By Joe Naiman
The first day of Ramona High School girls water polo tryouts on Nov. 10 saw 30 students seek berths on the Bulldogs’ varsity, junior varsity, and novice teams.
“I’m happy with the turnout,” said varsity coach Donnie Williams. “The girls that are coming in as freshmen look like they’re going to be solid players.”
The 30 players who were present Nov. 10 do not include some who signed up but were unable to attend the first tryout. Williams expects to have both a junior varsity and a novice team in addition to his varsity squad.
“It’s all about getting experience,” he said.
Sophia Klar will coach the two lower-level teams, who will practice together and form a combined team in a junior varsity tournament or if an opponent does not field a novice squad. Williams expects to have a varsity roster of between 16 and 17, including players who will split time between the varsity and JV teams.
“I think we’re going to be pretty solid. We’ve got a lot of depth and we’ve got a lot of young talent,” Williams said.
The 2011-12 Bulldogs had an overall record of 15-16, including a 1-9 Palomar League record and a 1-1 post-season record. Their final match was a loss in the CIF Division II semifinals. This year Ramona will be in the Valley League.
Ramona returns six of last year’s seven starters. Bri Hogervorst is now at Cal State University Monterey Bay, but current seniors Tiffany Larson and Rachel Hogervorst were all league players last year, along with Bri Hogervorst and current junior Paulina Bernd. Ramona’s other three returning starters—Cassie Bernas, Jocelyn Schwegler, and Holly Smith—are also juniors this year.
“We should be really strong this year. I’m looking for a good season from these girls,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs will host El Capitan in a Nov. 20 scrimmage. Their first actual games will take place in the Benson Tournament Nov. 29 through Dec. 1.