The La Canada High and Flintridge Prep boys' water polo teams both had a lot to celebrate this past season.
Along with doing well in their respective leagues, the squads also enjoyed productive results in the CIF Southern Section playoffs in their separate divisions.
The Spartans and Rebels added to their season accomplishments Monday when the All-CIF selections were released. While La Cañada boasted five of its players honored with All-CIF nods in Division III, Flintridge Prep garnered three selections in Division V.
Making the first team for the Spartans were senior utilities Chase Borisoff and Symeon Stefan, while senior driver Alden Geller and senior hole/set Bryce Hopkins were named to the second team and junior 2-meter defender Peter Loaks made the third team.
For the Rebels, junior attacker/utility Ethan Vandeventer earned a first-team nod, senior goalkeeper Brian Khin made the second team and sophomore attacker/utility Diego Delgado made the third team.
“It is unprecedented for us as a program to have this kind of representation within an All-CIF team,” Flintridge Prep Coach Dan Hare said. “This is a whole new level for us and our players to even be involved in these types of conversations. I’m just honored and the team is honored.”
Hare directed his team to season of improvement. The Rebels (17-9) placed second in the Prep League after a fourth-place showing in 2011. Flintridge Prep also advanced to the Division V quarterfinals after falling in the first round a year earlier.
Vandeventer, Khin and Delgado helped fuel that turnaround. A first-team All-Prep League pick, Vandeventer tallied 64 goals to go along with 37 assists and 58 steals. Khin was also a first-team all-league pick after recording 151 saves, 11 assists and 35 steals. Delgado, a second-team all-league selection, had 54 goals, 30 assists and 47 steals.
“We’re just excited to have our players honored, and they worked hard for this,” Hare said. “And it’s also nice that we will have six of seven starters returning next year.”
In a program that has a long tradition of success in league and in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, La Cañada wrote another impressive chapter this past season. Along with capturing the Rio Hondo League championship under first-year coach Devon Borisoff, the Spartans (23-9) also advanced to their first CIF title match since 2008, where they lost to Martin Luther King.
Chase Borisoff and Stefan had wildly successful seasons in helping the Spartans thrive, as the two shared the league co-most valuable player honor. While Borisoff tallied 108 goals, 135 assists, 47 steals and 78 drawn ejections, Stefan scored a team-high 142 goals to go along with 52 steals.
“It’s a great honor for all of us to be able to make it,” Stefan said. “I think all of our players on our team who made it really deserved it. It’s a great award to have and I’m just thankful to my coach for putting us up for All-CIF.”
Said Borisoff: “An award like this is usually based on individual accomplishments, but I believe we were also honored because of the success we had as a team. We had a true team effort, and there wasn’t one or two superstars, everyone contributed.”
A first-team all-league honoree, Geller finished with 77 goals and 42 steals, Hopkins, who also made the all-league first team, scored 47 goals and had 38 steals and 37 ejections drawn and Loaks, an all-league honorable mention, had 27 goals, 39 assists and 67 steals.
“There are no kids that have worked harder at our school than these kids worked this season,” Devon Borisoff said. “I know other sports work hard, but these guys were dedicated and they put five and six hours into practice or going over things like video trying to get better as a team.
“They understood the expectations that we have at La Cañada, and those expectations are very high. Our goal every year is to win a CIF championship and the guys really bought into what we were trying to accomplish.”