Water polo preview: O.C. Top 10 to start the season
OCVarsity's boys water polo preview for 2015:
O.C. TOP 10 TEAMS
1. Mater Dei: The Monarchs are looking to regain Division 1 supremacy, but their grip on Orange County has never been stronger. They haven’t lost to a county team since Oct. 18, 2010, at El Toro.
2. Orange Lutheran: The Lancers’ rise continued over the summer with several players earning 16-and-under gold at the Junior Olympics. Yes, they’re young; no key seniors.
3. Huntington Beach: The Oilers graduated the county’s player of the year, Alex Wolf (UCLA), but they remain formidable. Quinten Osborne might be the best center in the county, and Ethan Wojciechowski is a rising star.
4. Foothill: The Knights are seeking to defend their Division 2 crown, but also to compete with the Division 1 powers. Their fifth-place finish at the summer state tourney says they’re ready.
BOYS WATER POLO PREVIEW
5. Corona del Mar: Strong play at center can create a ripple effect of chances, so the Sea Kings could be a high-scoring team with the trio of Brendan Hack, Ben Brooks and Tamir Avital. If their attackers and defense emerge, the Sea Kings could be a Division 1 darkhorse.
6. Dana Hills: The Dolphins could emerge as serious contenders in Division 2 if their key returners and newcomers come through. Both developments will make standout Bennett Williams even more dangerous.
7. Newport Harbor: After a turbulent 2014, the Sailors hired Coach Ross Sinclair, a former standout at Newport Harbor. Two of their best seniors are reportedly out indefinitely, but if the seas calm, the Sailors are talented enough to win more than last season.
8. El Toro: The Chargers return almost their entire team from last season. The experience and a second season under Coach Justin Johnson should do wonders.
9. Santa Margarita: The Eagles have quietly reloaded after graduating some strong seniors. They’ll have to fight, however, to make the playoffs in the tough Trinity League. JSerra is on the rise.
10. Villa Park: The Spartans beat Los Alamitos at the state tournament and Laguna Beach in an offseason league. Those were the next two contenders for this spot in the top 10.
Others considered (listed alphabetically): Beckman, JSerra, Laguna Beach, Los Alamitos.
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