Spartans sweep highest league honors

When La Cañada High Coach Steve Neville considered his team's candidates for the Rio Hondo League's Valuable Player, he looked for someone who did it all, as far as offense, defense and leadership.

The player he found was the Spartans' senior drive Trevor Roszkos, who took home the league's highest honor as the MVP after finishing the season with 58 goals, 49 assists and 67 steals.

"Trevor did a whole lot of everything," Neville said. "He's a team leader, team captain and not only scored goals, but played defense and came up with some big assists.

"He was all of the above and that's what I look for in a MVP."

Roszkos didn't take the honor lightly.

"I was thrilled when coach told me," Roszkos said. "It felt good to know all my hard work had paid off and I had something to show for it."

A total of nine Spartans hauled in all-league accolades, while South Pasadena and San Marino had six and four, respectively, make the cut.

La Cañada's Wolfie Paulson was named the league's top goalkeeper after posting 193 blocks and 33 steals this year.

"Wolfie was the backbone of our defense all year," Neville said. "He was a real game changer for us and that's something you don't see out of a goalkeeper a whole lot."

Paulson also drew high praise from his MVP in the field.

"When Wolfie is on, he is unstoppable," Roszkos said. "He was so key for us in so many games. He is just a wall back there."

The Spartans finished the season with a 22-7, 8-0 in league, record and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III semifinals for the first time in five years. They were defeated by eventual Division III champions Laguna Beach, 14-5, in the semis.

A young South Pasadena squad finished with a 16-11, 6-2 in league, record and saw its season end in the first round of the Division III playoffs in a loss to Palos Verdes, 12-10.

Martin Lis and Pierce Deamer both earned first team all-league honors from the two-meter position for the Tigers. Lis, a senior, finished the year with 82 goals and 27 steals. Deamer, a sophomore, posted a team-high 86 goals and 19 steals.

"[Deamer] has a lot of room to improve," South Pasadena Coach Robert Echeverria said. "He is a monster for his size. He is smart playing the game. He will be one of my leaders next year."

The Tigers' Will Renken, a freshman, was the league's second-team pick in the cage.

"I don't see another goalie being better than him for the next three years," Echeverria said. "The one thing that separated him was his maturity. He knew what to do at the right moment."

Three Spartans (junior utilities Chase Borisoff, Symeon Stefan and senior two-meter Allen Morovati) and San Marino's Alex Kang were also all-league first-team selections.

Borisoff mirrored Roszkos' do-all mentality, finishing the season with a team-high 135 assists, as well as 112 steals, 55 goals and 34 drawn ejections.

"Chase was like our playmaker," Neville said. "He wasn't exactly our top-goal scorer, but he did everything else correctly. He never really made mistakes and that's what we needed."

Stefan earned the honor in just his first season playing high school water polo. He posted a team-high 63 goals, 73 steals and 27 assists. Morovati (78 steals, 66 drawn ejections and 37 goals) really emerged as the Spartans' most dominant two-meter player, on both offense and defense.

The Titans finished fourth in league with a 6-17, 2-6 in league, record with Kang leading them in goals and drawn ejections.

"[Kang] brought a lot of leadership to a pretty young team," San Marino Coach Mark Barr said of his senior. "He did everything that we asked him to do. The younger guys really responded to him and I think he left a good example for the next few years."

Eric Thvett, a freshman, had the second most goals for the Titans and earned a spot on the league's second team.

"Eric brought a really good skill set for a freshman," Barr said. "You would watch him play and you would see flashes of what he could become and a lot of coaches were impressed."

La Cañada's junior two-meter Bryce Hopkins (31 goals) and sophomore utility Peter Loakes (149 steals, 22 goals and 25 assists) also earned second-team honors. South Pas' top defender, Adrian Suarez (48 steals), also made Rio Hondo League's second team as a sophomore.

"Adrian became my primary defender and is one of the best I have ever seen at South Pas," Echeverria said. "I thought he should have been first team. Next year he will prove to the other coaches he belongs there."

Among the honorable mentions were Alden Geller (26 goals, 31 assists) and Omar Khawaja (21 goals, 21 assists) of the Spartans, Christian Deamer and Andrew Clauss from South Pasadena and the Titans' Brayden Richey and Thomas Rodgers.

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