SAAC Names November Male and Female Athletes of the Month


“I like being #1 in all aspects,” water polo player Johnny Hooper said to Los Angeles Times high school sports columnist Eric Sondheimer for a Sep. 15 article. Now, Hooper is number one in yet another aspect, as the Student Athlete Advisory Council named Hooper Male Athlete of the Month in November.

Sondheimer went on to write that Hooper “has developed into perhaps the No. 1 water polo prospect in California.” Colleges have noticed; Hooper already has scholarship offers from USC, Stanford and UCLA, who were ranked third, second and first, respectively, in the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s most recent rankings.

However, before Hooper can start worrying about being number one in college, he is presently trying to lead the Wolverines to another CIF-SS water polo championship.

Hooper and company won the CIF-SS Division I Championship in 2013, and is one win away from doing the same this year. To repeat as champions, Hooper and the Wolverines once again must defeat Mater Dei in the finals on Saturday.

Going into Wednesday night’s semifinal match against Corona del Mar, Hooper averaged a whopping 6.5 goals per game. Hooper would lead the Wolverines in scoring with four goals as the Wolverines defeated the Sea Kings 13-2.

To recap, Johnny Hooper plays on the number one team, he’s a number one prospect, he’s being recruited by the number one college team, he’s one win away from another division one championship, and now he is the number one male Harvard-Westlake athlete this month. Hooper probably isn’t complaining; after all, he likes being number one in all aspects.


Also chasing a championship for her team is cross country runner Casey Crosson ’17, who said that being named Female Athlete of the Month of November by the SAAC only makes her more excited for a shot at winning a title.

“Winning this award really boosted my confidence for CIF finals this weekend and state the weekend after that. It made me really excited for what I and the cross country team could do with the end of our season,” Crosson said.

Crosson was the only Wolverine to finish in the top five at in the Mission League Finals, in which Harvard-Westlake finished first among all teams.

After another top 20 finish for Crosson after she posted a time of 19:39 in the preliminary round, it has become clear that she has played a key role in getting the Wolverines to the finals, and her teammates have praised her for it.

Nicole Araya ’16 and Lauren Jones ’16 both pointed out Crosson as one of the best runners on the squad. Jones added that her consistently strong performances make her one of the best in spite of the fact that this is her first year on the varsity squad.

Crosson is the third sophomore this year to win athlete of the month, and a member of the class of 2017 has been an athlete of the month in every month thus far (Football player Ryan Dominick ’17 in September, tennis player Jenna Moustafa ’17 in October)

“I think that winning this award as a sophomore is pretty special and exciting. Gaining recognition from the Harvard-Westlake community is a huge honor and makes me really excited for the two more years to come in my high school cross country career,” Crosson said.