Boys’ water polo squad wins first title in 6 years

Mila Barzdukas

A 20-2 rout over Notre Dame on Nov. 6 sealed the deal for the Wolverines to officially win their first Mission League title since 2007.
“It was pretty awesome, and specifically beating Loyola was pretty awesome,” Raphael Raede ’15 said. “We came out on top.”
“[The win] was definitely exciting,” Head Coach Brian Flacks ’06 said of his first league title with the boys’ program.  “I’m really proud of the boys and how far the program has come in such a short amount of time. Obviously that was one of our goals going into the year, and now we are changing our mindset and focusing on CIF.”
The Wolverines beat rival Loyola 14-7 for the first time in six years, and they finished the rest of their league season undefeated.
As league has ended, the team has shifted their focus to the post-season.
CIF Southern Section brackets were released on Saturday, with the Wolverines seeded second, the rank they have held all season. Powerhouse Mater Dei is seeded first and is the only team to post a win over the Wolverines this season.
The bracket has the two teams meeting in the finals, granted that both teams win all of their games. Flacks says the team’s mindset is to take playoffs one game at a time.
“In Division I, it is so competitive now that you can’t really look forward to Mater Dei,” Flacks said. “You have to take each game at a time. Last year we were a wild card team, and we ended up making the quarterfinals. There are so many good teams now that you can’t really look beyond each round.”

The Wolverines will square off against the winner of a wild card match between El Toro and Edison today at the Copses Family Pool at 5 p.m.
The team played El Toro last year in its first round matchup.
The squad has defense as its primary focus going into playoffs.
“In the North-South tournament, we gave up 10 goals [to Sacred Heart Prep] in the semi-finals and 11 goals [to Mater Dei] in the finals, so we’re really focusing a lot on defense,” Flacks said.
Six-on-five offensive plays are also a main focus, as the Wolverines have failed to capitalize on “easy plays” as said by Raede.
As a primer for the CIF tournament, the team matched up against Agoura, the number one ranked team in Division II, on Saturday. Flacks described the Chargers as one of the top five teams in the nation.
The game took place after scores and records had been sent for CIF seed consideration, so the game had no effect on the Wolverines’ illustrious record. Regardless the team beat the Chargers 7-5 in a victory at the Copses Family Pool.
Ben Hallock ’16 led the team in scoring with a hat trick. Johnny Hooper ’15 scored two goals, and Warren Snyder ’14 and Morio Saito ’15 scored a goal each.
“We actually haven’t beaten Agoura in seven years, so it was a great win for us,”Hallock said. “We played good team defense and worked together, so this win is an excellent confidence boost going into playoffs.”