GLENDORA - The Grossmont Griffins men's water polo team is off to a tremendous 4-0 start. This past weekend the men traveled to Glendora and participated in the 2018 Citrus College Tournament. The Griffins left Glendora 4-0 with wins over host Citrus College 17-10, Chaffey College 10-6, Mount San Antonio College 14-10, and Santa Monica College 16-9.
Last seasons' men's water polo team was a primarily freshmen group. However, those players have returned, they are experienced, and Coach Ty Lackey has added some new talent to the mix as well.
"Depth has played a key role in our victories," he said. "In all four games, all 15 field players saw action and over the course of the weekend all 16 Griffins contributed to the effort."
The 2018 squad features eight returners from 2017. The squad has eight sophomores, one incoming sophomore transfer from Redlands (Cole Kammerer), two redshirt freshmen from the 2017 squad, and five incoming freshmen. These 16 players are the active Griffins jumping into the pool for the 2018 season.
"Coach Lackey is building a flagship water polo program and the progression has been very noticeable the last two years," said Associate Dean of Athletics Thomas Armstrong. "Our retention is fantastic, we have 10 student-athletes returning from last season. Furthermore, not only do we have 16 active athletes this season, but we have eight more redshirting this fall. The numbers are outstanding and it is a proud positive statement in regards to this program."
Last year, the Griffins lost to Mt. San Antonio (top 10 in the state) and Citrus. The Griffins biggest rival is Palomar College and the Comets are up next. Palomar has won 3 of the last 4 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference titles. The two powers will collide on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. This PCAC opener will take place at Palomar College, however, the second for these two squads will take place at the Joan Kroc Center on October 10th at 2:30 p.m. The Griffins are returning 2017 PCAC Player of the Year; Ryan Blevitt for his sophomore season and he is surrounded by tons of talent.
"Our biggest challenge so far has been finding a way to build chemistry and establish our identity, mixing the returning players and the new athletes and figuring out whose talents mesh best together," Lackey said. "With each game we did see progress in this area though."
Blevitt and freshman Brock Kammerer out of University City High School are leading the team with 14 goals each. Brock's brother, sophomore Cole Kammerer out of Redlands College and University City HS is right behind with 10 goals. Returning goalkeeper sophomore Travis Rosenkoetter leads the PCAC in saves with 32, ranking him seventh in the state. The 6-foot-3 Rosenkoetter is a next door local product from Grossmont High School and appears to be establishing himself as one of the most dominant goalkeepers in the region.
(Grossmont College Athletics)