Water Polo Wilson

Season Preview: Wilson Boys’ Water Polo

All of The562’s water polo coverage for the 2021-22 school year is sponsored by Aqualand. Visit AqualandOfTheFree.com to learn more.

After years of being in the pool together the Wilson boys’ water polo Class of 2022 has one last chance to make a CIF postseason run, and they’ll do it with a stacked lineup.

Wilson is hoping elite players like seniors Gray Carson, Zac Crenshaw and Hank Rivers can take advantage of all of their gained experience and score big for the Bruins this year as they go for a 14th consecutive league title.

Rivers, who was an All-City Athlete of the Year after setting league records and winning a pair of CIF titles as a swimmer, is returning to the water polo team after taking a year off. He is committed to attend Cal but wants to make some water polo memories before he goes.

“I kind of miss the game and the guys want me back and it’s my senior year, so let’s have some fun,” Rivers said. “Me, Gary and Zac have been playing together for so long, they’re my best friends and it totally went into my decision for sure. Why not go out with a bang?”

Carson is one of the best high school water polo players in America and spent a few weeks in Croatia this summer working with Long Beach legend Tony Azevedo. Carson said the camp was less about fundamental training and more about how to be a professional water polo player overseas.

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Carson, a recent UCLA commit, is a very strong offensive player who can control a game with his powerful shot in the middle of the Wilson attack. However, he knows individual talent only takes teams so far.

“You see some other teams who have a lot of guys who are Division 1 commits and they’re good but they kind of play for themselves,” Carson said. “This year at Wilson what we’ve got going on is super special because we’re playing for each other this year. We all have such a great bond. Even if we’re not the strongest team I think our chemistry will be very good. If you know how to move the ball around and play
well together you can achieve anything.”

Crenshaw spent time in Hungary this summer with the United States Men’s Youth National Team, and said the intense competition really helped him up his level of play. He is still considering his choices for college, but said he’s ready to soak up this last high school season first.

“If we win we win, if we lose we lose, it’s just one last season with the boys,” Crenshaw said. “We’re just a bunch of guys trying to have fun and I think we can be the best because we have the best people to be around. It’s a brotherhood. It’s about the journey and working hard in training with the guys.”

Wilson’s top trio will be joined by fellow seniors Dylan Walty, Cooper Zuanich, Sean Steffen and Carson Krueger in the starting rotation. The Bruins are also hoping for junior Sean Tunniclif’s return from injury. Junior Brady Simon will be the starting goalkeeper.

The Bruins started their season with a win at Servite this week. They’ll continue the nonleague schedule at the Long Beach Poly tournament this weekend.

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JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.