Crazy to think we’re heading into the last week of regular season! Time flies when you’re working hard! #finishstrong
— THHS Water Polo (@trabucoH2Opolo) February 10, 2014
We were struck by this tweet the other day by Trabuco Hills’ program. In just five days the brackets will be announced for them and their competitors after a high school season that appeared to simply fly past us.
Prep water polo in the winter is the exclusive domain of Southern California girls, from Los Angeles to San Diego and including the gigantic Southern Section of the CIF with its Orange County to Santa Barbara nexus. That range includes not just the best teams of the winter season, but the greatest concentration, by far, of the best girls’ teams in the US regardless of geography or calendar. While Northern California hosts several excellent teams they are, by comparison, few and broadly distributed.
And so, unlike the boys of California who all share a common season in which the finest teams from all over the state play one another at major tournaments, the girls are restricted to a smaller, more intimate set of rivals from a smaller piece of real estate. No less intense than their male colleagues, just concentrated among a more limited set of actors.
This makes for some great competition, with Foothill, Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar, Santa Barbara, Newport Harbor coaxing the best from one another several times per season. But that only leaves us wanting more: What about San Ramon Valley? Sacred Heart Prep? Davis or Campolindo? How would the good teams of NorCal do versus their southern rivals, never mind the squads from Oregon or Michigan.
Any solution to that problem is a long time coming. Until then, the debate will remain entertaining but irresolvable, and the girls of SoCal will place their focus on earning one of the several dozen slots in their sectional championship brackets as this final week winds down.
TWp Brackets will have all the championship match-ups once the sections make their picks.