The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
There have been Olympians and CIF championships produced by Long Beach high school boys’ water polo over the years, but last season was arguably the most successful one in history.
Long Beach Poly won its first CIF Southern Section championship in 92 years, Wilson returned to the CIF-SS Division 1 semifinals for the first time since 2013, Lakewood returned to the playoffs for the first time in eight years and other teams also had postseason success.
It’s going to be hard for the local teams to duplicate those collective accomplishments, but all of the local coaches said they’ve got up and coming players who will be fun to watch in the pool.
The non-league schedules start this week, and the Moore League schedule starts September 28 with three games at Cabrillo High. Wilson will play Millikan, Lakewood will face Jordan and Poly will take on Carbillo.
There will be a lot of new faces in the pool and on the deck for the Bruins this year after a host of decorated seniors graduated and Zach Polmanteer has taken over as head coach. CLICK HERE to read the full preview.
LONG BEACH POLY
The Jackrabbits won the Division 4 title last year in thrilling fashion, and return several starters and six players who got major time in the pool on that historic squad. Poly is up in Division 2 this year and a repeat CIF-SS title won’t come easily. Neither would a league title, but the Jackrabbits have their eyes set on both. CLICK HERE to read the full preview.
Last season, the Rams had a strong senior core leading the way, giving the Rams both experience and chemistry in the pool. After saying goodbye to that formidable group and saying hello to a brand new head coach, things will mostly need to start from scratch in 2022. CLICK HERE to read the full preview.
The Lancers are hoping to roll over the momentum built last season when they reached the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinals by winning their first postseason match in more than a decade.
Second-year coach Charles Wright is looking for players like Aaron Talag to learn from those experiences and expect that success going forward. Talag scored twice in the quarterfinals victory.
The Jaguars are tabbed as a team to watch in CIF-SS Division 5, but coach Lawrence Durand is managing his expectations for a new group of players who haven’t had much time in the pool together.
“This group is untested but they have a good skill set,” Durand said. “We could go deep in the playoffs or not play the playoffs, that’s the range of these guys.”
Senior captain Eric Castaneda will have to be a great leader if Cabrillo wants to have success and return to the quarterfinals for the third time in the last four years.
Durand is also excited to develop the talents of goalkeeper Mosheh Villegas-Resendiz and center Roman Cardozo.
Half of the Panthers roster has at least one year of experience, and that’s a huge improvement for second-year coach Phil Geiger.
“We’re trying to build it up over here and make sure that people know J-Town aquatics is still relevant,” he said.
Seniors Luis Garcia and Diego Dorantes will be key for the Panthers because they will lead the group in stopping counter attacks.
“We’re going to try to possess the ball on offense, really make the most out of our shot clocks and not get the ball stolen and countered,” Geiger added. “Our big key is not giving our opponents more opportunities than they already have.”