PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Municipal Pool hosted not one, not two but four water polo games on Wednesday as the boys varsity and junior varsity hosted Pioneer Valley for an Ocean League match-up while the girls played host to the Righetti Warriors in the Mountain League. The varsity boys kicked off the back-to-back varsity games at 4 p.m. with a strong performance beating the Panthers 15-6 while the girls suffered their first loss of the season, 16-9, after winning the Central Valley Showdown Division B.
The boys have a new head coach this season who is familiar with the team and program in Paso Robles alum Collin Moore who has been working hard in the youth ranks in tandem with girls head coach Grant East to build a deep program with lots of kids excited about water polo and swimming. Moore helped start a year-round water polo club team for kids in Paso Robles and the North County and took Paso Robles’ first-ever boys team to the Junior Olympics over the summer.
“It was a hard time for those who went because we only had one sub every game,” Moore said of the Junior Olympics. “So it was a marathon because we played seven games in the tournament but they definitely learned a lot and it has helped out some of our guys who were standouts last year have more of a supporting cast.”
The Bearcats have built great depth for this upcoming season and have 18 boys on their roster that Moore feels are all playing at a high level.
“The guys are doing really good in terms of the team,” Moore said. “I have a lot of depth, 18 guys on the roster right now and every one of them can play at a pretty high level which I am pleased with, but there are a few that stand out above the others and a few that are still improving and getting where we want them to be but it has been an awesome experience over the first month seeing how they all communicate and can work together.”
Tuesday the Bearcats opened their Ocean League season at an even .500 on the year with a 3-3 record and are trending upward as they have begun to grow confidence in the early part of the season. Paso Robles’ communication was on display Tuesday as they were quickly able to work the ball around and jump out to a 3-0 lead thanks to goals by Cole Eberhard, Sebastian Scott and Tre Eade. Eberhard pushed their lead to four before the Panthers could get on the board and the first period would eventually end 5-1.
Paso Robles was in control of the game but had one focus coming out of their weekend tournament and that is playing well in the fourth and they saved their best quarter for last. Up 9-4 entering the fourth and final frame the boys put six goals in the back of the net and won the game 15-6.
“This weekend we had a rough time with our fourth quarters,” Moore noted. “So, that was kind of our emphasis at practice yesterday and today as well and I think that showed in the fourth quarter because it was the highest-scoring one to us.”
The Lady Bearcats entered Tuesday’s match riding high off of their weekend at the Clovis West High School Central Valley Showdown where they won the B Division after going 4-0 in the tournament. Not only did the ‘Cats go undefeated but they beat their opponents by a combined score of 33-8. The girls defeated Hanford 11-1, Atascadero 8-3, and Willow Glen and Golden West 7-2.
While the Bearcats came into the game riding a hot streak it looked like it was the Warriors that had something to prove. Righetti’s Quinn McGinty got the scoring started and kept it going all game as she wreaked havoc inside.
The Bearcats responded after Righetti opened the game on a 3-0 scoring run and tied it up at three just a few seconds into the second.
After opening the game in the deep end, the Warriors moved to the shallow end for the second and really ran away with the game, retaking the lead and extending it to 11-4 by halftime.
It was a physical match as it seemed neither official was particularly keen on blowing his whistle despite coach East’s appeals.
Even though Righetti jumped out to a big lead the Lady Bearcats never stopped fighting, pouring four goals in the final period making the final score 16-9.