For the second straight season, Sobrato High is the only high school in Morgan Hill fielding a water polo program.
The Bulldogs played in the Covid spring season but Live Oak did not, and nothing has changed for the fall 2021 season. The Bulldogs’ girls program has a junior varsity squad up and swimming again, a positive sign that numbers are back after many student-athletes chose not to compete last year.
“It’s nice to have a JV team because those girls need to learn how to play so they can step up to play varsity in the future years,” said Kyle Edgar, who is in his first season as the Sobrato girls water polo coach. “It’s a good opportunity for them to learn the game.”
Edgar is a familiar name locally, as he graduated from Live Oak High in 2016. Currently attending San Jose State, Edgar assisted with the boys team in the spring. When former coach Scott Jackson stepped down, Edgar came in. He likes the makeup of the girls squad because the players work hard and take instruction well.
Edgar points to the team’s improvement from a loss to Salinas to start the season to a blowout win over Lincoln on Sept. 8.
“You can tell everything they’re learning in practice they used in the Lincoln match,” Edgar said. “I told the girls we’re really well rounded where everyone on the team has a role and is important. Everyone is useful, which is always nice to see.”
Junior hole-set Abby Humphrey has been a prolific goal scorer and plays a physical style that is necessary for the position.
“Abby is a great athlete and a team leader,” Edgar said. “She is tough and able to fight people off and gain separation.”
Senior Katie Parker has also shined as a goal scorer and gives the team an added dimension as a left-handed player.
“Having a lefty on the weak side of the pool is advantageous because they have a better shot on that side compared to a right-hander,” Edgar said. “It also helps on offense to have all the angles available.”
Parker also defends the team’s opposing hole-set, which plays a critical role in a team’s success.
“Without her defense, a lot of goals are being scored against us,” Edgar said.
The Bulldogs have been without the services of goalie Izzy Hasse, though Edgar is hopeful the senior will be able to suit up soon. In the meantime, Sofia Aliamus stepped up in a big way in place of Hasse against Lincoln.
The senior played the final three quarters and came up with several saves. Aliamus is a field player, but showed her versatility by playing in goal.
“I was very happy Sofia stepped up in that role,” Edgar said. “Goalie is not a position a lot of field players like to play so I try not to force it upon anybody. But she did well.”
Outside of the aforementioned players, the roster includes Holland Adam, Zurie Adam, Danielle Jerez, Melina Kwarcinski, Maelani O’Connor, Maile Ryan, Delci Sawyer and Eileen Tran.