The medium was water polo, and the message was delivered soundly.
Don’t scorn Coronado High School.
Moments after the Islanders won their fifth consecutive San Diego Section championship with a 13-7 victory over second-seeded Monte Vista at the Jewish Community Center, Coronado Coach Randy Burgess leveled criticism at the water polo playoff advisory committee that ranked his team fifth in the playoffs--an unseeded position--and made the four-time defending champion play Poway in the semifinals.
It spelled motivation for his players.
“They wanted to show (the advisory committee) where they could stick that fifth seeding,” said Burgess, who added that he thought the real section championship was Thursday’s 6-2 semifinal victory over top-seeded Poway.
“First, I want to thank Poway High School for setting the standard of excellence this year in San Diego water polo,” Burgess said. “We’re as good as we are because we chased them. . . . And I don’t want to take anything away from Monte Vista.”
But then he took aim.
“Without the advisory committee, I don’t know if we would have had it in us to win it,” he said. “There was a lot of satisfaction in winning because the kids were hurt. They were stunned. Tonight, we finally got some respect.”
The Islanders (27-4) were unseeded despite being Eastern League champs and competing outside of San Diego in Southern California’s toughest tournaments.
The title was the eighth overall for Coronado, which got four goals from Matt Humphreys. Matt Finley scored three goals and Jono Johnson scored twice.
The highest-scoring final in Section history gave Valhalla (26-2) its second title in a row, a 21-16 victory over The Bishop’s School (22-6). The previous record was Fallbrook’s 19-16 victory over Vista in 1977.
Fourteen players scored, including Valhalla goalie Ryan Humphry. There were 19 ejections and one personal foul.
Tim Ault scored six goals for Valhalla; Josh white and Dennis Sutherland scored four apiece.
Bishop’s Zach Strauss had five.