Islander Boys Water Polo Perfect In Orange County - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Sports

Islander Boys Water Polo Perfect In Orange County

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Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 5:37 pm

Coronado’s Boys Water Polo Team extended their Orange County record to 2-0 last weekend with a 12-5 victory over Los Alamitos at the Joint Forces Training Base in that city. “They’re a good team,” Islander Head Coach Randy Burgess said of the Griffins. “They have been a really strong program for years. This is the first game in a while where I felt we were playing against a good team and Coronado controlled the game. The score was 4-1 at the end of the first quarter. We controlled the tempo and it was nice to see another balanced game in every category. It was 8-1 at the half. Then we subbed the kids a little bit.”

Burgess has long been a proponent of balanced scoring and the Islander offensive effort Saturday reflected just that. Bill Kusters scored three goals, Andy Rodgers scored once and two goals each were scored by Riley Ferguson, Daniel Dedina, Nick Sedberry and Mason Farley. “Any of those guys could have scored more,” Burgess said. “We are very fast and we are a good transition team. We know each other and they know their roles. Ferguson had five of our 10 assists and he also had three steals. We had 15 steals in the game and we’re starting to do some things right defensively. Our steal to turnover ratio was 3/1.”

You can’t win in water polo without a sturdy presence in goal, which in Coronado’s case is junior Riad Hallal. Burgess doesn’t typically hype his players too much individually, but he realizes that Hallal may be a worthy exception. “Riad is as good as any goalie in San Diego,” declared Burgess. “Some other teams might claim otherwise, but Riad is playing steady. His teammates almost feel like they can ease up defensively because he is playing really well.” Hallal played for three quarters against Los Alamitos and was credited with 10 saves, while yielding one goal. Keaton Thompson played his first varsity game in goal, was credited with four saves and gave up three goals in seven minutes of play.

“Our two younger guys (freshman) Rodgers and (sophomore) Farley are playing really well, Burgess added. “Rodgers is playing at a clip you would hope a junior would be playing at and Farley has established himself at two meters. Farley and Sedberry switch off. Sedberry had two steals and three field blocks in the game. He is really aware of the ball and is our strongest player in the water. Ryan Armes has continued to grow and another kid who is working hard every minute he is in is Noah Griffith. He’s not one of our bigger players, but he really hustles. The bottom line is it has been really fun watching these guys. I left them with a ‘congratulations,’ but we have a true test this week.”

Burgess elaborated on his team’s schedule. “We’re going to Orange County for the third consecutive week when we play at Huntington Beach Saturday. Huntington Beach is probably the best public school water polo team in the country. I told the guys that this is a great opportunity to see where we are at. We have a lot of work ahead of us this week and beyond. We have our first home game next week, Thursday, Sept. 24 at the Coronado Community Center at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25-26, we have the America’s Finest City/KAP 7 Tournament. The seedings for the tournament should be out mid-week this week.”

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