Accolades but no CIF titles for South County boys water polo teams

Mesa League champion Mar Vista High School advanced to the Division I semifinals for the second consecutive season. Courtesy photo

The San Diego Section held its boys water polo championship games Nov. 13 at the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex at La Jolla High School.

No South County team claimed a coveted division title but several teams were represented in later rounds of the playoffs.

Hilltop recorded a runner-up finish in the Division III final during the spring 2021 season while Mar Vista advanced as far as the Division I semifinals.

Both teams found some measure of success again in the fall.


Making waves
Mar Vista earned the No. 1 seed in the Division I playoffs for the second consecutive season based on its sterling x-x regular season record in the fall that included a x-0 run in Mesa League play.

The Mariners opened the playoffs with a 16-8 quarterfinal-round win over the eighth-seeded Helix Highlanders to advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive season.

The Imperial Beach team was once again denied a berth in the championship game by virtue of a narrow loss — 11-9 this season to fourth-seeded Canyon Crest Academy.

The Ravens proved their win over Mar Vista was no fluke by derailing defending division champion Poway, 11-10, in the finals.

Hilltop’s boys water polo team shines in the afterglow of its upset playoff win over Oceanside. Courtery photo

Moving up
Hilltop found the move up from Division III to Division II to its liking with a 12-11 first-round playoff win over eighth-seeded Oceanside. The ninth-seeded Lancers (17-6) drew top-seeded Mt. Carmel in the quarterfinals and ended their season with a 19-8 loss to the eventual division champions.

Eastlake (14-14) also qualified for the division playoffs, topping Scripps Ranch, 16-8, in a play-in game before bowing out of postseason play with a 14-11 loss to sixth-seeded Mission Hills.

Junior Tim Roa had a masterful season in the cage for Hilltop High School. Photo bny Phillip Brents


Trojan wars
South Bay League champion Castle Park (22-7) received the No. 3 seed in the Division III playoffs but ended its season prematurely with a 19-18 loss to sixth-seeded Canyon Hills in the quarterfinals.

Otay Ranch (ninth seed, 6-12 overall) and Bonita Vista (10th seed, 12-10 overall) were  the only other Metro Conference teams to make the Division III playoffs. Both lost in the opening round.



Open Division: (2) Cathedral Catholic 11, (1) Bishops 8

Division I: (4) Canyon Crest Academy 11, (3) Poway 10

Division II: (1) Mt. Carmel 9, (3) Clairemont 8

Division III: (1) San Dieguito Academy 16, (7) Valley Center 7


Castle Park senior Ryland Humphrey earned his second consecutive South Bay League Player of the Year award. Photo by Phillip Brents

South Bay League All-League Teams

First Team

Ryland Humphrey                  Castle Park                               12

Kai MacFarland                      Castle Park                               12

Cannon Humphrey                Castle Park                               10

Caleb Hutchins                       Bonita Vista                              12

Kristian Gutierrez                   Bonita Vista                              11

Aziel Juarez                             Montgomery                             11

Ian Osuna                                  San Ysidro                                12

Carlo Lira                                  Southwest                                 12

Hector Martinez                     Castle Park                               12

Robert Yetter                           Bonita Vista                              12


Second Team

Gabe Garcia                             Bonita Vista                              12

Emilio Lugo                               Castle Park                               12

Ian Pimentel                             Southwest                                 11

Axel Jimenez                           Montgomery                             11

Leonardo Chavez                   Castle Park                               11

Shawn Talamantes               Montgomery                             12

Aidin Omelina                          Bonita Vista                              10

Josaiah Mendoza                   Montgomery                             11

Santiago Salinas                    Bonita Vista                              10

Alex Aleman-Diaz                  San Ysidro                                11


Honorable Mention

Ivan Galindo                             Castle Park                               12

Alan Molina                              Castle Park                               12

Sammy Ayala                           Bonita Vista                              12

Ricky Sandoval                       Bonita Vista                              12

Ethan Godoy                            San Ysidro                                9

Diego Serrano                         San Ysidro                                10

Omar Alvarez                           Montgomery                             11

Jovan Checos                         Montgomery                             11

Alan Aaron                                Montgomery                             10

Miguel Segura                         Southwest                                 12

Alberto Verdugo                     Southwest                                 12

Alejandro Moreno                  Southwest                                 12


Castle Park captured its third consecutive league championship by winning this year’s South Bay League title. Courtesy photo
Accolades but no CIF titles for South County boys water polo teams