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Water polo notes: Troy's supporting cast steps up
Troy is proving to be one of the most consistent boys water polo programs in Orange County.
After graduating seven players earlier this year from arguably the best team in school history, the Warriors (5-0) opened the season last week by capturing the Riverside Invitational.
It was Troy’s first tournament title since 1994.
“A lot of my guys now have really stepped up their game to get back to this level,” veteran Troy coach Justin Link said in an e-mail.
Two key contributors arrived from the junior varsity team, Link said.
Attacker Matt Park scored 11 goals at the Riverside Poly-hosted tournament last week while Adrian Barragan delivered solid defense.
Thomas Brugger, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior, has emerged as a strong 2-meter defender.
Link also has been pleased with the progress of Sean Greaney at attacker.
The four players join a mix led by established standouts Joe and Sam Feaster and Trent Samaha.
Troy entered last week ranked second in Division 4 to Righetti. The four-time defending Freeway League champions play host to Righetti on Thursday.
STANDOUTS HEADED DOWN UNDER
Five county players, including four from Mater Dei, have been selected to the U.S. team for the FINA Youth World Championships, Dec. 1-9, in Perth, Australia.
The squad includes Mater Dei’s foursome of Jon and James Walters, McQuin Baron and Kent Inoue along with Los Alamitos’ Chandler Jarrels.
Former El Toro goalie Garrett Danner joins Baron as a keeper for the team.
Foothill assistant and SOCAL club coach Jason Lynch is serving as the head coach.
The team is scheduled to have a Southern California training camp Nov. 19-20 and a training camp with Italy in Singapore, Nov. 21-28.
The CIF-SS finals are Nov. 17 in Irvine.
CLUB TEAMMATES REUNITED
Last week's clash between Newport Harbor and Long Beach Wilson reunited former Newport Beach Water Polo Club teammates. During the summer, Long Beach Wilson's Max Irving and Jackson Kimbell played with Newport Beach, which featured players from Newport Harbor.
"It's still physical but we have just that much more mutual respect for each other," Newport Harbor senior Dan Stevens said of the encounter. "We know they're good players. We're know we're good players. We just have the same kind of mentality in the water, though, because they're just another team that we need to go out and play against.
"But when we get out (after the game), we exchange hugs in the warm-down. It's good. I like it."
San Clemente defeated South Coast rival Capistrano Valley, 10-6, for third place at the Clovis Championships on Saturday.
MATCHES OF THE WEEK
Tuesday: Corona del Mar vs. Long Beach Wilson at Belmont Plaza, 4:30 p.m.
Yorba Linda at Ocean View (1 vs. 4 in Division 7)
Wednesday: El Toro at San Clemente
Thursday: Righetti at Troy
Thursday through Saturday: South Coast Tournament
Newport Harbor's frosh-soph team and recently hired Coach Marco Palazzo captured the Newport Harbor junior varsity tournament. The Sailors defeated Foothill, 12-10, in the finals.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"Elated. ... We always felt like we belonged there."
- Long Beach Wilson coach Tony Martinho on returning to Division 1
"I would not be shocked if they made the finals."
- Newport Harbor senior Dan Stevens on Long Beach Wilson