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Pride water polo: Young and striving
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Pitmans Max Rodriguez takes a shot against the opposing goalie during Fridays CCC Water Polo Tournament. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Pitman Boys Water Polo Schedule

Sept. 20: v. Golden Valley, 3 p.m.

Sept. 25: v. Merced, 3 p.m.

Sept. 27: @ Buhach Colony, 3 p.m.

Sept. 28-29: @ Sunnyside Tourney, TBA

Oct. 2: @ Turlock, 4:15 p.m.

Oct. 9: v. Atwater, 3 p.m.

Oct. 11: @ Golden Valley, 3 p.m.

Oct. 16: @ Merced, 3 p.m.

Oct. 18: v. Buhach Colony, 3 p.m.

Oct. 19-20: @ DeLong Tourney, TBA

Oct. 25: v. Turlock, 4:15 p.m.


The boys water polo team of Pitman High did well last season, finishing in the upper tier of the Central California Conference. This year the Pride hopes to return to that position but to do so they will have to rally their team around first year head coach Ryan Bullard and transition into his new system.

With only two returning players with varsity experience that task will be difficult but not impossible. Ian Belloli and Michael Montalvo have been assigned with leadership positions and so far they’ve done well by their team and their coach.

“They’re the ones that have the most varsity experience,” Bullard said of his returners. “But we’re pretty young so we’re still working on things.”

The Pride’s inexperience emerged Wednesday during their first CCC matchup and loss against Atwater High. But like any young team Pitman learned from its shortcomings, bouncing back on Friday during the first day of the CCC Tournament where the team went 1-1.

Pitman’s future success will depend on the ability of its juniors, such as Max Rodriguez and Nathan Hildebrand, to assimilate into Bullard’s new defensive scheme as well as the speed of varsity competition.

“We have an odd-mix of everything right now; I think that’s our strength,” Bullard said.

Pitman will continue their growth today during the second day of the CCC tournament before hosting Golden Valley High on Thursday.