Europeans play water polo in the ocean, so organizers figured why not try it in California?
On Saturday, before the Cal-Presbyterian football game at AT&T Park, check out the water polo match in McCovey Cove. Cal alumni will take on the Olympic Club at 1 p.m. Players will wear wet suits and officials will do their job from a speedboat, but the rest of the game should be similar to what you’d see in a pool.
Full rosters are unavailable but the press release I received says that Miramonte graduate Michael Sharf will play, as well as a few other former U.S. national team members.
The game is free and spectators can watch from any public access point with a view of the cove. If you’re going to be at AT&T anyways for the Cal football game, I would highly recommend showing up early and checking out the polo match.
With Stephanie Hammon on vacation, I’ll share some pretty big water polo news. Monte Vista uber-star Maggie Steffens has been named the Cal-Hi Sports Girls Athlete of the Year.
Steffens joins quite the elite list of athletes by winning the award. Jayne Appel, Candice Wiggins, Marion Jones, Janet Evans, Michele Granger and Lisa Leslie are just a few of the standouts to have won the award.
Steffens is just the third East Bay athlete to win the award in the last 50 years, but it’s actually the second year in a row the honor has come east of San Francisco Bay. Last year, St. Elizabeth sprinter Ashton Purvis took home the award.
Fresh off a summer spent with the U.S. National Team, Steffens is headed to Stanford in the fall.
The annual California/Hawaii All-America list was released recently and several East Bay boys players were honored. Here are the locals who were selected:
Joey Fabian (Miramonte)
Bryan Snyder (Las Lomas)
Joe Dietrich (Acalanes)
Jake Kisner (Acalanes)
Nick Deaver (Miramonte)
Kyle Surber (Amador Valley)
Thomas Nelson (De La Salle)
Justin Roberto (San Ramon Valley)
Ryan Sevilla (Las Lomas)
EDIT: Las Lomas’ Danielle Johnson is the girls Division II MVP. That info was omitted on the original list I received.
Here are the boys and girls All-NCS (East Bay/North Bay) water polo teams, as selected by the local coaches. Next Tuesday we will begin publishing our own All-East Bay teams for water polo, football, volleyball, cross country and girls tennis and golf. Those teams are selected by the Bay Area News Group prep sports staff.
Many league champions have already been decided, but there are two huge games this week in the EBAL and DFAL that will decide who brings home the title.
The North Coast Section playoffs are just two weeks away and league title scenarios are getting clearer across the East Bay. The biggest match of the week will be in Orinda where Miramonte hosts Acalanes on Wednesday. Both teams are 3-0 in the DFAL with one more league game remaining after this week’s showdown. The Dons won last year’s DFAL matchup 10-6 on their way to the league title, but the Matadors got revenge with a one-goal win in the NCS championship game.
By this evening all six East Bay water polo leagues will have started up. Here’s a quick rundown on how the league title races might play out with predicted champions.
The season is about four weeks old now, and so far there haven’t been too many surprises. The perennial top teams are still dominating in nonleague games and the big tournaments, but some of the smaller tournaments have given other teams time to shine.
The Miramonte boys earn a one-goal win over Acalanes. The Monte Vista girls top Campolindo decisively.
That was how the NCS championship games played out last year. It’s also the way the 2010 season began.
Dating back to 2006, the only teams to win North Coast Section water polo titles have been the Miramonte boys and Monte Vista girls.
That is guaranteed to change this year.