,the Matadors faced their first opponent, Archbishop Mitty and although deemed the underdogs, they beat the Monarchs 11-4. Goals were scored by the “Big Four”: junior Cameron Yates and captain seniors Alex Bagdasarian, Sean Hughes and Nick Sinzig.

Unfortunately, the rest of the tournament did not go so smoothly for the Matadors.  With losses against Menlo-Atherton, Soquel, Marin Catholic, and third-place finisher Davis High Schools the boys ended their tournament on a rather upsetting note.

Junior Cameron Yates gets up high in order to shoot the ball on Sept. 11 in a game against Davis High School“Ultimately we tried to run a press defense, press the two meter person and tried to counter attack out of there – it worked really well against Mitty,” coach Ronald Freeman said. “But Davis was much better at it than we were, however they didn’t score any front court goals, only from transition mistakes we made.”

Regardless of the scoreboard, the Matadors played passionately .There were key contributions to the offense by Bagdasarian and Yates, while Hughes led the defense. Other outstanding performances were made by goalie senior Andrew Sabour, Sinzig and sophomore Brenden Duffy.

“We have some guys with gingervitis,”Freeman said, jokingly referring to red-headed sophomore Peter Wells who brought the sniffles and sore throats to numerous members of the water polo team.“We also had some guys taking the ACT, including our starting goalie, Sabour.”

Despite the drawbacks and disappointment of the tournament, the team used it as a trial run to prepare for their first league game, held on Sept.14. With no drastic change in team tactic and boys recovering from their illnesses the Matadors beat Mountain View for the first time in five years with a score of 11-8. Following their Mountain View victory, the Matadors proceeded to win their next three games against Gunn, Palo Alto and Los Gatos High School.

 

So far undefeated, the boys water polo team is looking forward to a successful season.

“When the guys stepped up, they can take control of the games,” said Freeman “ If everyone uses their speed, we’re hard to stop.”