Boys Water Polo: Blazers out to hot start under new coach
Golden West is hoping for a quick turnaround under new head coach.
By Jermaine Johnson II @Jerm_10
PORTERVILLE – Erik Schlick has big goals for the Golden West boys’ water polo team. After a losing season in 2018, he has led them to a 3-1 start, including a commanding win over Monache. He hopes to get the team back to their winning ways, and atop the West Yosemite League, something they haven’t done since 2015.
The Trailblazers dominated the Marauders from start to finish. Both the offense and the defense was on point as they got out to a quick 8-0 in the first quarter. “We were fortunate enough to run a very strong press that limited their ball movement on offense,” said Schlick. “We transitioned out really quickly and that helped us get a quick lead by counter attacking.”
Golden West seemed to be scoring at will, despite their top attacker taking a backseat in that category. “Senior Dawson Epp is a leader and he did a really good job of setting up his teammates tonight” said Schlick. “A lot of times we rely on him to score but [during this game] he transitioned into a different role allowing other people to score who normally don’t get to.”
Several players took advantage of the opportunity to score more goals. Juniors Sam Pratt and Evan Bockman led the team with five and three goals respectively. Defensively, the Golden West press was so tight that Monache could barely complete a clean pass. The score was 14-0 heading into halftime. After the break, Golden West seemed to take their foot off the gas as they only scored three goals in the second half. The Marauders didn’t get their first point until the end of the third quarter, and scored four in the fourth quarter on the Golden West backup goalie.
“It was fun seeing all my guys get to play, have some success, and seeing what they worked on in practice get implemented in the game,” said Schlick.