Boys Water Polo All-Area: Pas Poly in good hands with Pray; South Pasadena’s Echeverria coach of the year.

Ryan Katsuyama was unsure of the direction that his boys water polo team would take.

Heading into the 2009 season, he had reason to worry. Pasadena Poly was losing Tommy Gilfillan, its all-time scoring leader and one of the top career and single-season scorers in the CIF-Southern Section.

The Panthers were coming off a Prep League title and a berth in the CIF-SS semifinals.

Katsuyama had little to worry about. Pasadena Poly did not repeat as Prep League champion, but as a second-place team it advanced the CIF-SS quarterfinals. The Panthers went farther than any other west San Gabriel Valley team.

They also found a replacement for Gilfillan, a player they can rely on for the next two years. Henry Pray broke Gilfillan’s sophomore school record for goals, earned All-CIF first-team honors and has been selected Star-News Player of the Year.

CLICK ON THREAD TO CONTINUE READING

“It was a big adjustment to high school water polo,” Pray said. “The competition is different. In club, we’ll play nine times a week, maybe three games in one day. In high school, we’ll play, at the most, three times in the week.”

That gave Pray plenty of time to work on his goal-scoring opportunities and defense.

Boy, did he score goals. He finished with 120 and was second on the team in steals.

“I was surprised by how many goals I scored,” he said. “I was just hoping to get 90 goals.”

“I’m excited about the future of our program knowing we have a guy like Henry who is a dominating presence at two meters,” Katsuyama said.

“Coaches talk about players to build around. There isn’t a better place to start than at two meters.”

Pray had to face a variety of defenses and had to learn to develop his defensive skills, too. The Panthers were the only team to defeat eventual CIF-SS Division 6 and league champion Webb.

“He showcased his goal-scoring prowess, but what made his season so great was the fact that he was able to do this against constant double- and triple-teams,” Katsuyama said. “Not to be outdone was his work on the defensive end of the pool. There were many times this season that he was able to stop our opponents with great perimeter defense.”

Teammate Nick Grover, a senior driver, also was selected to the first team. He received the same honor last season.

South Pasadena ended La Canada’s dominance in the Rio Hondo League with its first title of the decade. Head coach Robert Echeverria was selected Coach of the Year and two of his juniors, offensive players Sean Grab and Evan MacCarthy, were picked for the first team.

“It was an amazing season,” Echeverria said. “I got to experience something I haven’t been able to in five years, that is beat La Ca ada and win a league title.

The Tigers lost to the Spartans in overtime at La Canada and then defeated the Spartans at home. They were eliminated in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs on a last-second goal.

“I finally got to see our group, which worked very hard, win the title,” he said.

Also selected to the team are three of his league goes, sophomore 2-meter Bo Mattix of La Canada, senior 2-meter Jeffrey Bassette of Temple City and senior goalkeeper James Adams of San Marino. Pasadena senior Scott Snowden also made the team.

Mattix led the Spartans in scoring and seemed to score key goals at critical times, including wins over South Pasadena and Temple City. Bassette did the same to the Spartans at the Temple City pool.

Adams played in the field and in goal for the Titans, who also advanced to the CIF-SS playoffs. But his expertise was in the net.

His play forced opponents to alter shots and strategies, something no other goalkeeper in the area could accomplish.

Snowden led the Bulldogs in scoring, too. Pasadena also advanced to the CIF-SS playoffs.

keith.lair@sgvn.com
626-962-8811, ext. 2242

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email
  • http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/goingthroughchannels/2009/11/thursday-november-26-2009-the.php Carol W. Equity

    Did you hear about the idiot who walked around the world? He drowned.

  • http://www.micjerseys.com/Wholesale-nfl-jerseys-denver-broncos_c809 nfl kids jerseys

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  • http://www.uggkindom.com/ugg-classic-short-boots-c-41 Grey ugg

    Looks more like a facelift update rather than a total redesign.I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! this is what they should have done before

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com Link Building Services

    Nice!! Great Ifo. Great People. Great Blog. Thank you for all the great sharing that is being done here.

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com Link Building

    Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dont let anyone stop us bloggers.

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com link building services

    Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • http://www.uggcorp.com ugg sale

    I agree it is very well done. Glad you found it useful.

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com/ Link Building

    I would like to start my own blog one day. This was a really nice blog that you made here. Keep up the success :P

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com Backlinks

    Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing. How did you get so good at blogging?

  • http://www.seomarketingservicesonline.com Backlinks

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com/ Link Building Services

    Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing. How did you get so good at blogging?

  • http://www.enioa.com Calgary Web Design Company

    I would like to start my own blog one day. This was a really nice blog that you made here. Keep up the success :P

  • http://www.english-skype-lessons.com/ English Teacher Online

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.. :)

  • http://cancerawarenessbracelets.info breast cancer awareness rubber bracelet

    I am glad to discover so lots of valuable information at this time within the article, we need build up additional strategies inside this regard, thanks for sharing

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com Backlinks

    Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • http://noselaserhairremoval.info nose hair removal

    I am not in reality certain if greatest methods include emerged around stuff similar to that, other than I am definite that your big work is visibly recognized. I was wondering if you offer several subscription to your RSS feeds since I would be very concerned.

  • http://lcdtvsaleshop.info lcd hdtv reviews

    Took me moment in time to examine every one of the commentary, except I truly loved the piece of writing. It proved being in actuality helpful to me with I am positive to every one the commenters here! Its in general fine when you can not just be informed, but in addition entertained! I am helpful you had pleasurable writing this write-up.