La Jolla High School boys water polo team wraps up 2014 season

La Jolla High School Vikings Boys Water Polo team wrapped up an outstanding season with an awards banquet Dec. 8 for its three teams and their families. The Vikings are always one of the top teams in the county and this year they moved from Division III into the new and highly competitive Open Division.

The U-T San Diego Power Rankings placed the Vikings Varsity team in the top six in the county all season. They fell to No. 2-ranked The Bishop’s School in the CIF playoffs. The Varsity team finished the season with a record of 15-14, which included a number of tournaments and non-league games. The Junior Varsity team, finishing with a 29-2 record, dominated their opponents throughout the season and their strength bodes well for Vikings water polo program in the years ahead. Much can be said for the similar record of the Novice team.

Varsity Coach Tom Atwell, accompanied by JV and Novice coach Sam Busby, presented awards and regaled players at the annual team banquet at the Mission Beach Women’s Club.

Coach Atwell forms a special bond with his players and it’s clear when he describes the eight seniors leaving the program: Matt Allen, Aaron Carswell, Jack Frager, Tobin Groth, Carlos “Tito” Hernandez, Jake Le Beau, Chase Repp and Henry Smith.

Atwell invited his team to vote for Varsity players most deserving of recognition:

■ Varsity Most Valuable Player: Tito Hernandez

■ Varsity Most Inspirational: Simon Hirschfield

■ Varsity Most Improved: Aiden Scott

■ Varsity Coach’s Award: Henry Smith and Matt Allen

■ Willie Calabrese Scholarship Award: Jake Le Beau

JV and Novice coach Sam Busby also asked his teams to vote for their awards:

■ JV Most Valuable Player: Mitchell Scott

■ JV Most Inspirational: Enrique Rayon

■ JV Most Improved: Ian Brill

■ JV Coach’s Award: Douglass Webster n Novice Most Valuable Player: Tyler Brown

■ Novice Most Inspirational Player: Maverick Becker

■ Novice Most Improved Player: Nico Nunez

■ Coach’s Award: Johnny Dickerson

Before the program closed, Coach Atwell thanked a number of volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty to help the players and coaches, including parents Michelle Le Beau, Nicole Repp and Erin Brown; Dad’s Club leader Jim Le Beau; advisor Tom Martinez; assistant coach Grant Le Beau; Laurie and Scott Allen for hosting the Senior Dinner; and, of course, his family.