The Huron water polo team recently competed a very successful 2019 season, having a lot of fun and compiling a 31-16-1 overall record along the way.
The Rats played a demanding schedule including away tournaments at Rockford (2), Grand Haven and Bowling Green Ohio as well as some closer to home.
Highlights include fielding two varsity teams in the Golden Knight Invitational in Bowling Green Ohio and a win by the “A” team over eventual 3rd place finisher in Pennsylvania, Cathedral Prep. Other highlights included a 4-0 weekend at the Pioneer Invite, a last-second win over Pioneer and solid performances at the Regional Tournament including a close, hard fought win over Holt/EL and a heartbreaking overtime loss to Dexter.
The Rats concluded the year by finishing in 5th place at the MWPA High School State Water Polo Tournament last weekend.
The Rats faced Rockford on Friday night and came out a bit flat losing 15-2 to a strong Ram squad.
“Two days of missed practice due to snow days and a lineup limited by a player having to sit out as a result of a ‘red card’ penalty in the final game at Regionals did not help the Rats cause in that contest,” said Coach Paul Barnett. “We played hard but never quite got on track.”
Seniors Manit Patel and Ben Hires notched the goals for Huron.
As a result of the loss on Friday night the Rats moved to compete in the the 5th- 8th place bracket. They faced Grand Haven on Saturday morning, a team they had lost to twice during the regular season. The now full strength Rats played very well and dominated the contest picking up a 13-9 win over the Buccaneers.
The Rats got 4 goals from Edwin Barnett, 4 from Dylan Schmitzerle, 3 from Sean Underwood and 1 each from Patel and Hires.
The final game of the tournament was the 5th place game against Zeeland. The Rats led by their strong 7 person senior class, emerged victorious. Barnett tallied 8 goals, with 6 from Schmitzerle and 1 each from Hires and Patel.
“Overall, it was a very fun and successful year for the Rats,” Coach Barnett said.
The Rats were led by a strong senior class including Edwin Barnett, Dylan Schmitzerle, Sean Underwood, goaltender Nick Kaipanen, Ben Hires, Manit Patel and George Gueorguiev.
Post Season honors
Dylan Schmitzerle – All East Region- 1st Team; All East Region Tournament- 1st Team; All State -1st Team; All State Tournament -1st Team
Edwin Barnett – All East Region -1st Team; All East Region Tournament – Honorable Mention; All State- Honorable Mention
Sean Underwood – All East Region Tournament- 2nd Team