La Jolla schools produce plethora of water polo talent

By Rick LeBeau

Contributor

Bishop’s was the undisputed powerhouse this year for both boys and girls. Each won CIF championship and placed several players on the first and second teams when the All-CIF teams were selected by the county’s coaches at the end of the season.

La Jolla proved a strong adversary this year, pushing Bishop’s in the boys Division III semifinal, while the Viking girls lost to the Knights in the finals in their first appearance in the championship match.

Matriculating to high-quality college programs is a tradition for players at both schools, and many former local players have gone on to garner NCAA championships to add to their resumes. This fall, Bishop’s will be sending Drew Hoffenberg to Princeton, an annual contender for best program on the East Coast. Drew was first team All-CIF as well as Player of the Year. Joining Hoffenberg on the eastern seaboard will be Adam Wrobel, attending George Washington University, and Charlie Reed, who will play at Fordham in New York.

Staying home to play on the West Coast will be David Higginson (UCSD), and John Paul Engh, who will be donning the crimson and gold at USC. Matt Michalko (also first team All-CIF) was recruited by several perennial contenders for the NCAA crown, and is narrowing his choices from among Pepperdine, UCSD, and UCLA.

The La Jolla’s boys team produced several players who will extend their water polo careers as well. Dylan Hallman was recruited hard by several schools in the east, ultimately choosing MIT for his next destination. James Hixson will head off to USC, while Christian Clark will play at Cal. Goalie Larry Andrews will wear cap No. 1 at Santa Clara.

The girls varsity at Bishop’s, coached by Doug Peabody, will be say goodbye to Claryann Olofsson-Loo, a dynamic 2-meter offensive player, to UC Santa Barbara. Kristen Casey will be playing water polo in the Ivy League, testing the waters at Harvard. Kaylee Kastrup will join Cal Lutheran’s squad and Jasmine Carrillo will be playing at Siena. Bridget Vaughn is weighing her options, with Cal Poly Pomona currently the front-runner to get her services next year.

La Jolla’s most successful season ever will springboard several players into collegiate water polo as well.

Leading the Vikings out of La Jolla will be Victoria Frager, who was first team all-CIF and high scorer for the Vikings. She will be playing at Harvard while pursuing her degree. Teammate Meagan Moreland was recruited on both coasts, and will soon be playing occasionally against Victoria at George Washington University.

Greta Gettelfinger will be following in the footsteps of her two brothers, both of whom played under coach Tom Atwell before playing intercollegiate water polo. Greta will be in the pool at UC Santa Clara next year. Stevie Schweighardt, whose brother also played water polo at LJHS and Brown University, is deciding between rowing competitively for USD, or jumping back in the pool to play goalie for Hartwick, a small New York college currently ranked in the top 12 in women’s water polo.

As for La Jolla Country Day, it has two athletes heading to the next level in Liam Devine (Johns Hopkins) and Gabi Shevel (Chapman).

   
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