Tangle in the Tank returns: La Jolla High School football, water polo to compete for breast cancer research

The La Jolla tradition, “Tangle in the Tank,” is back 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28 at Coggan Family Aquatic Center at La Jolla High School, 750 Nautilus St. The Vikings football team and the boys water polo team will square off in a water polo match to raise funds for Susan G. Komen San Diego’s breast cancer support services.

Admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults.

“These Viking athletes continue to put the ‘fun’ in fundraiser,” said La Jolla High School Foundation member Tom Murphy. “New this year, in addition to the highly entertaining match, will be a ‘Flop for a Cure!’ halftime show featuring a contest open to anyone in the La Jolla High School community willing to belly flop in front of hundreds of people and a few judges.”

This will be the third annual event, and thus far, the football team and water polo team each have a win under their belts. The water polo team won the first Tangle, but last year, it was all about the football guys.

Football coach Tyler Roach said the team is looking forward to the event and he wants to keep the bragging rights. “It’s a great event for a great cause, so we are happy to be a part and keep the tradition going,” he said.

But water polo coach Tom Atwell said his team is ready, too. “After last year’s stunning defeat, we spent a lot of our pre-season game planning for this year’s match. Expect lots of new defensive schemes and a much more aggressive offense!”

But regardless of the outcome, Atwell said he supports the cause because he is a three-time cancer survivor. “The boys and I know how important it is to raise awareness and help raise funds in any way we can. We are grateful to have a partnership with the football team to have an opportunity to do something together.”

If the water polo season thus far is any indicator, players to watch include Cole Atwell, who leads the team in goals with 26 (eight of which against cross town rivals The Bishop’s School); goalie Cole Raulston, who has been averaging 11 blocks a game as the leader of the Viking defense; and Maverick Becker, a steady team captain who averages three goals, four assists and five steals a game.

“The team is off to a great start this season, with a 3-3 record. We entered the season ranked sixth in the County. We went 2-2 in our first tournament up in Northern California, losing to Davis High School, 7-4, and to Valley Christian in overtime, 12-11. We beat Redwood, 13-0, and Soquel High School, 14-3,” Atwell said. “We opened League play with a game against No. 1 ranked Bishop’s School and the game went to three overtime periods, with Bishop’s just outlasting us, 12-11.”