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The meaning of 'team'

August 27, 2004

Mike Sciacca

If there's one thing that will make the Laguna Beach High School

boys' water polo team strong this year, it is that it understands of

the concept of what "team" means.

So says head coach Rick McKee, whose squad opens the 2004 season

Sept. 7 with a double scrimmage against Foothill and Riverside Poly

in Riverside.

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The official season opener is Sept. 14 at La Habra.

"This team is just that, a team," McKee said. "This is what is

going to make them strong. They know each other and play well

together.

"They are not a team of great size and strength. They do possess

some speed which will allow us to counterattack most of the teams we

will play. Proficiency on our man-up situations will be a key to how

well we do overall this year."

Laguna went 15-12 last year and finished third in the Pacific

Coast League standings.

The Breakers advanced to the CIF playoffs, where they fell to

Foothill in the opening round.

Back for the 2004 season are six returners from the 2003 team,

including a pair of all-league selections.

Entering their senior year are returners Ryan Fair, a driver and

second-team all-league pick, Bret Burge, a goalie and third-team

all-league selection, twins Trevor and Jeremy Frimond, both drivers,

and driver Cedric Channels.

The other returner is junior center Mike Dick.

Newcomers to the squad are senior utility Bret Landrum, junior

two-meter defense Adam Kaplan, junior utility players Kelan Hurley,

Garret Sauls and Mike Gianseruso, junior goalie Kirk Westlake,

sophomore center Cameron Brinkman and sophomore utility Peter Phelps.

"With the successful summer that we just concluded, the guys are

ready to get into the season," McKee said. "We are planning on a

strenuous preseason with a strong focus on passing and

counterattacks"

Some of the nonleague foes dotting the Laguna schedule are

perennial powers San Clemente, Newport Harbor and Santa Margarita.

"Our schedule is balanced," McKee said. "We will have some teams

that we should do very well against, and some that will challenge

us."

The Pacific Coast League race begins with a tough Oct. 6

assignment at defending league champion Northwood, who will host the

Breakers in their new pool.

Laguna concludes league play Nov. 11 with a home date against

rival Corona del Mar.

"The Pacific Coast League will have three teams that will fight

for the top spot," McKee predicted. "Northwood, last year's champion,

returns a couple of strong players, as will [Corona del Mar]. We

should have more experience and depth than any of the teams in the

league. The determining factor will be who wants it more.

"If we play well together as a team, I am hoping that we will win

league and have a good showing in CIF. This team will continue the

rich heritage of winning teams at Laguna Beach."

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