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Boys water polo loses CIF

Will Clark, Outside Reporter

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Losing hurts, and the LBHS boys water polo team can tell you all about it. Unfortunately, the boys made an early exit from the CIF Division II playoffs after losing in the quarter-finals in a  game against the young Redlands East Valley team. A Redlands goal in the final twelve seconds of the fourth quarter made the difference and sent the Breakers home defeated. This is the worst season result for the water polo program in recent years. Going into the playoffs, the team was ranked fourth overall and expected to at least make it to the semi-final game. A combination of nerves, travel time, overconfidence and a range of other factors may have contributed to the unexpected loss.

“The minute we lost, I couldn’t believe what just happened. I felt like we played well, but we just didn’t put it away. I think we definitely could have came out on top,” said sophomore attacker James Nolan.

Although the team did not achieve its goal of winning a CIF championship, the overall season should not be viewed as a disappointment. The team climbed to seventh place in the Orange County Top 10 and captured a championship win at the Steve Pal Memorial Tournament. Throughout the season, the team surpassed expectations when they jumped to fourth place in CIF D-II rankings after barley breaking the top ten in most preseason polls. Overall, it was another strong year for the water polo team.

“I think that our season went really well despite our loss early in CIF. I personally grew as a player and became very close with my teammates,” said junior attacker and co-captain Colton Gregory.

Although the CIF loss may have been a disappointment to this year’s team, it could have great benefits for the players that will be returning next year to continue fighting for a CIF championship.

“This CIF loss motivates me for next year because I really want to get a ring before my high school career ends. I believe that we have a great opportunity in the coming year to achieve our goals. I know that our loss will drive us to work hard every day to ensure a deep playoff run and hopefully a CIF ring,” said Nolan.

Losing is not only a part of sports, it is a part of life. Whether you lose a game, get rejected from your dream college or can’t find a job, those are all losses one way or another. While winning may feel great, it is hard to learn anything amid the joy of victory.

“You always learn more when you lose; there’s a lot more to face. When you win, everything is happy and easy. When you lose, especially unexpectedly, it forces you to deal with some negative emotions that you don’t feel after winning,” said athletic director Lance Neal. “Losing also provides an opportunity to show your character development. As an educator, I appreciate the learning opportunity that losing presents for young people.”

Throughout high school, kids face an array of tough losses. CIF shortcomings, bad test scores, college rejection or even bad breakups: All of these represent different types of losses that most every high school student will face at one time or another. During these various defeats, it is important to remember to keep a level head and accept the loss as something to learn from. High school is a grind filled with many heartbreaking losses; no matter the loss, life goes on.

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Boys water polo loses CIF