Nov. 15 was the first day of tryouts for Ramona High School’s girls water polo team, and 25 girls tried out for the varsity, junior varsity, and novice teams.
“I’d like to get it up over 30,” said Coach Donnie Williams. “That gives you a good solid 10 for each level.”
Williams, who expects at least another three to five players to join the team, would need approximately 35 players to achieve that goal of at least 10 players on each squad. The North County Conference does not allow seniors to play on junior varsity teams, and 11 of those who tried out are seniors.
The Bulldogs’ open competitive play this Saturday will be against Mira Mesa in the Coach Draz Water Polo Classic in La Jolla High School’s Coggan Pool. If Williams makes any cuts for the 2008-09 season, the cuts will not occur before that match.
“I really don’t like to do that, but we may have to,” he said of making cuts.
Williams has not yet designated who will be on the varsity, junior varsity, and novice rosters.
“It’s just a matter of how it all balances out,” he said.
The first-day tryouts included participation by five freshmen.
“I’d like to see about eight or nine,” Williams said.
Ramona’s 2007-08 girls water polo team had four seniors and finished 14-16, including a first-round loss in the CIF Division II playoffs to La Jolla. Ramona placed fourth in the Valley League with a 3-5 record.
The realigned North County Conference added Mount Carmel, Westview, and Oceanside to the Valley League for all sports and added Canyon Crest to the league for boys and girls water polo.
San Marcos, which remained in the Valley League, and Mission Hills, which was realigned from the Valley League to the Avocado League, will not have varsity girls teams this year, so Westview will play in the Avocado League to give all three leagues six teams each.
“Mount Carmel is really tough,” Williams said.
Another formidable league opponent will be Valley Center, which remains in the Valley League. Orange Glen also continues in the Valley League.
The Coach Draz Water Polo Classic is named after former Crawford High School Coach Dick Draz, who now coordinates the CIF boys and girls water polo tournaments and the CIF swim meets. Proceeds from the tournament are used to fund expenses for CIF San Diego Section teams who travel to CIF regional or state tournaments.
The Coach Draz tournament does not count against Ramona’s number of allowable scrimmages, and the Bulldogs will have two additional scrimmages before opening the season Dec. 3-6 at the Benson Tournament in Orange County.
“Just ready to see what we can do with them,” Williams said of his team.