Fri, Sep 09 2011 01:06 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The Eastlake High School boys water polo team experienced a milestone last year by collecting the school’s first-ever San Diego Section playoff victory. The Titans’ 10-6 first-round win
against the Poway Titans was tempered somewhat by a 20-0 shutout loss to top-seeded Vista in the ensuing quarterfinals. But the foundation was securely set, according to head coach Chris Barrick.
It could be the beginning of a new era.
“We return a very talented and seasoned group — maybe one of Eastlake’s all-time best,” Barrick said. “They have all worked through the entire off-season playing club water polo and have improved tremendously as a group. After our first CIF playoff victory over Poway last season and then getting thumped by Vista in the quarterfinals, this team has dedicated itself to improving upon last season’s results.”
The history-making 2010 EHS team finished with a 19-11 overall record and undisputed rights to its third consecutive Mesa League championship title.
This year’s squad is full of experienced returners, led by three first-team all-league players: seniors Adam Hilborn, Dylan Chase and goalie Rhett McGinty.
Four additional returning Titans earned second team all-league honors: seniors Mike Tong, Eric Hum and Brian Porter (goalie) and junior Josue Alvarez.
According to Barrick, junior Daniel Lord should move up to the starting line-up this season and be a productive part of the team, while seniors Kevin Cochran and Tyler Rowean will add depth off the bench.
Hilborn scored 84 goals and added 19 assists while making 40 steals last season. He ranks as the team’s top returning scorer.
Chase racked up 40 goals and contributed 25 assists while making 58 steals in a solid all-around showing in the water.
Tong scored 37 goals and 23 assists to go with 29 steals while Hum totaled 13 goals, 21 assists and 76 steals.
Alvarez turned in a breakout season with 22 goals, 35 assists and 67 steals.
In the cage, McGinty had 155 blocks while Porter had 82 blocks..
Impact newcomers include juniors Jian Laxina and Jian Miclat and sophomore Johnny Velazquez.
Laxina and Velazquez both are coming up from the Titans junior varsity team while Miclat comes to the team after turning in an outstanding spring swim season and ensuing off-season club water polo training.
Laxina was one of the top JV players in the EHS program last season while Velazquez was a two-meter starter at the JV level last year.
Barrick likes the mix and the overall team chemistry of this group that he terms likely the hardest-working group in his seven years coaching at Eastlake.
“This is a very unique group in that there is a ton of leadership and they all hold each other accountable to the team,” Barrick said. “They are also top notch in the classroom with half the team with grade-point averages above 4.0 and the rest above 3.0.”
The EHS program continues to gain momentum.
Said Barrick: “At the lower levels, we continue to build and have a large group of ninth and 10th graders working hard to get to the varsity level. We have 13 new freshmen this season to go along with 10 sophomores from last season and nine juniors, so the future looks to be solid.”
Members of last season’s history-making Eastlake High School Titans boys water polo team strike an offensive pose in the Southwestern College pool.
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