Almost a decade after leading the College Park High girls water polo team to the playoffs as a player, Lauren Seidemann is trying to bring the program back to prominence.
“It’s fun to bring this program back up to where it was,” said Seidemann, a 2006 graduate and second-year head coach. “We had a pretty decent program when I was there and it sort of fell off a bit. I have a lot of kids who know what they’re doing.”
Last year the Falcons reached the North Coast Section Division 1 playoffs for the first time since Seidemann’s sister, Melissa, graduated in 2008.
“I think it was a really big ego booster,” the coach said. “They were like, ‘Oh we can actually do this, because we made this game.’ It’s one of those experiences as a player that you don’t forget.”
College Park seems bound for the postseason again this season, with a 4-0 Diablo Valley Athletic League record heading into this week. The Falcons were 13-5 overall including a 3-0 run through the Trisha Tsukamoto Tournament on Sept. 26 and a 2-2 finish at the Foothill Tournament on Oct. 2-3.
Seniors Beverly Kurk and Gabriella Garcia-Roy are key pieces for the Falcons, as are juniors Becca Monroe and Alyssa Mikesell and sophomore Jaime Pitcher.
Those five “pretty much don’t come out of the game at all,” said Seidemann, who played for UC Davis and coached JV at Campolindo for two seasons.
Kurk, a goalkeeper, is “one of the most coachable players that I’ve ever had,” Seidemann said.
Of Garcia-Roy, the coach said, “She just really knows what she’s doing and is able to stay in front. She’s a big reason why we can do what we do on offense.”
That’s where top scorers Monroe and Pitcher come in, with 47 and 42 goals, respectively, through Sunday.
“I do demand a lot, and they really show up,” Seidemann said. “It’s pretty impressive actually, to see where the program was and where it’s progressed to because of how hard the kids work.”