All seven Fallbrook starters given all-league water polo honors
Last updated 12/16/2021 at 7:58am
Village News Reporter
All seven starters on Fallbrook High School’s boys water polo team were given all-league recognition by the Valley League coaches.
Doug Pearce and Ian Ritchie were placed on the first team. Sam Grantham, Owen Hearn, and Kai Maestas were second-team selections. Brayden Bender and Brock Bushnell received honorable mention accolades.
“It’s nice to have them all recognized,” said Fallbrook coach Bill Richardson. “I was happy that we got everybody that we had on the team.”
The Warriors posted a 4-1 record in Valley League competition, losing only to Mount Carmel. Fallbrook was second in the final league standings with Mount Carmel winning the league championship.
Mount Carmel had four players on the first team. Fallbrook had two. “It’s good to get two,” Richardson said. “Both were well deserved.”
Pearce is a senior who was primarily a two-meter player for the Warriors. He led the team with 125 goals. “He clearly was the best player in the league,” Richardson said. “Every team that we played had to stop him to stop us.”
Mount Carmel obtained an 18-10 victory over the Warriors in league play. In each of Fallbrook’s other four league games the Warriors scored at least 17 goals. The Mount Carmel goalkeeper was chosen as the league’s Player of the Year although Pearce received consideration. “It was a close vote,” Richardson said.
Ritchie is a junior who is one of Fallbrook’s drivers. His 77 assists and 54 steals both ranked first on the team, and he was fourth on the team in goals (Grantham, who scored 58 goals, was second). “Ian had a fantastic year,” Richardson said. “Just really a productive player for us and really instrumental as to how we played as a team.”
Grantham, Hearn, and Maestas are all seniors. Grantham and Meastas were drivers. Hearn was Fallbrook’s goalkeeper.
Bender and Bushnell were both drivers. Bender is a junior and Bushnell is a senior.
Because five of Fallbrook’s seven all-league players are seniors they will need to be replaced for next year. “We have a lot of good players who will be returning and a few coming up,” Richardson said.