Orange County boys water polo is losing one of its good guys and best grinders ... at least for now.
Fountain Valley coach Eric Perales has resigned after seven seasons to pursue academic goals.
"I hate leaving these kids," he said late Wednesady after the Barons fell to Huntington Beach in their Sunset League finale.
Perales posted a 95-96 record and made a postseason appearance in 2009 with Fountain Valley, which competes in the challenging Sunset League. He also went 2-6 against rival Edison.
"It's a fun rivalry that I'll definitely miss," he said.
Perales departs Fountain Valley with some attractive players in play for next season: 94-goal junior Ben Schmiesing, emerging sophomore goalie Jake Huynen and attacker Adam Mancini. The Barons also boast a surging boys swim program under Coach Mike Nichols.
Perales wil continue to assist Ocean View's girls water polo team and coach club with Ocean View-based Riptide. He is pursuing a liberal arts college degree with an eye on teaching and coaching.