Lakewood Water Polo

Girls’ Water Polo Preview: Lakewood Lancers

he562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.

The562’s coverage of water polo & swimming is sponsored by the Aquatic Capital of America Foundation.

The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.

Coming off a successful campaign that ended in a trip to the CIF-SS Division 5 quarterfinals, the Lakewood Lancers have new leadership with head coach Dylan Thompson taking over the program. It had been a while since Lakewood won a pair of playoff games, and the Lancers will look to build on that momentum with a core of senior returners as well as some promising young talent.

Senior Brooke Baze is a key returner for a Lakewood program under new leadership.

Brooke Baze (pictured) leads that senior class after a stellar junior season for Lakewood. She was a first team All-Moore League selection a season ago and will be the only All-League returner for the Lancers in 2022-23.

She’ll be joined by fellow seniors Chelsie Jimenez, Lauren Baker and Meilani Kerr in providing leadership this season, especially to the ninth and 10th graders who Thompson expects to hit the pool and help the team out this year.

“We are not a one or two athlete team, every athlete in the pool is ready to play and compete,” said Thompson of his group. “I have been impressed with this team’s competitiveness as we have been preparing for the season. I am very excited to see what this team will be able to accomplish this season.”

Lakewood remains in Division 5 after making a quarterfinal run and losing to top-seeded Corona Centennial, which has now been bumped all the way up to Division 2. If the Lancers maintain their current trajectory under new leadership, they could be in a good spot as one of the highest rated teams in their bracket. The Lancers will get a look at teams from their division when visiting Westminster (Dec. 13) and hosting Warren (Jan. 9).

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.