New coach helps water polo players learn new strategies

September 26, 2016 — by Roland Shen

Recap of boys water polo games and also the changes in having a new coach.

In recent weeks, the boys on the water polo team have been training hard under the direction of new head coach Jacob Young, who took over for past coach Courtney Crase this year.

As of Sept. 22, the team held a league record of 3-2.

Young, a former professional player and a water polo team USA Alumni Club, has made a big impact on the team’s performance by teaching new drills and plays.

For instance, in a game against Fremont on Sept. 22, the Falcons made a valiant effort, winning the game 14-11. Throughout the game, the boys found themselves ahead of Fremont by three goals each quarter. Despite the Fremont players being bigger, the Falcons outworked them in the hole-set and utility positions.

“Though they were a bigger team, we were able to beat them by playing smart and going extremely hard,” senior hole-set Armin Agha-Ebrahim said.

The Falcons agree that Young’s addition to the team has had a positive impact.

“He acts a lot younger than other coaches, which makes him a lot more relatable to us,” junior utility Alan Lu said. “He’s able to come into the water to demonstrate moves for us, which is really helpful.”

At Lynbrook on Sept. 20, despite a hard-fought effort, they lost 8-3.

“We definitely suffered from their counterattacks, especially early on in the game,” Lu said. “They were a really fast team, and we weren’t very prepared for their speed.”

On Sept. 15, the Falcons had their first loss of the season against Harker 14-5 due to a weak defense.

“Earlier in the game, our defense was pretty sloppy,” senior utility William Lew said. “They were able to score a lot of goals off counterattacks, and that shouldn’t happen.”

The boys dominated Milpitas in an away game on Sept. 13, ending up ahead 10-2. On Sept. 8, the Falcons kicked off the season with a 9-5 win against Cupertino. The team was led by senior utility Grant Guzzo, who scored three goals, and Agha-Ebrahim, who scored two.

We just had more fundamentals than Cupertino, which lead to a solid victory,” Guzzo said. “Even so, we could have improved our coordination as a team, which is something that will improve every game.”

This year, the team suffers from having a smaller physique in comparison to other schools. Only Guzzo, the team’s captain, stands at over six foot, while numerous players from other teams have the size advantage. The team is working hard to achieve wins despite their disadvantages against physically larger teams.

“I really enjoy my team this year,” Agha-Ebrahim said. “We have many talented players, and even though our team isn’t very large in size, we make up for it in hard work and dedication.”

The Falcons will face Milpitas on Oct. 4 and Harker on Oct. 6.