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Boys water polo team battles it out in CIF after successful season

Wyatt Marshall prepares to slam one home for the Hounds. Photo by Eden Marshall

At press time, Atascadero High School’s varsity water polo team was advancing to round 2 of CIF playoffs. In the playoff game in the Central Section CIF Les Schwab Boys Water Polo Championships, the Greyhounds won with a score of 15-6 against Hoover in Fresno. Getting to the playoffs was hard fought, and the team showed their work ethic and skills as they defeated many teams during earlier play.

In season play, the Greyhounds lost against Arroyo Grande with a final score of 18-9 on Oct. 25. Atascadero lost the Oct. 23 away conference game against Righetti High with a score of 20-4. The Greyhounds battled to win against Paso Robles on Oct. 22. In the neutral conference game, they pushed through to finish with the overall score of 6-5.“The team is really starting to play more like a family,” Atascadero boy’s coach Jon Conrad said, “That’s something we stress as a main theme of out team and they have really taken it to heart.” The Atascadero lost a home conference game 23-4 against Righetti in Santa Maria on Oct. 18. On Oct. 16, the Hounds lost to Righetti 23-4. Atascadero lost to San Luis Obispo in away conference game by a score of 11-5 on Oct. 16.

In the Santa Maria varsity tournament, the Hounds won against both Bullard and Sunnyside on Friday, Oct. 12. In the game against Bullard High School, Atascadero won with a score of 17-5. In the following game against Sunnyside, the Hounds defeated Sunnyside 15-1. On Saturday Oct. 13, the boys won against Santa Maria 16-2, following in a loss of 10-7 to Morro Bay.

Around mid-season, Atascadero lost 10-9 in the well fought game against Arroyo Grande on Oct. 10. On Oct. 4, the Greyhounds annihilated Pioneer Valley with a score of 16-0 in an away non-conference game. Atascadero played Nipomo on Oct. 3, with the overall winning score of 12-7. Early in the fourth quarter, Nipomo gave the Greyhounds a bit of trouble, scoring two powerful goals. Immediately, Atascadero scored three consecutive goals: the first by Colby Vanhousen, the second Kaeden Russel, and the third from Wyatt Marshall, who finished as the overall scorer of the game with five total goals.

Earlier in the season at the Arroyo Grande Tournament, Atascadero started out with a loss to Clovis North 21-3, followed by yet another disappointing loss to College Park 21-3, both on Friday, Sept. 28. However, the Hounds returned Saturday with two wins: the first to Pioneer Valley 15-2 and the second to Porterville with a score of 9-6.

The game following the Golden West Tournament was a rivalry game played against Paso Robles on Sept. 25. Atascadero defeated their rival Bearcats 13-4.

At the Golden West Tournament, Atascadero won against El Diamante with a score 5-3 on Friday, Sept. 21. In the following game, the Hounds lost to Monache 13-7. On Saturday, Sept. 22, Atascadero battled in a win 8-7 to Lemoore, then losing to Tulare Union with a score of 9-3.

Early in the season, Atascadero lost to Righetti 19-0 in Santa Maria on Sept. 18. The week before, the Greyhounds also lost to San Luis Obispo on Sept. 11 with a final score of 15-7. On Sept. 6, the Greyhounds defeated Santa Maria 16-4 in the away non-conference game. Arroyo Grande beat Atascadero 16-8 on Sept. 4. The Greyhounds played Morro Bay on Sept 1, resulting in a loss of 17-10. The AHS boys started their water polo season off strong with three back-to-back wins; the first 10-3 against Paso Robles on Aug. 21, the second to Cabrillo 5-4 on Aug. 23 and the 19-7 to Nipomo on Aug. 29. At that point Coach Conrad stated, “I think the season is going great. The boys are playing good water polo.”

Throughout the season the boys have continued to improve in their water polo skills resulting in their first win in CIF. “I feel really good aout CIF this year,” Conrad said. I think the boys have a chance to win Division 2. If they bring their A game, no one can stop us.” As of press time, Atascadero Boys Varsity Water polo will play El Diamante in round two of CIF on Nov. 3 in Visalia.

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