OR water polo squad slowly coming together

By: Nick Pecoraro Telegraph Correspondent
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The Oak Ridge water polo team has gone back and forth, leveling out the wins and losses column thus far in its 2012 season. Coach Don McCormick will tell you that the Trojans are in a very positive place at this point of the season. “We’re starting to gel as a team,” he said. “We struggled in our first few games, but over the last few games, we’ve played some high-quality teams and everyone on our team has been contributing.” The Trojans took a 3-4 record into the Woodcreek Invitational Tournament over the weekend hoping to swing some forward momentum into the grind of Sacramento Valley League play. Oak Ridge kicked off the tourney with a 14-8 win over Christian Brothers, which preceded a tight, sudden-death victory over St. Mary’s. Senior captain Brian Cole came up with the huge goal in sudden death to give Oak Ridge the 5-4 victory over the Rams. Saturday’s action saw Oak Ridge fall 13-3 against Granite Bay before losing 13-4 against El Camino in the battle for third place. The Trojans went 2-2 to finish fourth in the Woodcreek tournament out of a field of 32 teams. “We played some of the best teams in the area. It showed us where we stand against some of the upper echelon teams so we have a little more work to do,” said McCormick. “We have great teamwork going for us right now. If one guy’s tired, another guy picks him up and does all the dirty work.” Cole has been the team’s leading scorer so far while the Trojans have also gotten solid offensive and defensive contributions from, among others, Bryan Bare, and Kasian Strawick from the goalkeeper position. Oak Ridge continues league play this week, hosting Monterey Trail on Wednesday before traveling to Reno for a few more exhibition games. “Our hard work is going to pay off. The gelling of our team is very noticeable, to the point where we’ve gotten compliments from other coaches,” said McCormick. “I like how we’re not relying on one guy and how everyone on this team is contributing. Our record doesn’t indicate where we are but to be 5-6, I’m very pleased.”