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Paso Robles water polo comes strong

Posted: Friday, Sep 16th, 2016

Nicholas Mattson/Paso Robles Press Paso Robles High School’s Mason Steiner looks for his shot against the defense in the Bearcats’ season opener at Paso Robles Municipal Pool.

Bearcats ready for season

PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles High School boy’s water polo head coach Duane McRoy has his own special perspective when it comes to the sport he coaches.

“The sport of water polo has so many aspects to it,” McRoy said. “The sport reminds me of hockey where you have wings, forwards, and defensive players. You play both ways and there is so much going on behind the play.  We can even sub on the fly like hockey.  This is a game of angles, power and speed.  Most of the time you are swimming or wrestling someone for position so your conditioning is very key. In this game you have to be mentally and emotionally tough.  Like hockey the retaliation is usually what the ref sees … so you have to keep your cool when the physical play gets dirty.”

Paso Robles is hoping to make a run at the playoffs this season and the Bearcats are off to a good start.

The Bearcats captured fourth place in the Golden Bear tournament missing out on the championship game losing to Salinas 9-7. The score was 8 to 7 with 1:30 left in the game. 

“I think we can get to the playoffs this year,” McRoy said. “We had a good team last year but I had to leave half way through the season due to health reasons.  Grant East was able to step in and did an outstanding job. We came up short last year losing the Atascadero twice in OT, and we lost seven games by one goal last year so this year we are trying to create more offense from more players.”

The Bearcats will be led by a strong senior and junior class.

“Garrett Wilson is a returning three-year varsity player,” McRoy said. “He is a main 2-meter defensive player. Garrett is responsible for defending the position just in front of the goal. This is one of the toughest positions to play due to all the wrestling and grabbing. Garrett does an excellent job for us as he is usually taking on the biggest and strongest player on the other team.”

Mason Steiner is also a three year varsity player.

“[Steiner] is one of our 2-meter offensive players,” McRoy said. “Mason is a player the team depends on to establish a strong position at center forward so that we can get him the ball.  Mason does a great job at drawing an ejection foul on the 2meter defense so that we can capitalize on the man up advantage. Mason is our second leading scorer so far.”

A few experienced players have already shown good performances.

“Jacob [Cagleiro] is another three-year returner,” McRoy said. “He is one of our left handed players which is a very important position playing the opposite side of the cage.  Jacob is very important to our 6 on 5 opportunities since he is on the right side of the cage which is his strong side for shooting. Jacob is also responsible for initiating plays from that side.”

“[PRHS junior] Zack [Taylor] is our leading scorer so far this year with 19 goals in five games. He is a returning varsity player and is a co-captain,” McRoy said. “Zack has excellent offensive skills and as the game progresses, teams have to double or triple him due to his offense.  This is a great asset to our team because it allows our other offensive players such as Mason or John to have more open water to shoot or pass. Zack is a solid player and very versatile. He can play center forward or he is just as dangerous on the wings.”

Paso Robles opened the regular season on Tuesday, with a game at home against St. Joseph at the Paso Robles Municipal Pool, and dominated the Knights, 22-2.

Paso Robles stacked eight goals up in the first quarter, and added five in the second to take a 13-0 lead into halftime.

The Bearcats piled on in the second half to earn the first win of the PAC 8 League schedule.

Tucker and fellow junior Brennen Jokel posted three goals each, with every player on the Bearcats’ roster scoring at least once.

Paso Robles (1-0 PAC 8, 8-3 overall) traveled to Lompoc to face Cabrillo High School for a nonconference game. The Bearcats return to league play on Sept. 20, hosting San Luis Obispo.

For the complete article see the 09-16-2016 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-16-2016 paper.

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