Water polo teams make history; boys take second in CIF finals
Will Shoemaker looks on after blasting a shot toward the goal.
Photo by Lilly Moynagh
The Greyhound water polo teams were on fire this season, making history by the girls advancing to the semi-finals in CIF play and the boys earning second place at the CIF finals, then advancing to the Regional finals in San Francisco for the first time ever. Coach Jon Conrad said, "This year's boys water polo success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication that these boys put into the program. We started training back in late May and were dedicated to working hard. All those early mornings and late night trainings led to one of the most successful seasons we've had in school history."
The boys ended up in second place in the Division 2 CIF Championship after a 4-6 loss to El Diamante on Saturday, Nov. 16. Despite the loss against EL Diamante, earning second place qualified the boys to go to Regional CIF competition, and they faced off against St. Ignatius from San Francisco. The boys played with heart and spirit through the entire game, but had a disappointing 15-23 loss. Even though their historic season is over, they made history and can be proud of their amazing season. Junior Owen Sullivan said, "It was a really cool experience to go on to so many [CIF] games; I've been playing with Coach Conrad since 7th grade, and without him, we wouldn't be the men we are today."
Prior to that epic finish, the boys’ successful 6-7 league finish prepared them for that expert level of play they encountered in CIF competition. That earned a 1st Round Bye and had their first CIF game on Nov. 9 against Tulare Union. The final score was a hard fought 12-11.
They then advanced to the semi-finals and played Kingsburg Vikings for a 5-2 score that pushed them into the finals. During the semi[final game, with the Hounds one win away from a CIF title game, the team ramped up their play. The game started off slowly, with no score until Alex Hall got on the board nearing the end of the first quarter. During the second quarter, Vikings made a point to bring the score even. Hounds quickly respond with another point, Will Shoemaker throwing it in bringing the score up one. Third quarter, the Vikings were the first to score and tie it up once again. This was the last point the Vikings made before the Hounds skipped the ball into the net three more times to make the score 5-2. With the Hounds winning the semi-finals, they were elated to move on to the CIF championships for the first time in school history. Junior Sean Hall stated, “It feels good to have made it so far as juniors, we're really going to miss our seniors!" Twin brother Alex Hall agreed. He said, "Our team is like a family, our Coach promotes that idea, and we know we can rely on each other."
The girls team can also be proud of their stellar performances, as they also advanced to the CIF semi-finals for the first time ever. The team accumulated 20 wins this season. Coach Rob Rucker