There’s no doubt that the Loyola Blakefield water polo team is good. They can play, but do they have enough this season to get past defending champions, Calvert Hall College High School?
The Towson school’s head coach, Keith Schertle, wonders. “We’ve been second forever. We’re not bad, but we’ve never been the best, either.”
The team, which started in 1997 as a club team, recognizes that the caliber of the play from the Calvert Hall Cardinals raises the level of play in the league.
That said, the Dons are focused on one game at a time, and are out to a 4-0 start, as of Sept. 23. The Dons faced the Cards for the first time this season on Sept. 25. This was the first of two regular season matches and Schertle is hopeful that they will see the Cards in post-season play, as well as at the Eastern Preps in post-season.
Junior Tyler Thein, a varsity player since his freshman year, is leading the Dons this season with his quick reaction and excellent field vision.
“Tyler controls the team,” said Schertle. “He may not lead in goals and assists, but he is our best overall player on offense and defense.”
Senior Charlie Waesche is also serving up a solid performance as the team’s 2-meter man and can effectively control the ball while fending off defensive pressure.
In addition to Thein and Waesche, senior captain driver Evan Danz brings a big physical presence to the pool and leads the team by way of a strong work ethic. “I can’t say who will be the high goal scorer this season,” said Schertle. “Of the six guys that start, all six can play and so we are really balanced this year.” The lone goalie for the Dons is junior Mano Motsiopoulos, posting one shut-out and allowing 21 goals.
Though Schertle sees the offensive wealth spread around, the Dons have put up an amazing 69 goals in their first four outings.