By Joe Naiman
Ramona’s Bri Hogervorst played her final high school water polo match as part of San Diego County’s senior girls water polo all-star game in Coronado Community Pool. Coaching the small-school team was Ramona’s water polo coach, Donnie Williams.
Hogervorst had two steals in the game won 6-4 by the large-school team.
“Bri did really well,” Williams said. “I thought she had a real solid game there.”
Williams added that he was excited to coach Hogervorst’s final high school water polo game.
The 2011-12 season was the second in which water polo was split into three divisions for CIF playoff purposes, although the all-star game utilized the traditional Division I against Division II format. The coaches and referees selected a small-school coach of the year. Bishop’s coach Doug Peabody earned that honor, and Williams was runner-up.
“I was happy to be recognized,” Williams said. “It’s an honor to know that your colleagues respect all the efforts that you put in.”
Bishop won this year’s CIF Division III championship. Ramona reached the CIF Division II semifinals and concluded the season with a 15-16 record, including a CIF quarterfinal win and a 1-9 Palomar League figure.
“I was surprised, to tell you the truth,” Williams said of his runner-up distinction. “I thought I’d get some votes, but I didn’t think I’d get that far.”
Peabody’s selection as the small-school coach of the year earned him the right to coach the senior all-star game, but he opted for a family vacation after the CIF season and Williams took his place. Each team had 17 players from various schools.
“It’s tough coaching because you don’t know all the girls,” Williams said. “You don’t know where their talents match up.”
Williams and his team did well against their larger-school counterparts; the score was tied at three goals apiece entering the fourth quarter.
“They got two or three quick counterattacks,” Williams said of the large-school team’s fourth-period success.
“It was enjoyable,” Williams said of coaching the all-star game. “It’s a good way to recognize the athletes.”