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AT A GLANCE

Water Polo

September 05, 2000

* The Proven: Newport Harbor senior Peter Belden was a first-team All-Southern Section and Times' Orange County selection after collecting 68 goals, 46 assists and 93 steals. San Clemente senior driver Josh Hewko was a first-team Times' Orange County selection, leading the Tritons to the section quarterfinals with 74 goals and 45 steals, and senior teammate Pat McCann was a first-team All-Southern Section choice with 64 goals. Santa Margarita junior Nick Nolan led the Eagles in scoring last season. Los Alamitos senior Erik Geoffroy, a three-year starter at two meters, was the Griffins' second-leading scorer last season. University senior Ted Peck, a member of the junior national team, scored 76 goals last season. El Toro's Brett McCleave could be one of the best two-meter players in the county after leading the Chargers in scoring last season as a junior. Junior goalkeeper Ian Elliott, another junior national team member, will back a strong Foothill defense, and senior teammate Brian Alexander will likely lead the Knight offense. Senior Pat Sandys, Laguna Beach's two-meter man, is the key to the Artists' Pacific Coast League title hopes. Senior David Wagner is Marina's quickest and biggest offensive threat. Senior Jared Jones will be in goal for Villa Park and senior teammate Charlie Fisher will lead the Spartan offense. Corona del Mar senior Garrett Bowlus, who led the team in scoring and steals last season, is back at the 2-meter position. Servite's offense will be led by junior Vincent Bevins. Cypress senior Josh Antunez, a two-time All-Empire League selection, was the Centurions' leading scorer.

* The Promising: Newport Harbor senior Ryan Cork, a second-team All-Southern Section pick, could play a major role for the Sailors. Senior Joe Gentner, a 6-3, 230-pound left-handed two-meter defender, is back for Los Alamitos along with teammate Tyler Drake, the Griffins' returning driver, who will lead the counterattack. Capistrano Valley senior Jon Koretoff, at 6-2, 205, gives the Cougars size at the two-meter position. Laguna Hills junior driver Matt Henry is a key figure on a young team with playoff aspirations. Mission Viejo senior Dave Johnson could lead the Diablos' drive for the playoffs. Saddleback senior Kevin Cooney is the leading figure on a Division II semifinalist that graduated all its starters.

* Preseason Top 10: 1. Newport Harbor--Sailors return four starters from league champion and Division I semifinalist; 2. Corona del Mar--Sea Kings looking for second consecutive Division II title; 3. Foothill--Only one returning starter, but still favored to edge Villa Park for league title; 4. San Clemente--Four returning starters should give Tritons an edge over El Toro; 5. Villa Park--Always a threat to win it all; 6. El Toro--Only one returner from last year's Division I finalist; 7. Laguna Beach--Three starters back for Division II quarterfinalists; 8. Los Alamitos--Looking to improve upon last year's playoff run that ended in the Division I semifinals; 9. Servite--Friars will have long haul to advance to finals again; 10. Marina--Will battle Los Alamitos for Sunset League title.

* Key Dates: Sept. 21-23, South Coast tournament; Sept. 26, Los Alamitos at San Clemente; Oct. 4, Corona del Mar at Laguna Beach, Newport Harbor at Irvine; Oct. 6-7, Southern California Invitational; Oct. 11, Marina at Los Alamitos, Oct. 13, Newport Harbor at Laguna Beach, Foothill at Corona del Mar; Oct. 27-28, California State Invitational; Oct. 31, Santa Margarita at Servite; Nov. 3, Foothill vs. Villa Park at Tustin HS; Nov. 7, 10, 15, 18, 21, Southern Section playoffs.

* League Favorites: Century--Foothill; Empire--Cypress; Freeway--La Habra; Garden Grove--Pacifica; Golden West--Tustin; Orange--Brea Olinda; Pacific Coast--Corona del Mar; Sea View--Newport Harbor; Serra--Servite; South Coast--San Clemente; Sunset--Los Alamitos.

* Fast Fact: Newport Harbor Coach Bill Barnett and Corona del Mar Coach John Vargas will miss the first portion of the season while coaching the U.S. men's Olympic team in Sydney.

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