Water Polo: Loss of 5 starters allows younger players to step up

Tenacious defense and a fast paced offense will be the keys to success in the pool for boys’ varsity water polo, Head Coach Larry Felix said.

“We want to put the ball under pressure, that’s what we’re known for, hard-nosed defense,” Felix said.

“When you come to the Zanuck [Swim Stadium], you dont want to play because you know it’s going to be a tough game.”

After losing five starters, three games and hopes of a CIF championship last year, the varsity boys water polo team, “wants to win CIF.

We’re projected to be top 4 in Division I,” Felix said.

Even though starters such as Brian Flacks ’06 and Justin Rappel ’06 took a lot of experience with them.

“We definitely have enough talent to replace those lost starters,” two-meter man Jeff Schwimmer ’07 said.

“We’re deeper than we were last year, and there are two transfers who should make an impact this year.”

“We’re a young team, we just need to continue learning,” Felix said, “Kids need to listen to what the coaches say and not think they can do it by themselves.

“Kids can’t think that ‘Oh coach isn’t talking to me, so it doesn’t apply to me.’ It’s like in the classroom—what the teacher says isn’t for one person, it’s for everyone.”

“What we lack in experience, we make up in team chemistry,” Billy Evashwick ’08 said. “Yeah, we lost a good shooter in Rappel and a great leader in Flacks, but most of the players on varsity are good friends and team chemistry will help a lot.”

Younger players such as Michael Hartwick ’09, Sam Fogarty ’08 and Ian Fisher ’08 “need to step up, they played both JV and Varsity last year and players like Corey Schwartz ’07 need to assume a leadership role,” Felix said.

Evashwick played both varsity and JV last year and is “looking forward to this season and is ready for the new responsibilities and leadership role.”

The Wolverines opened their season against rival Long Beach Wilson yesterday. Scores were unavailable at press time.

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