Water polo standouts lead way to next level


By Rick LeBeau

If you followed high school water polo in 2011-12, you saw The Bishop’s School and La Jolla High exhibit star talent and a high degree of success.

The Bishop’s boys came up one goal short in their CIF final versus Coronado, and Bishop’s girls ended a dominant run by winning its second straight CIF championship in a hard-fought final against La Jolla. It was the second year in a row in which the crosstown rivals squared off in the finals, displacing Coronado as the perennial match-up for the Lady Knights in the final.

La Jolla has become a feeder program for collegiate water polo programs in the northeast; for the second straight year a Viking player will matriculate to MIT. This year, Zach Nelson will follow former teammate Dylan Hallman to Cambridge to play for the Engineers. Zach came through La Jolla High’s rigorous academic schedule with a 4.6 cumulative GPA.

Bishop’s is sending two of the county’s highest rated female players to highly ranked programs in the women’s collegiate ranks.

County player of the year and two-time all-CIF goalie, Gabby Stone, will head up to Stanford, where she hopes to help the Cardinal defend its national title. Gabby’s teammate high school teammate Erin Pannek will be heading to Indiana, where the Hoosiers have become a women’s collegiate power, ranking consistently in the top ten the last two seasons. Erin has was also named to the all-County team in 2012, and scored three goals in the Knights victory over La Jolla in the CIF Final.

La Jolla graduates two seniors who will be playing varsity water polo in college. Ariel Arcidiacano, top scorer for the Vikings in 2012, was named first team all-County, and will be heading to Fort Collins to play for Colorado State. She will be just up the road from her brother Alex, who will be starting his third year of water polo at Air Force Academy.

La Jolla’s best defender this year was Rylee Boland, who will be heading up the I-5 to play for Chapman College. Boland was also named to the all-County team on the strength of her defensive prowess. Her efforts helped lead the 
Vikings back to the championship match for the second year in a row.

This year The Bishop’s School graduates five players on the boys’ side who will be going off to colleges on the east coast. Blake Lee will be playing varsity water polo at Harvard, while Mike Meigs may walk on at Brown. Arjon Sharma is also considering walking on at MIT. Josh Clapper (Yale), and Nick Hamilton (Boston College) will likely play club water polo at their new respective universities.

Along with water polo athletes mentioned above, there are several other area standouts who will take their athletic and academic talents to the next level.

Here is a list of of locals who will play collegiate sports next fall:

The Bishop’s School

— Dominique Love, New Mexico State, football

— Bryn Stark, San Francisco, women’s basketball

— Courtney Hooten, Harvard, women’s golf

— Spenser Kurt, Columbia, women’s golf

La Jolla

— Juliette Garay, Brown, women’s golf

— Ryan Farley, Williams, women’s volleyball

La Jolla Country Day

— Sam Ayala, UC Santa Barbara, baseball

— Malina Hood, USD, women’s basketball

— Maya Hood, USD, women’s basketball

— Kendall Peterkin, Princeton, women’s volleyball

— Alberto Sanchez, Arizona State, men’s golf

— Lindsey Kostas, Stanford, women’s tennis

— Aiden Kennedy, Colorado College, men’s lacrosse

— Daniel Henry, Weber State, football

— Nick Schlossberg, USC, football

— Kendall Peterkin, Princeton, women’s volleyball

— Kaitlyn McCallum, Dartmouth, track

— Kate Hamilton, Dartmouth, crew

— Jake Mack,Washington and Lee, cross country and track