SAMOHI — With less than two weeks left in the high school boys’ water polo season, Santa Monica’s varsity team looks strong heading into the stretch run with an overall record of 13-6. The team has gone undefeated in Ocean League play with a record of 5-0, and is undefeated at home with only one home game left on the schedule.
“Our goals are to win league and go as far as we can in the playoffs,” said Head Coach Matt Flanders. “I am confident that we can do well against all the teams in our league, provided we come to play. That being said, there have been some pretty big upsets in our league this year and we are working hard not to add our name to that list.”
Coach Flanders and the team are optimistic they can get even further in the playoffs this season than they did last year, where they were knocked out in the third round by Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga. The weekly division rankings released by the CIF echoes their optimism. The Vikings have broken the top 10 of the CIF-SS Division 3 poll as the only team from the Ocean league to do so, coming in ranked No. 8.
The Vikings are led by a group of nine seniors.
“Marc Vonderweidt is our captain,” explains coach Flanders. “He is a seriously talented player, part of the U.S. National team for his age group, and will most likely go to Cal next year.”
Another senior, Maxi Broyzna, who has 45 goals and 16 assists so far this season, is also looking to play at the next level after graduation and has considered both Pepperdine and UCLA. Most of the other seniors on the team will go on to play at the junior college level as well.
The fall season began Aug. 23 and will run through mid-November. The highlight of the year so far, said Coach Flanders was the El Segundo game, whom the Vikings played last Monday and defeated, 20-11.
There are seven games left on the schedule, including the upcoming Hank Vellenkamp tournament on Halloween weekend as well as the end of the year annual alumni game on Nov. 26.
“The tournament will be the toughest competition of the season,” said Flanders. “It is mostly Division I teams, and will be a good gauge of where we stand right now.”
The Vikings play in the competitive five-team Ocean league, in California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section’s Division 3. The other teams in the league are El Segundo, Torrance, Beverly Hills and Culver City.
Santa Monica’s next game is today at league rival Culver City, with a scheduled start of 3 p.m. Santa Monica has played Culver City twice already this season, and won both games.
The Vikings will play away at arch rival El Segundo their second to last game of the regular season at 3 p.m. on Nov. 3.