Defending CIF Champions, the Cougars hope to make a splash in this years’ boys Division II water polo season

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Steele Canyon defeated Santa Fe Christian, 14-7, to win last year’s San Diego Section Division III boys water polo championship. It was the perfect ending to the season for the Cougars, who were making their first championship game appearance in school history.

The 2018 season looks to be more challenging as Steele Canyon moves up to the Division II competition level, but head coach Dan Way said it is business as usual for his team.

“Our goal is to be Division II champions,” Way said. “We’ve returned everyone from the starting lineup.”

Steele Canyon defeated Santa Fe Christian, 14-7, to win last year’s San Diego Section Division III boys water polo championship. It was the perfect ending to the season for the Cougars, who were making their first championship game appearance in school history.

The 2018 season looks to be more challenging as Steele Canyon moves up to the Division II competition level, but head coach Dan Way said it is business as usual for his team.

“Our goal is to be Division II champions,” Way said. “We’ve returned everyone from the starting lineup.”

The Cougars certainly looked like a championship team in every facet of the game in dismantling the Eastlake Titans by a 14-6 score in a non-league played Aug. 22 at Southwestern College’s new aquatic complex to start off their 2018 campaign.

Steele Canyon reeled off the opening five goals in the game and led 10-2 at halftime.

Junior Trevor Moore scored the first four goals in the game, scoring every way possible in a water polo game, to fuel the Cougars’ varied offensive attack.

Junior Hayden Newmann and sophomore Henry Williams each finished the game with three goals while junior Sam Greenbergs and senior Spencer Van Every each scored two goals.

Following the win over Eastlake, Steele Canyon competed in the Rancho Bernardo Invitational tournament Aug. 23-25, finishing 4-1 with wins over Mt. Carmel (16-2), Del Norte (15-2), Mar Vista (15-9) and Torrey Pines (8-7) and a loss to fourth-ranked Bishop’s (11-6).

Moore and Williams are both seasoned water polo players, each earning a bronze medal with the San Diego Shores U16-A club team over the summer at the USA Water Polo Junior Olympic national championships in San Jose.

As a matter of reference, 120 teams competed in the 16U division at the July tournament.

The Cougars face off Grossmont Hills League play Sept. 18 at Valhalla, which entered the season ranked seventh among section teams. Grossmont, which won last year’s Division I championship, is also a league championship contender.

“It should be very competitive — all the games should be one-goal games,” Way said.

Grossmont opened the new season with an 11-4 non-league win against Mar Vista last Friday.

Wet shots

Steele Canyon concluded last season’s schedule with a loss to eventual champion Orange Lutheran in the Southern California Division II regional championship tournament. The Cougars capped 2017 with a final 19-8 record.

Grossmont defeated Canyon Crest Academy, 8-7, to win last year’s Division I section title. The Foothillers ended the season with an overall 22-12 record following a loss to Huntington Beach in the SoCal regional playoffs.

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