For helping lead their respective schools to CIF-Southern Section championships in boys’ water polo, Servite senior Guillermo Ocasio and Cathedral sophomore Daniel Hernandez were named Players of the Year.
Ocasio, an All-CIF first-team selection in 2017, was the Friars’ leadings scorer in their march to the Division 3 title, and has been a member of the U.S. Cadet (under 20) water polo team. Fellow Servite seniors Christian Martinez and Jack Dunbar were first-team selections, and coach Andy Coffman received Coach of the Year honors.
Hernandez was a key component of Cathedral’s first-ever boys’ water polo title, scoring five goals in the Phantoms’ Division 7 championship match victory over Baldwin Hills. Three of Hernandez’ Cathedral teammates made the D-7 first team: seniors Angel Rosas and Anthony Vargas, and sophomore Sebastian Farias.
Also making All-CIF first teams, as selected by the Southern California Water Polo Coaches' Association and presented by the LA 84 Foundation, were six Catholic school seniors: Loyola’s Stefan Vavic and Chris Agliozzo, Santa Margarita’s Yurian Quinones, and Mater Dei’s Warren Loth and Ian Minsterman (all Division 1), and Damien’s Aaron Wilson (Division 2).
This was the third straight year a Catholic school player received Player of the Year honors, following Brock Petersen of Santa Margarita (2016, D-2) and Jackson Seybold of Mater Dei (2017, D-1).
Ocasio is also the ninth Friar to be named Player of the Year. The others: Mike Halphide and Richard Rusey (1982, D-2A co-POY), Brian Heifferon (1994, D-II), Michael Kim (1998 and 1999, D-II), Trevor Clark and Adam Hewko (2002, D-II co-POY), Hewko (2003, D-II) and Daniel Garcia (2005, D-II).
Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).
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