A Double Loss

Dexter water polo loses their game against Skyline and a key player

By Heather Brouwer

With three seconds left in the game, the boys’ varsity water polo team had time to make one more play in its game against Ann Arbor Skyline. Freshman Sam Sterlitz got the ball at half pool and made a quick pass over to senior Drew Golin, who flicked it over to junior Grisha Griffiths who was right in front of the goal. Griffiths proceeded to shoot and score right before the buzzer ended the game.

Junior Grisha Griffiths (#6) scores the final goal in the game against Skyline.

This final goal was unable to win the Dreads the game, as the final score was 16-5. Continue reading “A Double Loss”

Water Polo Dominance

The men’s water polo team is showing improvement from last year thanks to leadership and young talent

By Truman Stovall

The men’s water polo team at DHS believes it is more capable of competing against top teams this year than last, and much of it has to do with new players and leadership.

Last year’s team was talented, but some key players were seniors. It’s hard in many sports to replace a solid senior class, but current senior Alex Janosi believes the team “definitely made up the talent that was lost.”

Janosi, along with Ben Daugherty and Kevin Kimmel, are captains who have all been with the team since their freshman years. Along with a new assistant coach, Steven Sobczak, the team’s leadership has started to focus more on improvement this year.

“A key part is having a better mindset,” Janosi said. “Last year, thinking we were great got in our heads.”

As a result, the team lost many games against top teams by large margins. This year, these types of games have been much more competitive.

A big game against Skyline was lost only in a penalty shootout, and the team was able to take down Pioneer in a tournament during an early-season tournament. It’s predicted that the district could be won by anybody this year, but Dexter is now in the conversation.

A big boost to the team has been new players, including senior Randy Gesell and the Sterlitz brothers, who transferred from California.

The transition was difficult for Gesell, who had “never even watched a water polo game” before joining the team.

“The first practice was really hard,” he said. “Swimming is too tiring, so I mostly play goalie. Sobczak is keeping us in shape though.”

He’s improving every day, though, and he might be able to help his team by playing outside of the goalie net later in the season.

Freshman Mitchell Sterlitz originally joined to “have fun and meet people” despite never having played water polo either. He doesn’t regret it, adding he “has fun just playing against other teams and winning.”

 

Returning to the top

They’ve been sixth in the state for two years running and the mens water polo team hopes to continue the tradition.

However, according to Assistant Coach Andrew Leonard, the loss of graduated players and the lack of a big senior class, the team’s position in the state will be more difficult to maintain.

Last year, co-captains Max Merriman and Michael Garcia brought the team to states with a win against the higher-ranked Skyline team.

This year, the varsity team consisted of seniors, juniors and sophomores; however, there are fewer seniors and only one junior. The rest of the team is made up of sophomores.

“Experience is the best teacher,” senior Max Korinek said. “That’s why we could struggle this year. It’s such a young team.”

There have been three tournaments so far this year, resulting in only three Dexter wins out of approximately 12 games. The team faced a state champ Rockford team, the state runners-up Huron and another top four-ranked team, Pioneer. All of these games resulted in losses.

The road to states will mean facing teams like Rockford, Huron and Pioneer again. While the the team had its first season win against Chelsea recently, they will have to play Saline and Ann Arbor Pioneer for district rankings.

After all the district games, if they place first or second, then they can advance to regionals against either Saline or Pioneer, which coach Leonard said could be difficult for the young team.

If this can be done, the water polo team will have to play state-ranked Ann Arbor Huron again, along with Ann Arbor Skyline and Okemos. But senior captain Andrew Watson said despite the rough schedule, the team will still enjoy the season.

He said, “It’ll be a tough season for us, but we’ll make the best of it and have a good time in and out of the water.”