Boys’ Water Polo: Peake leads Falcons to 2-1 league record

September 27, 2010 — by Will Edman and Tim Rollinson

On a normal weekday, a boys’ water polo player must wake up at 5:30 in the morning only to tread in cold water for hours, a routine that is also repeated every afternoon.

However, the tedium of an average player’s day pales in comparison to that of senior co-captain Gavin Peake, the starting goalie on the varsity team, who must face even bigger physical challenges when he is in the pool.

“Gavin is a monster,” said junior Eric Wang. “Even when the defense is weak, he stops so many goals.”

In water polo, goalies hold the toughest job. Not only are they in charge of stopping dozens of speeding balls, but they also must tread water in the swimming pool for the entirety of a 45-minute game. Peake, who also plays goalie on the lacrosse team, admitted that the position is not always as exhilarating as playing in the “field.”

“In lacrosse, I can get out of my goalie position a lot more so [the job] really isn’t boring at all. Playing water polo goalie is a lot more boring,” he said. “Also, in water polo, there are a lot of one-versus-one situations. I have to accurately judge when and where the opponents are going to shoot.”

Peake contributed to a 12-4 victory over Harker on Sept. 21 with a strong effort, both in leading the team and saving many potential goals.

“What most people don’t realize is that a goalie must not only stop goals, but command the team and make good passes,” Wang said. “The goalie can make or break a team, and [Peake] gives us a huge advantage.

The water-bound Falcons also benefited versus Harker from a four-goal effort by talented junior Nic Doyen. Junior Tyler Borch and Wang also contributed two goals each. The highlight of the game was a throw across the entire pool that was scored by senior co-captain Tim Rollinson.

With the leadership and solid play provided by Peake, the water polo team has a great chance to improve on a near .500 season in 2009.

“Hopefully these first wins dictate what will come for the rest of the season,” Peake said.

The boys’ water polo team holds aspiration for success as it prepares to tackle the brunt of the season. If the effort that it has showed during the early season persists, the Falcons think they might have a successful year ahead of them. In a league where most teams seem beatable, Saratoga’s biggest competition should come from Wilcox, who won a tough game against the Falcons 10-6 on September 15. Despite this minor setback, the team is gearing up for the rest of the league season and a potential revenge game against Wilcox.

“If we play to our potential, the league is ours,” said Peake.

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