It was a scary moment on the pool deck for all involved.
This week, the Corona del Mar High boys' water polo team is moving forward.
CdM has decided not to discipline a boys' water polo player after an incident during the team's Pacific Coast League game against Irvine Oct 7.
Irvine High senior Zack Kamai, a key defender, went out in the third quarter with a throat injury after struggling to breathe. He returned to the game after treatment by paramedics on-site, but told the Orange County Register after the game that a CdM player "grabbed me around the throat and started squeezing."
CdM Principal Tim Bryan said school administrators investigated the claim the next day, including interviews with players and coaches and reviewing three different tapes of the incident. They did not find evidence that the CdM player was trying to injure Kamai, Bryan said.
No foul was called on the play.
"We didn't feel that our player was intending to hurt the other player," Bryan said. "It's terrible the other player was hurt."
The Sea Kings won the key league game, 11-8, but at the time Kamai went out the Vaqueros were up, 7-3.
CdM Coach Barry O'Dea declined to comment, but told reporters at the game that he didn't see what had happened. Athletic director Don Grable referred questions to Bryan.
"It's not a resolution of the issue," Bryan said. "It's a teaching moment for us. We want to make sure we do everything we can [to avoid future injury]. It was obviously something our athletic director and coaching staff discussed with the player, and the team."
CdM, ranked No. 3 in Division II, will face No. 8 Irvine in a rematch at CdM on Oct. 26. That already promised to be a key game in regard to the Pacific Coast League title. Now, the atmosphere may be even more electric.
**Corona del Mar High senior girls' tennis player Lynda Xepoleas won the 18s title Monday at the Dunlop Junior Classic in Palm Desert. Several other local juniors also fared well at the national Level 3 tournament.
Newport Coast resident Max Pham won the boys' 12s title. Pham, seeded fifth, outlasted top-seeded Jay Min, 7-6, 7-5, in the final.
In other highlights, Lynda's younger sister Meredith Xepoleas made it to the girls' 14s quarterfinals before losing to top-seeded Madison Clarke. Newport Beach's Austin Di Giulio made it to the consolation semifinals in the boys' 12s. CdM High senior Shane Korber had a tough draw, falling to top-seeded Garrett Patton in the boys' 18s first round.
Newport Beach resident Dante Saleh, 15, made it to the boys' 18s consolation quarterfinals. Henry Gordon (boys' 14s) and Mazy Watrous (girls' 18s) both made it to the round of 16 in their respective divisions.
**The Newport Harbor High boys' water polo team won't have to wait too long for a rematch with Los Alamitos after Saturday night's 10-9 overtime loss in the finals of the S&R Sport Cup at Irvine High.
The Sailors, who have dropped to No. 5 in the CIF Southern Section Division I poll, play the No. 4-ranked Griffins at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday at Newport Harbor. The Sunset League title likely will be on the line.
Newport Harbor has won the title three of four years since returning to the Sunset League in 2006, although last year's league title was vacated for using an academically ineligible player. Los Alamitos won league in 2008.