Canyon Lake water polo sinks Smithson Valley

CAPTION: Canyon Lake’s Ryan Alvarez looks for a fellow Hawk to pass the ball to during the Saturday, Sept. 10, match against the Smithson Valley Rangers. Alvarez scored 3 goals including the game winner with just 10 seconds left in the match. Photo by Daniel Clifton

The Canyon Lakes varsity boys water polo team rallied in the fourth period after trailing the Smithson Valley Rangers to win 10-9 and improve their overall and District 25-6A record to 2-1.

“There is no quit in this team and they are learning if they listen to me and follow our game plan, we can be competitive and perhaps win games,” said head coach Page Small.

This is Canyon Lake High School’s first year to have a water polo team. The boys entered the year with no experience in the sport but have begun to show they are a competitive squad. During the Smithson Valley match on Saturday, Sept. 10, the Rangers jumped out to an early lead, but the Hawks bounced back with a few goals to make it interesting.

However, the Rangers built what seemed like an insurmountable lead going up by six points in the third period. The Hawks — led by some great defensive play and offensive attacks — battled their way back into the match. Levi Garner led the Hawks with 7 goals with Ryan Alvarez adding 3 of this own and having 3 assists.

It was Alvarez’s goal with 10 seconds left in the fourth period that secured the Hawks victory.

“At halftime, I told the boys the game should be much closer,” Small said. “Our defensive miscues were the reason why we were behind.”

Small told the Hawks they were better than the score indicated and they needed to tighten up the defense.

“Water polo is a game of adjustments, and our boys did a great job of adjusting on both defense and offense to schemes that were recently introduced to them,” the coach added.

On defense Cole Coffee did a great job communicating and serving as the defensive captain, Small added, which helped keep the Hawks on track. Evan Cruz and Jacob Munoz shared goalie duties and each had five saves against an aggressive Smithson Valley offense.

As a new team featuring student-athletes playing water polo for the first time, Small said the squad’s growth comes in learning the rules of the game and working on offensive and defensive spacing.

The Hawks are on the road Tuesday, Sept. 13, at Davenport High School, 23255 FM 3009 in San Antonio, for a 5:30 p.m. match, and return home Friday, Sept. 16 for a 5:30 p.m. match against San Antonio Alamo Heights.

For more information on the sport, visit the Fundamentals of Water Polo

CAPTION: Canyon Lake High School’s Milo Martin-Rider moves the ball down the pool during the Hawks’ 10-9 win over the Smithson Valley Rangers on Saturday, Sept. 10. The Hawks, 2-1 in District 25-6A and overall, travel to Davenport High School on Tuesday, Sept. 13, for the next match. Photo by Daniel Clifton

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