Multiple Grand Haven water polo players made a splash on the other side of the country last month.
Ten different Buccaneers participated at the 2014 USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics in the San Francisco-area from July 26-29.
Kailey Miller, who coaches the Grand Haven junior high program and boys junior varsity, said she expects the experience to play dividends for the Bucs’ program.
“Having a trip like this, which they can bond over and being able to play at a level this high is going to help our program grow ten-fold,” Miller said. “... They learned a lot of stuff out there that teams in Michigan don't know about. The fact that they’ll be able to not only coach some of their teammates, but some of their coaches as well is amazing.”
The boys were scattered across two different teams through the Rockford Aquatics Club.
The U-16 team went 3-6 at the California-dominated competition, gaining wins against Lyons Water Polo (10-4), YPRO Water Polo (11-10) and L.A. Premier (9-7). Cole Kramer and Logan Snider both scored four goals, while Snider made many assists. Hayden Schouman won several sprints, which helped the team gain possession at the beginning of periods.
The U-14 edition finished 2-7, handing losses to Colorado Water Polo (12-3) and Northwest ORCAS (9.5-9.4).
Grand Haven’s Mason Fritz led the team with nine goals. Fellow Havenite Grant Ruster finished fourth on the squad with seven goals.
Matthew Beals stopped shots from some of the best players in the country, while sharing goalie duties with Rockford’s Cole McAnelly.
Reilly Wisniewski, Brigham Thornock, Joshua Koorneef and Collin Reenders also helped in the defensive effort.
Miller said the squads were facing several disadvantages against their Golden State counterparts.
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