Check out OCVarsity.com's and The Register's selections for the 2012 All-County boys water polo teams, including the picks for O.C. Player of the Year and O.C. Coach of the Year.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Mater Dei, Sr., center
Mater Dei, Jr., goalie
Mater Dei coach Chris Segesman called the 6-foot-8 ¾ Baron the "backbone" of the Monarchs' defense. Baron anchored a stellar unit with 372 saves, 69 more than his sophomore season. He had three games with more than 20 saves, including a season-high 25 against Loyola of Los Angeles in the finals at the North-South Challenge. Baron was especially strong during Mater Dei's run to a third consecutive CIF-SS Division 1 title, averaging 15.7 saves in the final three rounds of the playoffs. Baron's defense and outlet passing sparked Mater Dei's counterattack. He finished with 49 assists.
Corona del Mar, Sr., attacker
The sharp-shooting Chase erupted for a team-leading 84 goals to help power the Sea Kings to the Division 1 semifinals, where they lost to eventual champion, Mater Dei. Chase more than doubled his goal production from his junior season. The Pacific Coast League MVP delivered arguably his best game in a quarterfinal victory against rival Newport Harbor. He had four goals and an assist to lead Corona del Mar to a 7-6 victory, its first playoff victory against the Sailors since 1987. Chase finished the season with 31 assists, which ranked second to teammate Jake Wyatt. Chase also was selected to the U.S. team for first-ever FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships (18-and-under) in Perth this month.
El Toro, Sr. attacker
Colton was a CIF Division 1 champion as a freshman, and a playmaker to the end. Colton capped a four-year run at El Toro with 92 goals and a county-leading 97 assists for the Chargers. He dished out more than 100 assists in 2011 but improved his goal scoring this season by doubling his junior-year output. The Harvard commit also had 51 steals and drew 52 ejections. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Colton didn't miss a game during his four-year varsity career. Colton was selected co-MVP in the South Coast League with Dana Hills' Sam Pfeil.
Los Alamitos, Sr., utility
Jarrels returned with vengeance after missing most of his junior season with a back injury. The hard shooter scored 111 goals but also assisted with 2-meter offense and defense. Jarrels helped Los Alamitos reach the CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinals, where it fell to Loyola of Los Angeles. "He brought it this year," Los Alamitos coach Dave Carlson said. "He worked extremely hard in the weight room. He was the hardest worker in practice. He went all out in every drill. He went all out in every game." Jarrels also was selected to the U.S. team for first-ever FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships (18-and-under) in Perth this month.
Newport Harbor, Sr., defender
The tough-nosed Stevens stood out on both ends of the pool for the Sunset League champion. He netted 49 goals – second to teammate Curtis Fink -- but also was the Sailors' top 2-meter defender. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Stevens was arguably the top 2-meter defender in the county, and perhaps the only worthy match for Mater Dei center Jon Walters. Stevens was slowed late in the season by a ruptured ear drum but showed grit by playing through the injury. Stevens was selected the player of the year in the Sunset League.
Mater Dei, Jr., attacker
Mater Dei coach Chris Segesman called Walters the "quarterback" of a squad that captured its third straight CIF-SS Division 1 title and went undefeated for the second consecutive season. The ball ran through Walters' hands a lot on offense as a passer. Walters led Mater Dei in assists with 57. He also paced Mater Dei with 69 steals. In the Division 1 finals, Walters had six steals and two assists. He finished as Mater Dei's third-leading scorer with 66 goals. "James could be the offensive guy but James knows what his role was on this team and he played it perfectly," Segesman said.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Curtis Fink, Newport Harbor, Sr.
Kent Inoue, Mater Dei, Jr.
Jovan Jeremic, Huntington Beach, Sr.
Sam Pfeil, Dana Hills, Sr.
Robby Stiefel, San Clemente, Sr.
Riley Thomas, Laguna Beach, Sr.
Luke Weiser, Los Alamitos, Sr., GK
Jon Beck, Capistrano Valley, Sr.
Joe Feaster, Troy, Sr.
Christian Macias, Mission Viejo, Sr.
Max Merrill, Los Alamitos, Sr.
Wyatt Muller, Newport Harbor, Sr., GK
Stephen Riggins, Santa Margarita, Sr.
Chase Woollett, Foothill, Sr.