2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

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jeff
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2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby jeff » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:10 pm

wpolo93 wrote:Jeff,

Just curious. Why do you think that Lamo has a good chance to finish top 3 or win JOs? On paper, it looks like a finish in 6-10 range would be more likely.


wpolo93,

Here is my attempt to answer your question. Last year, Lamorinda probably over-achieved when it finished 6th in the 18u division at the Junior Olympics. Four other Pacific Zone teams finished in the top 12: Stanford (2), SHAQ (7), CCU (8), and San Jose WPF (12). This is a down year for SHAQ; I don’t see them finishing in the top 12. Colin Mello, the head coach at Bellarmine, has done a great job with the San Jose WPF. For years, Stanford has had its pick of the top CCS players. That is changing now, with many of the top Bellarmine and Valley Christian players choosing to play for the San Jose WPC. San Jose is also drawing players from other South Bay high schools. If this trend continues, Stanford will have significant competition in its own backyard, but I think it will be difficult for San Jose to finish in the top 12 this year.

This will be Lamorinda’s best 18u team in years. Lamorinda has excellent depth and coaching. I’m agnostic on the “closed-club” v. “open-club” debate, but Lamorinda has a good mix of players from six high schools: 7 from Miramonte, 3 from De La Salle, 2 from Acalanes, 1 from San Ramon Valley, 1 from Campo, and 1 from St. Ignatius. Other than Stanford, I can’t think of another team with as much depth as Lamorinda, and I believe Lamorinda’s second group is stronger than Stanford’s second group. Seven of the 10 graduating seniors likely to be on Lamorinda’s roster for the JOs will play college water polo (Cal, UCSB, Davis, Brown, Long Beach State, Pomona, and Occidental). One of the other graduating seniors was recruited to play water polo in college, but has elected to focus on swimming. Another Lamorinda player, Nick Shroeder (Campo, 2018), started as a freshman at George Washington last year. He was probably the most underrated player on Campo’s excellent 2017 team, and he will be one of the top center defenders at the JOs. I think there will be four rising seniors on the Lamorinda roster and each of them is likely to play Division 1 water polo, including Jackson Painter, a LH attacker from Miramonte. Painter is on the ODP academy team and will be recruited by every good college water polo program. Liam Ward (De La Salle, LBSU) was the top senior goalie in northern California last year. With Ward and Miramonte’s rising senior, Oliver Von Karl, Lamorinda’s goaltending will be among the best at the JOs.

Lamorinda swims well. Three of their players have sub-22 50 free times. Of the three players likely to get significant playing time at center, the slowest swims the 50 in 22.65. Lamorinda will counter-attack at every opportunity and will play a strong pressing defense. Lamorinda’s coach, James Lathrop, is among the best in the country and he knows what to do with talented players. The core Stanford and CCU players have been playing together for many years. Lathrop’s challenge, and it won’t be easy, will be to get the former 680 players used to playing within his system and to get the team to gel in time for the Junior Olympics. I think the keys to Lamorinda’s success will be the center play, the 6-on-5 and the 5-on-6 play, and how well the players are able to transition from a pressing defense to a zone defense.

If I did this correctly and all goes according to form (and it won’t because the No. 5 team in the Pacific Zone will not make the top 12), here is what the final group of 12 teams will look like at the JOs:

SPA 1
PAC 4
CST 2

PAC 1
PAC 3
SPA 4

SPA 2
PAC 2
PSW 1

CST 1
SPA 3
PAC 5

If the JOs hold true to form, the top three teams from the Pacific Zone (Stanford, Lamorinda, and CCU) will play in what appear to be two of the three toughest groups. To borrow a phrase used to describe the most challenging group at the World Cups, the third group is likely to be the “group of death,” with Newport or OCWPC; Stanford, Lamorinda, or CCU; and Del Mar. That is a brutal draw. To maximize its chances, it would be better for Lamorinda to finish first or third in the Pacific Zone and to play in the second group. That would be a tough draw, but not as tough as the third group.

I will post my predictions and a more detailed analysis of the other teams after the Futures League finals.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby wpolo93 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:35 am

Looks like a really good top ten team to me.
P.S. Team chemistry is huge.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby jeff » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:51 pm

wpolo93 wrote:Looks like a really good top ten team to me.
P.S. Team chemistry is huge.


To facilitate discussion, I suggest you tell us which 6 to 9 teams you think will finish ahead of Lamorinda at the Junior Olympics and tell us why. It would be even better if you provide us with your analysis of some of the teams you think have a legitimate chance to medal at the JOs.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby wpolo93 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:50 pm

Jeff, I recall there have been some ardent Del Mar supporter(s) on this forum last year and this year who claimed that Del Mar should be the favorite to win 2018 JO and 2019 JO for 18U boys. Now, I am the first to admit that Del Mar has some really very good players. I watched several Del Mar games in person. They also stream most of their games on You Tube- so it is hard to miss that they are playing really good polo. But JO favorites? Why? I mean - yes, it is a possibility that they could win - their right side is superb, their centers are really good, etc. But my question was if they had won any really big tournaments say in the last two years to claim the title of the JO favorite. Apparently they answer is no. And until they do, it is a bit silly to claim to be the favorites.

Same thing with Lamorinda. I watched them a couple of times this year. They are good, no question about it. But have they won anything? They finished outside of top 4 both at K7 and Newport Spring Invite losing in the process to Stanford and CCU. This particular Lamo group have benefited from players leaving 680, so they are likely to finish higher than they did two years ago as 16s. And I assume that team chemistry is not an issue at Lamo. Still, I would put Stanford, CCU, Newport, OCWPC, Del Mar, and probably SD Shores higher. I have no idea about LA Premier but there should be probably several clubs on par with Lamo. Maybe Trojans? In any case, we can kick this dead horse till early morning with no progress. If Lamo wants to be considered as favorites not just by Lamo/Miramonte-optimists (and I use this word without any negative connotations), they should start winning big tournaments )) Until they do, they are not on the same page as say Stanford.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby Rbpolo0414 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:19 pm

I like LA Premier finishing top 4 again. Trojan appears to be playing graduating seniors, which is why they ran over everyone at futures. They have a great shot to win.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby 2plyBathingSuit » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:21 am

Rbpolo0414 wrote:I like LA Premier finishing top 4 again. Trojan appears to be playing graduating seniors, which is why they ran over everyone at futures. They have a great shot to win.


LA Premier was playing with several of it's graduating seniors this past weekend at the Newport Invite (1st place btw). If they continue to play with them through JO's (in all likelihood they will)...they are my early favorites to win. They looked very solid. Flacks is a proven miracle worker. Last year LA Premier got 4th in 18's...and they only played with one graduating senior. LA Premier has never placed 1st in 18's...or placed 1st any age group. I think this summer that will all change.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby Rbpolo0414 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:35 am

2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:I like LA Premier finishing top 4 again. Trojan appears to be playing graduating seniors, which is why they ran over everyone at futures. They have a great shot to win.


LA Premier was playing with several of it's graduating seniors this past weekend at the Newport Invite (1st place btw). If they continue to play with them through JO's (in all likelihood they will)...they are my early favorites to win. They looked very solid. Flacks is a proven miracle worker. Last year LA Premier got 4th in 18's...and they only played with one graduating senior. LA Premier has never placed 1st in 18's...or placed 1st any age group. I think this summer that will all change.


Who were the top 5 at Newport Invite?

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby 2plyBathingSuit » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:00 am

Rbpolo0414 wrote:
2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:I like LA Premier finishing top 4 again. Trojan appears to be playing graduating seniors, which is why they ran over everyone at futures. They have a great shot to win.


LA Premier was playing with several of it's graduating seniors this past weekend at the Newport Invite (1st place btw). If they continue to play with them through JO's (in all likelihood they will)...they are my early favorites to win. They looked very solid. Flacks is a proven miracle worker. Last year LA Premier got 4th in 18's...and they only played with one graduating senior. LA Premier has never placed 1st in 18's...or placed 1st any age group. I think this summer that will all change.


Who were the top 5 at Newport Invite?


1. LA Premier- Graduating seniors played
2. Newport- Graduating seniors played
3. Vanguard Red (MD) No graduating seniors played
4. Northwood-(Olu) No graduating seniors played
5. Vanguard- (HB) No graduating seniors playing
6. Socal- Several graduating seniors playing
7. Aetos- ?
8. SET- ?

Also, earlier last month in Futures League, LA Premier trounced Trojan. I didn't see the game, so I have no idea who was or wasn't there for Trojan.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby McKlintock » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:52 am

2plyBathingSuit wrote:1. LA Premier- Graduating seniors played
2. Newport- Graduating seniors played
3. Vanguard Red (MD) No graduating seniors played
4. Northwood-(Olu) No graduating seniors played
5. Vanguard- (HB) No graduating seniors playing
6. Socal- Several graduating seniors playing
7. Aetos- ?
8. SET- ?

Also, earlier last month in Futures League, LA Premier trounced Trojan. I didn't see the game, so I have no idea who was or wasn't there for Trojan.

Futures is a really good league, but the rosters week to week are inconsistent with players missing for various reasons. Trojan clearly didn’t have their A squad for the Newport tournament this past weekend. SET was the beneficiary of a weak Trojan team as they were grouped together, which allowed a pretty weak SET team to make top 8. Aetos’ strong seniors play for ocwpc now. HB has consistently played all year with a graduating senior from segerstom (don’t let the hs fool you, he is very good).

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby wpviewer » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:26 pm

2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:
2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:I like LA Premier finishing top 4 again. Trojan appears to be playing graduating seniors, which is why they ran over everyone at futures. They have a great shot to win.


LA Premier was playing with several of it's graduating seniors this past weekend at the Newport Invite (1st place btw). If they continue to play with them through JO's (in all likelihood they will)...they are my early favorites to win. They looked very solid. Flacks is a proven miracle worker. Last year LA Premier got 4th in 18's...and they only played with one graduating senior. LA Premier has never placed 1st in 18's...or placed 1st any age group. I think this summer that will all change.


Who were the top 5 at Newport Invite?


1. LA Premier- Graduating seniors played
2. Newport- Graduating seniors played
3. Vanguard Red (MD) No graduating seniors played
4. Northwood-(Olu) No graduating seniors played
5. Vanguard- (HB) No graduating seniors playing
6. Socal- Several graduating seniors playing
7. Aetos- ?
8. SET- ?

Also, earlier last month in Futures League, LA Premier trounced Trojan. I didn't see the game, so I have no idea who was or wasn't there for Trojan.


Vanguard Red/Mater Dei will be formidable when the class of 2021 are seniors and other Souther California schools' class of 2020 seniors have matriculated.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby 2plyBathingSuit » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:31 pm

wpviewer wrote:
2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:
2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:I like LA Premier finishing top 4 again. Trojan appears to be playing graduating seniors, which is why they ran over everyone at futures. They have a great shot to win.


LA Premier was playing with several of it's graduating seniors this past weekend at the Newport Invite (1st place btw). If they continue to play with them through JO's (in all likelihood they will)...they are my early favorites to win. They looked very solid. Flacks is a proven miracle worker. Last year LA Premier got 4th in 18's...and they only played with one graduating senior. LA Premier has never placed 1st in 18's...or placed 1st any age group. I think this summer that will all change.


Who were the top 5 at Newport Invite?


1. LA Premier- Graduating seniors played
2. Newport- Graduating seniors played
3. Vanguard Red (MD) No graduating seniors played
4. Northwood-(Olu) No graduating seniors played
5. Vanguard- (HB) No graduating seniors playing
6. Socal- Several graduating seniors playing
7. Aetos- ?
8. SET- ?

Also, earlier last month in Futures League, LA Premier trounced Trojan. I didn't see the game, so I have no idea who was or wasn't there for Trojan.


Vanguard Red/Mater Dei will be formidable when the class of 2021 are seniors and other Souther California schools' class of 2020 seniors have matriculated.


I don't disagree. I believe Anderson is doing a great job there. It's only a matter of (a short period of) time before MD rises to the top again.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby Rbpolo0414 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:15 pm

2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:
2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:I like LA Premier finishing top 4 again. Trojan appears to be playing graduating seniors, which is why they ran over everyone at futures. They have a great shot to win.


LA Premier was playing with several of it's graduating seniors this past weekend at the Newport Invite (1st place btw). If they continue to play with them through JO's (in all likelihood they will)...they are my early favorites to win. They looked very solid. Flacks is a proven miracle worker. Last year LA Premier got 4th in 18's...and they only played with one graduating senior. LA Premier has never placed 1st in 18's...or placed 1st any age group. I think this summer that will all change.


Who were the top 5 at Newport Invite?


1. LA Premier- Graduating seniors played
2. Newport- Graduating seniors played
3. Vanguard Red (MD) No graduating seniors played
4. Northwood-(Olu) No graduating seniors played
5. Vanguard- (HB) No graduating seniors playing
6. Socal- Several graduating seniors playing
7. Aetos- ?
8. SET- ?

Also, earlier last month in Futures League, LA Premier trounced Trojan. I didn't see the game, so I have no idea who was or wasn't there for Trojan.


Been a long time since I’ve seen SET mentioned. Are those El toro kids? Premier did hand Trojan their only loss of the season 14-9. As was mentioned, you never know who played unless you were there. Should be a good battle for top seed in Coastal.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby 2plyBathingSuit » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:02 pm

Rbpolo0414 wrote:
2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:
2plyBathingSuit wrote:
Rbpolo0414 wrote:I like LA Premier finishing top 4 again. Trojan appears to be playing graduating seniors, which is why they ran over everyone at futures. They have a great shot to win.


LA Premier was playing with several of it's graduating seniors this past weekend at the Newport Invite (1st place btw). If they continue to play with them through JO's (in all likelihood they will)...they are my early favorites to win. They looked very solid. Flacks is a proven miracle worker. Last year LA Premier got 4th in 18's...and they only played with one graduating senior. LA Premier has never placed 1st in 18's...or placed 1st any age group. I think this summer that will all change.


Who were the top 5 at Newport Invite?


1. LA Premier- Graduating seniors played
2. Newport- Graduating seniors played
3. Vanguard Red (MD) No graduating seniors played
4. Northwood-(Olu) No graduating seniors played
5. Vanguard- (HB) No graduating seniors playing
6. Socal- Several graduating seniors playing
7. Aetos- ?
8. SET- ?

Also, earlier last month in Futures League, LA Premier trounced Trojan. I didn't see the game, so I have no idea who was or wasn't there for Trojan.


Been a long time since I’ve seen SET mentioned. Are those El toro kids? Premier did hand Trojan their only loss of the season 14-9. As was mentioned, you never know who played unless you were there. Should be a good battle for top seed in Coastal.


I believe so. They still were donning their famous pink outfits. True about the Trojans...it'll be a battle with Premier but I'm predicting LA will handle them and will secure the No. 1 slot at costal quals.

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby jeff » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:30 pm

A link to Stanford's rosters for the Junior Olympics is shown below. I wish more clubs would post this information. Eleven of the 15 players on the Stanford 18U team are graduating seniors. All of the graduating seniors will play Division 1 water polo in the fall, including three at Stanford, one at UCLA, and one at Cal. Six of the Stanford 18u players started for SHP during the 2018 high school season. The seventh SHP starter is playing on Stanford's 16u team. The Stanford 18u team is all in this year, as witnessed by Stanford's decision to play Griffen Price (SHP Class of 2022) on the 18u team. I can't remember the last time a 15-year-old player started at goalie for a team that has a legitimate chance to win the 18u gold medal, but Price is an exceptional goalie. He started for SHP during the 2018 high school season. I think the 2018 SHP team was the best NorCal team in the last decade.

http://www.stanfordwaterpoloclub.com/st ... oys_4.html

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Re: 2019 Junior Olympics - Boys' 18u Division

Postby 2plyBathingSuit » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:27 am

jeff wrote:A link to Stanford's rosters for the Junior Olympics is shown below. I wish more clubs would post this information. Eleven of the 15 players on the Stanford 18U team are graduating seniors. All of the graduating seniors will play Division 1 water polo in the fall, including three at Stanford, one at UCLA, and one at Cal. Six of the Stanford 18u players started for SHP during the 2018 high school season. The seventh SHP starter is playing on Stanford's 16u team. The Stanford 18u team is all in this year, as witnessed by Stanford's decision to play Griffen Price (SHP Class of 2022) on the 18u team. I can't remember the last time a 15-year-old player started at goalie for a team that has a legitimate chance to win the 18u gold medal, but Price is an exceptional goalie. He started for SHP during the 2018 high school season. I think the 2018 SHP team was the best NorCal team in the last decade.

http://www.stanfordwaterpoloclub.com/st ... oys_4.html


Thanks for posting this Jeff. I think Stanford is the easy favorite this year especially because of what happened last year. But I'm still going out on a limb here and think Flacks will pull a rabbit out of his hat.

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