The 14-and-under boys' Blue (A) team from Vanguard Aquatics of Huntington Beach captured gold Tuesday at the 44th annual USA Water Polo Junior Olympics.
Vanguard 14U Blue won the Championship Division tournament and gold medal by defeating Foothill Red (A), 11-8, in the division final at UC Irvine.
Four Vanguard teams, all part of Session 1 of the tournament, played games at various venues in Orange County. Competition was held in Championship and Classic divisions for each age group.
The tournament started Saturday.
Vanguard 16U boys posted a 5-2 record and won the silver medal in the Classic Division. The 14U Silver boys went 5-3 and took 10th place in the Classic Division, and the 12U boys went 5-2 in the Championship Division and took third place for the bronze medal.
Ranked first nationally in its division. Vanguard 14U Blue won its first six games to reach the division's title game. Included in that streak with a 9-2 win Tuesday over L.A. Premier Black "A."
The team started the tournament with a 14-0 rout of Bainbridge Aquatics (Washington) Saturday, defeated both L.A. Premier Black "A" (8-6) and Santa Barbara "A" (11-5) Sunday, and Irvine Kahuna Black "A", 13-7, Monday.
Vanguard's Quinten Osborne was named the MVP of the tournament.
The Vanguard 14U Blue boys' team: Adam Mancini, Andy Tucker, Ashworth Molthen, Benjamin Schmiesing, Jackson Seybold, Jake Cavano, Jason Dompke, Keegan Coleman, Mathew Robert, Patrick Saunders, Quinn Simpson, Quinten Osborne, William Khouri, Wyatt Benson. Head coach: Uros Dzelebdzic. Assistant coaches: Sasa Branisavlejic, Djoko Radunovic, Brian Anderson.
The Vanguard 16U Blue boys' team came close to winning a national title in its division but was edged, 10-9, by Elite in Tuesday's Classic Division final at Tustin High. Vanguard 12U Blue A boys reached the final four in its division and finished in third place in the Championship bracket by defeating Lamorinda Water Polo Blue (A), 9-7 Tuesday at El Toro High.
Vanguard 14U boys' Silver (B) team finished in 11th place in the Classic bracket.
"It has been quite the year for the 14U Vanguard team," Brian Anderson said. "The reason why our boys were able to win a Junior Olympic national championship is because of their belief in the system and coaching staff, and the confidence each one of them built for themselves, while buying into a 'team' concept of play.
"Each player played a significant role in the road to the championship, and the lessons they learned and the experiences they had will only benefit them more in their exciting road that leads ahead."
Two teams from Huntington Beach Water Polo placed at the Junior Olympics Tuesday. The 18U boys' team took 15th in the Championship bracket by defeating American River A, 15-6, at Capistrano Valley High. The 16U boys' team placed ninth in the Championship bracket after it beat Tiger Aquatics Water Polo, 14-5, Tuesday at Woodbridge High.
Session 2 of the Junior Olympics, which includes teams from Vanguard and Huntington Beach Water Polo, starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.
More than 500 teams and 8,000 athletes were scheduled to compete for national championship titles in 18 divisions.
— Mike Sciacca
Little League Baseball
Ocean View 9-10 All-Stars see season end
An impressive postseason tournament run has come to an end for the Ocean View 9-10 All-Star team.
The District 62 and Section 10 champions were eliminated from Southern California Sub-Division tournament title contention after dropping a 13-4 game on July 24 to Chula Vista East Lake (District 42, Section 7) at Chollas Lake in San Diego.
It was the second loss of the tournament for Ocean View which dropped both games to East Lake which went undefeated in the tournament to take the title.
Ocean View trailed early but got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning. An RBI double by Jake D'Amico and another RBI double from AJ Valle fueled a comeback. Parker Walpole had an RBI single in the fifth but Ocean View couldn't overtake East Lake.
D'Amico, Kai Marden, Nick Madole and Tristan Kennedy were solid defensively for Ocean View. Matthew Wilson, Lucas Pantel and Nick Skorheim shared pitching duties.
Ocean View advanced to the championship series by eliminating Point Loma (District 32, Section 6), 11-6.
Point Loma took a 1-0 lead, scoring its only run off Ocean View starter Cole Kaplan, in the bottom of the first. Ocean View started to come alive offensively in the top of the second. Kennedy singled, Kaplan drew a walk and Owen Wessel singled before Walpole delivered a run-scoring double. Walks issued to Valle, Madole and Nick Shenkman led to two more runs in the inning.
Ocean View came up with three-run rally in the third. Skorheim and Wessel drew walks before Walpole drove in another run with a triple. He later stole home to push the score to 7-1.
The score remained the same until the fifth where an RBI double by Valle scored Micah Blake. Ocean View piled on three more runs in the sixth. Kennedy lined a single to center field and Skorheim followed with a two-run home run. Valle picked up his third RBI of the game on a walk.
Point Loma's offense came up with a four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth but Ocean View held on for the win.
Ocean View 9-10 All-Stars: Micah Blake, Jake D'Amico, Cole Kaplan, Tristan Kennedy, Nick Madole, Kai Marden, Lucas Pantel, Nick Shenkman, Nate Skorheim, Nick Skorheim, AJ Valle, Parker Walpole, Owen Wessel, Matthew Wilson. Manager: Scott Pantel. Coaches: Keneth Marden, Lance D'Amico.
— Reader submission