By Bailey Mknelly,
The Davis High men’s water polo team slid by with a 14-11 win on Wednesday, Sept. 23, against Granite Bay.
Junior Cameron Wright led DHS with goal after goal, blocking and catching passes left and right, while sophomore goalie Sam Murphy contributed from the defensive end with a stunning block in the second quarter. It seemed as though he reached out for the ball even before it left his opponent’s hand, catching it in midair and stopping the other team from gaining ground.
Davis remained in the lead when junior Peter Blumberg threw the ball and it bounced off of one of the Granite Bay goal posts. After a heated debate between the Grizzlies team coach and the referee, it was determined that Blumberg’s throw was in fact a goal, and that the ball had bounced off of the inside of the post, not the post on the outside.
Even though the team eked out a win, the Devils were in no way satisfied.
“I think our team could have performed a lot better. I think everyone knows that. And we know what we can do to do better next time,” said Wright, who added that he himself “didn’t go 100 percent releasing for the ball or when I was ready to finish a shot I didn’t necessarily execute as I would have in hindsight.”
Many players seemed disappointed with their performances, but most upset was coach Tracy Stapleton.
“The biggest issue is we do not control the ball well and our defense was really poor,” Stapleton said. “We had poor communication, we lost most of the hustle plays. You cannot win a lot of games when you give up 11 goals, we’re very lucky.”
Junior Matthew Blackwell held himself responsible for Granite Bay’s high tally.
“I pride myself on my defense,” Blackwell said, “but I gave up two goals and that’s a lot worse [than contributing by scoring a few goals] because that’s putting my team down.”
The team’s next game will be the American’s Finest City Invitational against Coronado in San Diego.
“We have a lot of work to do and we have a lot of soul searching to do,” Stapleton said.