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Players strive for a resurgence

(photo by Jim Wick)

Players strive for a resurgence

By Hector Trujillo

The Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) varsity mens water polo team enters the second half of its season with a road game versus High Tech San Diego on Sept. 21 in hopes of getting off to a resurgent start like it did in the first half of the season.

After losing the first two contests to Rancho Bernardo High School and Eastlake High School, SRHS was able to bounce back by winning two of its next three matches beginning with a victory over University City High School on Aug. 27 and a win versus West Hills High on Sept. 1.

“We’re much further ahead this year,” said head coach Brad Oestreich. “We had over an extra month to practice that we didn’t have last year. We played in the Rancho Bernardo Varsity Invite against four teams that are higher ranked than us. We were able to beat (University City High School) which we weren’t able to do last year.”

In the team’s eight remaining matches only three are at home: against Mission Bay High School on Sept. 28, University City High School on Oct. 4, and High Tech San Diego on Oct. 12. The team will close out the season with back to back road games on Oct. 19 versus Mission Bay High School and Oct. 26 against University City High School.

“The future continues to look bright for the team in terms of numbers,” Oestreich said. “I think the goal for this year is to be in that top two position and continue to produce water polo players. Also, to give the kids an opportunity to use water polo as a tool to get through high school.”

The second-year coach, a father of two, played water polo and swam for Scripps Ranch High School from 1996 to 1999. 

This year’s team is made up of 27 players including senior captain Jayce Walzer, senior Connor Ducharme, junior captain Kai Sarti-Guerrero, and senior goalie Anush Salaniwal – all of whom were standouts last season. 

In 2021, the water polo team started off losing four of its first five matches, playing with a 17-man roster. SRHS went on to win three out of its last five matches last season with victories over El Capitan High School, Canyon Hills High School and La Jolla Country Day.