La Jolla High's football team sinks water polo team in fun benefit play

In the second annual "Tangle in the Tank," Sept. 27, 2016, the La Jolla High varsity football team prevailed over the water polo team by a final score of 35-27.

Football Coach John McColl made a couple of significant changes to team strategy. Taking advantage of all 22 caps available, he decided to put them all into the pool against seven water polo players. With a 3-1 advantage in players (and 7 points for every goal), it was just too much for the water polo players to maneuver.

Water polo Coach Tom Atwell went with the flow for most of the game, but in the fourth quarter everyone on both benches jumped in the pool and had a blast.

Before the game, Coach Atwell welcomed everyone in the stands by explaining the game was a fundraiser for breast cancer research and the Susan G. Komen Foundation/San Diego. As a double cancer survivor, he spoke from the heart about the scourge of cancer and the importance of medical research to develop life-saving treatments. He shared the news that his wife, also a teacher, is a breast cancer survivor.

Judi Steadman was on hand representing the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Coggan Pool director Randy Franke was the game referee, but one whistle wasn't enough to keep up with the infractions, most of which weren't called in the spirit of a good time.

Mylan Dimich reprised his role as announcer — a nice change of venue from his Friday night routine in the Viking Press Box calling football games. His familiarity with the players on both teams added to the fun.

Everyone on the water polo team scored at least one goal, except for the goalies. They were led by senior captains Connor Carpenter, Nico Ivanov, Jake Marshall and John Murphy. Carpenter wowed the crowd twice with spectacular backhand "helicopter" shots into the back of the net. Even the football players cheered for his display of talent.

The camaraderie between the teams was evident throughout the match. It was raucous every time a football player scored a 7-point goal. Alex Scrivener and Joey Liss had a pair of goals each and former polo player Mitchell Scott scored the fifth goal, adding up to 35 points for the football team and a victory.

The Viking Cheer Squad was out in force with their pink-colored pom-poms, which added to the festivities, along with the ice cream social they hosted for the teams after the game.

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