Millikan Water Polo

SEASON PREVIEW: Millikan Boys’ Water Polo

The562’s coverage of Aquatic sports in Long Beach is sponsored by the Aquatic Capital of America Foundation.

The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2023-24 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

There have been massive improvements for the Rams over the last 14 months under new coach Randy Wright, and he feels like his program is headed in the right direction. They’re coming off a great swim season and have 24 kids playing club water polo. When Wright took the job last year they had three.

“Last year, we lost to Villa Park by 20 goals and (two weeks ago) we only lost to them by three,” Wright said. “If we want to become relevant, we have to start competing. You can’t just get blown away. It’s a mindset on how we narrow the gap. I am quite delighted with how the process is evolving.”

A full offseason has allowed Wright and his coaches to change the culture and style of play at Millikan where now heavy rotation and total team contribution will be the key to victory. Last season, Wright played about 10 players, and he plans to play about 16 this season.

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Senior captain goalkeeper Evan Zes and senior 2-meter defenders Lucian Rankin and Franco Moncada-Morales will use their experience in the back while a host of underclassmen will lead the offensive attack. 

Zain Dahdul, Luc Poissant, Nathan Huber and Josh Lindner are all returning and are much improved drivers and shooters. Poissant specifically has flourished in the new system that shares the ball, according to Wright. He also said that guys like Zavier Velasco and Scout Knight-Pheng have been a pleasant surprise with his reliable game sense.

“It’s all a chemistry experiment,” Wright said of rotating so many players. “We don’t have the kid who can dominate, so we have to find the six kids who will work best with each other.”

Millikan has already played 16 games in order to get more game experience as they build.

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.