Wednesday marked the last time Steve Feaver would coach Turlock High School’s boys water polo team.
“It was my last game of water polo,” Feaver said.
Although the Bulldogs played well, the effort wasn’t enough to overcome Oak Ridge High School as they fell 12- 9. The loss eliminates Turlock from the quarterfinals of the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs and will be remembered as the end of a career that spanned 39 seasons.
“It was not our best day, but we played pretty well,” Feaver said.
The Trojans took an early lead in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs quickly responded as Patrick O’Connor scored two goals to take the lead.
As the game progressed into the second quarter both teams maintained their scoring habits. O’Connor scored twice more and Morley Baker and Blake Phillips scored one goal apiece, tying it up again 6-6. The Trojans would score two more goals before the second quarter was over, however, going into halftime ahead 8-6.
“We just didn’t have the spark that we usually have,” Feaver said. “We got outplayed in the end.”
Three more goals from Turlock’s season scoring leader Phillips wouldn’t be enough to keep the Bulldogs alive. In the end the Trojans triumphed, but Feaver was proud of his team nonetheless.
“This team ranks among the best,” Feaver said. “The unity will stick out most to me. Everyone who played contributed to our success.
“I didn’t think about it too much until I talked with the kids afterward, then it hit me,” Feaver said of his last game with Turlock. “It’s been quite a ride.”
Feaver leaves a legacy of 15 winning teams, five of which went undefeated, and one section championship that came in 1990.
Although a new coach hasn’t been chosen for the Bulldogs, Feaver insists it is the players, not the coach, that make a successful team.
“There’s going to be some good young players to compliment the team next year,” Feaver said. “The future looks bright for the Bulldogs.”
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