With only one returning starter on the team, the varsity boys water polo wasn’t expecting the degree of success that it has achieved so far this season, but the boys are shocking everyone with how well they’re doing. The team’s current league record is 8-0 as of press time. The players and the coach alike are expecting to make CCS and win leagues as well.
According to head coach Ed Samuels, the players are “doing very well and are exceeding expectations.” The team beat Los Gatos and Palo Alto High Schools, both of which are favored to win the league. The boys beat Mountain View, also favored to win the league, on Tuesday, October 7.
“Every win over the other three contenders is a big deal,” Samuels said.
The team has also played against Homestead and Gunn High Schools, the latter of which the team smashed with a score of 18-6.
“I’m actually kind of surprised at how well we’re doing because all of the other teams are really good,” senior Derek Koehler said. “But we just train so hard every day and we’re so consistent with our play.”
Outside of league games, the team has also competed in several tournaments, including the September 19 Scott Roche Tournament at Menlo School, where its record as 3-1. Top scorers included senior Tucker Arth and the team’s only sophomore, Colin Mulcahy. Several highly ranked teams were there, including the top CCS teams and many schools from southern California.
The team beat a San Diego school called La Jolla, which is considered to be one of the top 10 teams in the country, with a 4-goal margin. Rio Americano and Vista were defeated by 2-goal margins, victories which Samuel says are “outstanding wins over top-ranked schools.”
The only game that the team lost in the tournament—and the team’s only loss so far—was against Saint Francis, the number one ranked team in the section.
The boys also played in a tournament in Hawaii over the summer against many southern California schools. The trip also served as a bonding experience for the team.
“We all work together great,” Derek said. “Practice is year round, so it’s never-ending, so these guys are like my brothers. I see them everyday; it’s like a second family.”
Although the Neal Winterbotham is the team’s only returning starter, the team’s success so far has led to high hopes for the rest of the season.
“We have aspirations for the rest of the year and are expected to do well in CCS,” Neal said.
Colin also says that, despite the team’s high records this season, there are still some challenges.
“We’re pretty small; it’s hard to play against big teams,” Colin said. “But we make up for that because we’re really fast.”
Nonetheless, their outstanding record so far promises a good rest of the season ahead.
“Our hope is win the league championship again this year and to qualify for CCS,” Samuels said.