The first three days of Ramona High School girls water polo practice saw 28 girls participate.
“It’s more than I expected,” said Coach Donnie Williams.
Practice began Nov. 14, which was prior to the conclusion of the girls volleyball and girls cross-country seasons. Williams noted that additional players needed to finish their Fall sports commitments before joining the water polo team.
The 28 girls include eight freshmen.
“I didn’t expect that many to be coming,” Williams said.
The participation numbers will allow Ramona to field varsity, junior varsity, and novice teams.
“It might be a little bit of a stretch,” Williams said.
Former player Danielle Webb takes over as Ramona’s junior varsity and novice coach. Williams noted that some of the players might have to play in both JV and novice matches.
“It will give them that much more playing time,” he said. “I think the program’s going to grow by leaps and bounds.”
Williams expects to keep approximately 13 players on the varsity roster, although Taylor Shinnick will be the only returning starter from last year. In addition to the 2008-09 seniors who graduated, Desiree Nihart has moved to Poway while Ashley Shields has obtained a tennis scholarship to Northern Arizona University and will focus on that sport.
“We’ve got a good group of girls,” Williams said. “The ones that we do have are going to work hard to come together.”
The Bulldogs open the 2009-10 season Dec. 3-5 at the Benson Tournament in Orange County.