The562’s coverage of aquatic sports in Long Beach is sponsored by the Aquatic Capital of America Foundation.
The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.
Lakewood girls’ water polo heads into the season having only gotten better in the past few years.
Just two seasons ago the Lancers won their first pair of playoff games in over a decade, then took another big leap last season when they won three postseason games in head coach Dylan Thompson’s first year.
Since then, the Lancers have worked hard all offseason as the remainder of last year’s squad will look to continue their success this winter.
“I think a lot of the culture of the team is still here and that’s what really worked well last year,” Thompson said. “This group of girls always build each other up, they never tear each other down from mistakes. They’re really close and I think the core of the group is still here from last year. Plus we have some really awesome senior leaders that set a great example for the younger girls.”
Thompson will look to those seniors to lead the way including Kamryn Hastings, Maya Lopez, Leilani Sanchez and goalie Marley Isaacson.
The Lancers successful campaign last season was good enough to bump them up to Division 4 in the CIF Southern Section for the coming season after beating Chino, Warren, and Hemet in the Division 5 postseason last year. Even with tougher competition the Lancers goal remains the same in their new division.
“We just want to build on what we do well and to keep getting better everyday,” Thompson said. “We’ll be happy with the end result if we keep doing what we’re doing. So I think it’s yes, the goal is to go to CIF but I don’t ever want them to look at it as a failure if we don’t get there. I think we’re well equipped to do it but as long as we come in and work hard I’m happy.”
Lakewood will open their season at home against La Quinta on Nov. 16th at 4:00pm.