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Boys Water Polo Bounces Back to Open League Play
After starting the season with eight straight losses and entering the South Coast League with a 3-13 record, San Clemente boys water polo’s tough tournament schedule is finally paying dividends with league success.
San Clemente edged San Juan Hills, 12-9, on Thursday, Sept. 28, and the Tritons dominated rival Dana Hills, 15-3, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, to take aim at the rest of the South Coast League. The two league games were the Tritons’ first home games of the season.
“We’ve definitely been getting better,” San Clemente coach Logan Powell said. “No matter what, when you go 0-8 out of the gate, that’s hard to contend with mentally, but I think we’ve done well. We’ve done well despite that and learned a lot of lessons along the way.”
Normally, games between San Clemente and Dana Hills are extremely tight, especially recently with Dana Hills winning two of the previous three league contests entering this season. Even a tournament meeting in September went down to the wire, as the Tritons beat the Dolphins, 8-6.
However, Tuesday’s match was all San Clemente, all the time. The Tritons led, 6-0, after the first quarter, 9-0 at halftime and 11-0 after three quarters. Dana Hills salvaged a couple goals in the fourth as the Tritons rolled, 15-3.
“The boys were fired up to play at home in front of the home crowd,” Powell said. “It’s a rivalry game, no matter what year it is. It’s a good one to play well in, and we played well.”
There were nine different goal scorers for San Clemente on Tuesday, including a team-high three goals from both seniors Zane McMains and Owen Willemsen. Cannon Shupe and Azure Trujillo each scored two goals, and Ziv Remez, Luke Pinto, Quinn Burke, Micah Wishart and Palmer MacBeth all contributed goals. Goalies Trae Mantecon and Pedro Mattiazo both stood tall in the cage.
San Clemente plays at El Toro on Thursday, Oct. 5, and hosts league-leading Capistrano Valley on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Football on the Road after Bye
After resting on its bye week following a dramatic one-point loss on Homecoming, the San Clemente football team is back in action on Friday, Oct. 6, at Ayala of Chino Hills.
The Tritons (5-1) look to get one more tune-up against the Bulldogs (3-3) before opening the South Coast League at Mission Viejo on Oct. 13. The Diablos (5-2) are on a bye this week after defeating Kamehameha Kapalama of Hawaii, 34-0, on Friday, Sept. 29.
Ayala has alternated wins and losses this season and faces San Clemente coming off of a win at Glendora, 49-14, last Thursday, Sept. 28. Like the Tritons, the Bulldogs rely on their ground game on offense, with senior running back Marquis Monroe running for 805 yards and 13 touchdowns. San Clemente senior Aiden Rubin has run for 904 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.