Player of the Week : Oeding Gets Family First Title

Chris Oeding has made a name for himself as a water polo player at Corona del Mar High School, which hasn't been easy because he followed his older brother into the Sea Kings' program.

Jeff Oeding, who now plays for Stanford, was selected All-Southern Section, All-Orange County and All-Sea View League as a senior in 1985, when Chris was in the eighth grade. It was a legacy that was difficult to match.

Yet, the younger Oeding has surpassed his brother in at least one area.

The one award that eluded Jeff was the Southern Section 4-A championship. The Sea Kings lost to arch-rival Newport Harbor, 14-7, in the 1984 final.

Last Saturday, Chris took care of some unfinished family business, as he led Corona del Mar to a 10-8 victory over Newport Harbor to win the 4-A title.

Oeding, The Times' player of the week, scored seven goals in the match and set up the the game-clinching score with a pass to teammate Dave Cesario.

"I talked to my brother after we won the championship," Oeding said. "He said that's the way it always should be--Corona over Harbor."

Jeff can take a bit of credit for the Sea Kings' victory, as he was partially responsible for his brother getting interested in water polo.

Although Chris has been a swimmer since he was 4, he was considering playing soccer when he entered high school. But watching his brother play in 4-A title game, helped change his mind.

"Jeff influenced me a lot," Oeding said. "I set goals to improve myself and play up to his standards."

Oeding set his own standards this season, as he was selected the Sea View League's player of the year.

Corona del Mar, which had beaten Newport Harbor in a nonleague game, failed to win the league title, losing to the Sailors, 7-6. However, that loss helped the Sea Kings in their quest for the 4-A championship.

"After we lost to Newport, we got our act together," Oeding said. "We just decided we were not going to lose again.

"And we really wanted to get another chance at Newport."

This weekend, Oeding will return to Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, where he helped the Sea Kings win the title. But this time it will be as a spectator, watching his brother compete in the NCAA Tournament.

"Stanford is a little down this year, they are only ranked fourth in the nation," Oeding said. "I'll get to watch Jeff play and maybe get a chance to talk to him a little more about winning the title."

And maybe this time, it will be little brother who can provide some influence.

Chris Oeding

Corona del Mar

Position: hole.

Height, Weight, Class: 5-10, 150, Jr.

Last Week: Oeding scored seven goals in the Sea Kings' 10-8 victory over Newport Harbor in the Southern Section water polo final.

Season: Oeding was selected the Sea View League player of the year.

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