Rough water polo REL openers for Dragon squads
Quin-Harkin new Sonoma coach
With the last of the fall sports programs to begin the 2011 season, Sonoma Valley High School’s boys’ and girls’ water polo teams traveled to Santa Rosa on Wednesday to face some daunting challenges against strong Cardinal Newman squads in their Redwood Empire League openers.
Despite spirited starts to their matches, the Lady Dragons, who took an early lead, dropped an 18-7 decision, while the Sonoma boys were tagged with a 22-2 loss.
Even though the Sonoma squads didn’t return to the Valley with a win, they were happy to finally get their season underway after a late unexpected coaching change due to work-related factors in the middle of preseason workouts.
But Sonoma’s water polo program was fortunate to get Dominic Quin-Harkin on board as its director and head coach, who is upbeat about the future of his young and enthusiastic teams.
“I’m proud of the girls, with a handful experiencing their first water polo game ever. They executed a number of fundamentals well, but we still have lots of opportunity to improve on defense and team play,” said Quin-Harkin. “The Newman boys had tons of swimming talent and seasoned veterans who scored at will against our inexperienced Sonoma squad. But they’re good kids, and they’re still not aware of the potential I see in them. There are parts of the game that I was very pleased with. A lot of it is conditioning, and we’re just behind in yardage since I took over the coaching job two weeks after the season started. I guarantee you, I’ll have a completely different team once these kids get more practices in them.”
The Sonoma girls’ team consists of seniors Ghitta Ferrara, Chloe Hubbard and Sarah Summers; juniors Zoe Gaarder, Rose Greenberg, Jessica Hood and Leann Woods; and sophomores Madeline Cline, Shawny McVay and Abigail Vankirk.
Comprising the Sonoma’s boys’ team are seniors Christopher Allard and Harlan Bryant; juniors Sebastian Amara, Lawrence Arrington, Ryan Barmore, Chase Campion, Wyatt Caselia, Wyn Davis, Brian Hurley and Arthur Morgan; sophomores Jimmy Flatt, Miles Hagin, Gabe Rapozo and Jesse Summers; and freshmen Adam Curry and Caleb Horowitz.
In their loss to Cardinal Newman, the Lady Dragons were paced by Ferrara’s four goals and Gaarder’s and Greenberg’s one goal each, while pacing the Dragon boys were Campion’s and Rapozo’s one goal apiece.
The Sonoma squads return to the REL road for San Rafael and a pair of matches against Marin Academy this Tuesday, Sept. 27.