Water Polo Wilson

CIF Boys’ Water Polo Preview: Wilson vs. Loyola

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The last time Wilson boys’ water polo was playing a CIF Southern Section semifinal at Woollett Aquatic Center it was in 2012 against Loyola. Tonight is just another case of history repeating as the Bruins and Cubs face off in the semifinal at Woollett Aquatic Center. Game time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

“We haven’t played them this season but we’ve played a lot over the years,” Wilson coach Jeff Nesmith said. “We’re looking forward to letting these guys loose again. It’s going to be exciting.”

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Playing with that free flowing confidence has helped Wilson steamroll its first two playoff opponents by a combined score of 35-14. The Bruins beat Damien to open the postseason, and then went on the road to take care of Palos Verdes in the quarterfinal.

Loyola entered the bracket as the No. 1 seed after finishing second in the Mission League. The Cubs dominated Riverside Poly 19-2 in the first round and then edged Santa Margarita 9-8 in the quarterfinals.

Wilson hasn’t won a CIF championship since 2011. The Bruins beat Loyola 6-5 in the 2012 semifinal, but lost to Mater Dei in the championship game. That was Wilson’s last championship appearance.

“Our coaches remind us constantly that we have this Long Beach history,” Wilson senior Hank Rivers said. “It’s a swagger. In the quarterfinals we brought it, and in the semifinals we have to bring it too.”

WATCH THE 2012 CIF SEMIFINAL: Wilson vs. Loyola

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.