SHINGLE SPRINGS — Ponderosa High’s water polo teams have yet to play league matches but the season has already been beset by challenges. Prior to school starting, standout varsity 11th-grader, Zach Pickett, was injured in a diving accident and although he’s made excellent progress, won’t likely return this season.
The varsity team has rallied around Zach during his recovery as the huddle cheer recognizes Zach with the initials “ZP.” Additionally, though the Bruin program has fielded highly respected girls teams the past several years, the numbers weren’t sufficient to form a squad this fall.
Ponderosa coach Alan Miller’s solution was to place the girls on the boys’ teams. The sole young lady on the boys’ varsity team is junior Ellie Miller who has scored several goals so far, including the first one of the season. The JV team roster includes four very capable players in Hannah Milanowski, Hannah Hill, Natalie Bresnahan and Katy Suggs.
In the first varsity tournament of the year, the Marin Wildcat Invitational at College of Marin, the varsity team suffered a setback when starting goalie Anthony Yocca was injured, taking him out of commission indefinitely. Unaware of the severity of the injury, Yocca completed the tournament and contributed to the team’s undefeated performance and championship title.
At the Central Cal Championships in Merced last weekend, the team won two of five games. Chris Menke filled in as goalie and Graham McClone was high-point in each tournament, tallying 51 in Marin and 44 in Merced.
The JV team, coached by Brogan Miller and Keith Jensen, went undefeated in preseason games and did well last weekend in the Lodi tournament, winning three of five games to place seventh. Heath Faulkner was high point scorer with 13 goals while Conner Overstreet tallied nine times.
The Bruins; first league match is this afternoon against the Davis Blue Devils at Arroyo Pool in Davis.