Sports: Bosco Water Polo Continues to Improve Behind HOF Coach
by Joshua Whitfield
St. John Bosco Water Polo is one of many sports programs that are underrated and under-publicized. The St. John Bosco water polo varsity is led by head coach Jeffrey Powers. The Braves record this season for league was (0-4) and (7-18) counting their pre-season games. Coach Powers has been leading the Braves for many years, honing and developing many Bosco water polo players to take them to greater heights.
Coach Powers was recently inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame as part of the 35th induction class in June of 2019.
“It was an honor, that’s not why you play the game but it is nice being recognized for some of your achievements,” said Coach Powers.
While Coach Powers was honored with this highly prestigious achievement, it didn’t interfere with his main priority, leading and coaching the Bosco Braves to make his players the best they could be.
The Varsity team consists of 13 players, the three Senior players Lucas Garrison, Ryan Mowl, Gabe Garcia, and Kyle Perera. The remaining of the team consists of juniors, Parker Moore, and Ethan Olney along with six sophomores on the varsity line up. The sophomores competing on varsity are Anthony Best, Joshua Joson, Lucas Okampo, Christopher Valente, and Jack Woodson. With only one freshman on the team named Matthew Cassas. Coach Powers believes the team has made great improvements from last year.
“There was a lot of guys that showed improvement from last year, Parker Moore showed a lot of improvement, some of the freshman that came out like Matthew Cassas he showed a lot of improvement but everyone improved, I think Gabriel Garcia had a really solid season, he played well and was always fighting,” said Coach Powers.
This entire varsity line up is rather young for a varsity team while only having three seniors to lead the younger players, yet their coach sees much potential in them all. Coach Powers gives recognition to his players knowing how much they all have improved over the off-season.
Though the Braves made many improvements to their skills personally and as a team they were unsatisfied with where they were placed.
“I do feel we could’ve done better that being said, I do think the boys made a lot of progress, and that they still learned, it was a productive season in that sense but record-wise I feel as if we could’ve done better,” said Coach Powers.
During the Braves season, many players were injured while playing with Coach Power even stating, “This season we caught the injury bug”. Because of the massive list of injuries the players experienced it affected their game plan and the assets they would’ve used very affectively during their matches.
“It was crazy it was almost like every other week someone was getting injured,” said Senior Ryan Mowl.
Though the Braves could not make league on their own merits, Coach Powers still answered who he felt the best team in their division was.
“I feel Santa Margarita is a better team but Orange Lutheran just managed to win”
The Bosco Braves still performed fairly well with the hand that they were playing this year, Coach Powers isn’t looking at the past now. Instead, he’s looking to the future so next season the Braves will show everyone what they’re truly made of.
Coach Powers is currently looking at his team and seeing what changes he can implement to advance the team.
“Hopefully next season we’ll perform better, the boys didn’t seem to like how this season ended kind of with the record and stuff, but hopefully they’ll feel motivated in the off-season and that they’ll continue to get better and everyone will have a year more experience,” Said Coach Powers.
With the massive amount of injuries to plague the players and the very young squad taken into account, the Braves played adequate, but next season is a new season.
“We should have a lot of returners next year so hopefully we’ll play better,” said Coach Powers.
The Braves with a record of (7-18) to end the season won against High Schools Buena, Tustin High, Cerritos, Montebello High School, Crespi Carmelite High School, Gahr High School, Warren, and Cypress. The Braves with their seven-wins shined in particularly two games, one against Gahr where they won (15-1) and against Cypress running the board ending it (17-3).
Looking to next season with predictions is a bit of a stretch because the season has just now ended, but Coach Powers understands where the team needs to improve for next season.
“We want to play better than this season, we have improvements to make all around though swimming, ball handling, awareness in the pool but that just comes with experience and time spent playing so hopefully we can progress,” said Coach Powers.
While it is early to predict, Coach Powers has some clear goals for the upcoming season.
“It all depends because there is so much our goal consists of for next season, well our goal is to always win but it’s to be above 500 records and to make playoffs for CIF that’s our goal.” Said Coach Powers.
Though the Bosco Braves had a rough season this year the realized their mistakes and are working in the offseason to mitigate them as much as possible for next season. Coach Powers believes in his players and is guiding them to take the Water Polo program to new heights with his players.