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By Zach Cavanagh
San Clemente High School found its new leader of the Tritons water polo program on Aug. 4.
SCHS named Loyola Marymount assistant coach Ikaika Aki as the new head coach of the Tritons boys and girls water polo teams.
“We had very strong candidates, with great water polo backgrounds, all of which is a testament to our program and how it is perceived in the extended water polo community,” SCHS athletic director John Hamro said in a release. “Although the decision was not easy, we were ecstatic when Ikaika agreed to accept both positions.”
Aki is the full-time replacement for former head coach Logan Powell, who stepped down from the positions in January and was followed by interim coaches for the 2020-21 season.
Powell coached the San Clemente girls for 10 seasons and won a CIF-SS title, CIF SoCal Regional title and seven South Coast League titles. Powell was also the Triton boys head coach for five seasons, with three league titles and a CIF-SS title game appearance.
Aki was last an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s teams at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount. Previously, Aki was the head coach of the boys and girls teams for the Hawaii Zone of the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program from 2016-19.
Aki also was an assistant at his high school alma mater, Punahou of Hawaii. In college at LMU, Aki was the all-time school record holder in steals and blocks and second in career assists.
In the spring, the San Clemente girls won the South Coast League title again, and the boys finished fourth in league in the delayed and abbreviated season.
San Clemente boys water polo’s first scheduled match of this season is Aug. 31 against Beckman.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.