Ramona High School’s boys water polo team finished the 2008 regular season with an overall record of 11-16, including a 6-8 record worth fifth place in the Valley League standings.
“It could have been better,” said Coach Donnie Williams.
Canyon Crest joined the seven full-time Valley League schools for water polo, so Ramona’s fifth-place league finish was among eight teams. The league championship was won by Westview, which defeated the Bulldogs by an 11-4 margin Nov. 4 in Ramona.
“They were up on us early,” Williams said of the Westview match.
Ramona didn’t score against the Wolverines until the second period, and Westview led 7-2 at halftime. Alan Williams scored three of Ramona’s goals, including both first-half successful shots, while Kari Gonter put the other ball into the net for the Bulldogs.
Ramona goalie Nick Ashton made eight saves.
“They played pretty good against Westview,” Donnie Williams said. “It wasn’t a blowout game.”
The Bulldogs concluded their regular season at home Nov. 6 against Oceanside.
The ceremonies prior to the game honored seniors Sam Abbott, Nick Ashton, Jeremy Loux, Moises Murillo, Jordan Robison, Alex Sparks, and Mike Studley. All of the seniors except Ashton and Sparks, who shared goalkeeper duties, scored at least one goal.
Ramona honored its seniors with a 15-9 win over Oceanside.
“The seniors were pretty excited about playing that game,” Williams said.
The score was tied 3-3 with about 20 seconds left in the first period before a Ramona goal gave the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead at the end of the quarter. The Bulldogs led 7-4 at halftime and 12-5 after three periods.
“The third quarter we really took it to them,” Williams said.
Studley had four goals in his final regular-season game. Ashton made eight saves while Sparks recorded three saves. Alan Williams, who is a sophomore, had three goals and four assists against the Pirates.
Although Donnie Williams had hoped for at least a .500 record, he took solace in the team’s progress during the year.
“You always want them to get better as they get through the season. I think that was the end result,” he said.