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Warrior water polo wins match at first Coach Draz Classic


Last updated 12/8/2006 at Noon

Fallbrook High School’s girls water polo team played in the Inaugural Coach Draz Girls’ Water Polo Classic and came away with a 5-2 victory over Cathedral Catholic in the November 20 match at La Jolla High School’s Coggan Pool.

“The team did awesome for this point in the season,” said Fallbrook coach Michael Hatcher. “The problems we had in that game are very fixable.”

The Warriors had a 3-1 halftime lead over the Dons. “I felt like we were in control of the game the entire time. The scoreboard didn’t really represent kind of the flow of the game,” Hatcher said.

Cathedral Catholic’s two goals came on a fast break in the first 30 seconds of the game and on an outside shot during a man-up opportunity. “Our defense is definitely our strongest aspect right now,” Hatcher said.

“We had a lot of fast break opportunities,” Hatcher said. “We had trouble getting the ball in the cage, but it’s a good problem to have ’cause we had a lot of shots.”

The Warriors also had approximately half a dozen steals in the game.

Hatcher made his final cuts following the Coach Draz Classic, reducing the roster from 16 to twelve. One of the Warrior players was not able to be present at the November 20 game due to a family trip while another was too ill to play, but the remaining 14 playing team members all participated in the pool during the game against Cathedral Catholic.

The results of the Inaugural Coach Draz Girls’ Water Polo Classic do not count in the team’s overall records. The California Interscholastic Federation’s San Diego Section has utilized pre-season tournament matches to fund travel of section teams to state meets and tournaments, and the boys and girls water polo tournaments both began in 2006. Both are named after Dick Draz, who was Crawford High School’s water polo coach from the program’s inception in 1969 to his retirement in 1986 and continues to referee water polo matches and organize the CIF water polo and swimming tournaments (Draz also coached swimming at Crawford from 1962 to 1986). Draz was in Ohio the week of the tournament and was not present at Coggan Pool for the matches.

Five matches were played at the Inaugural Coach Draz Girls’ Water Polo Classic: Castle Park faced La Costa Canyon, Otay Ranch took on University City, Carlsbad battled Bishop’s, Fallbrook clashed with Cathedral Catholic, and Bonita Vista engaged La Jolla.

“It was nice getting paired up with a team that we probably wouldn’t have a chance to play unless we see them in a tournament. It was also nice to see other top quality teams there,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher played water polo at Fresno High School in the 1990s and joined the Fallbrook High School faculty in 2005. He took over as the girls water polo coach this year, and he has not yet met Coach Draz.

“I’m just happy for Fallbrook, that we had the opportunity to go play,” Hatcher said of participating in the tournament. “It’s definitely something that we look forward to playing in next year and the years after.”


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