Eagles seeking surprise

September 06, 2004

Bryce Alderton

Estancia High boys water polo coach John Carpenter wants his players

ready for anything. He also wants them prepared to do everything once

the season begins this fall.

Both scenarios should include mastering such skills as taking

turns firing on goal or blocking shots in the cage, as well as the

ability to focus on strategy as much as the physical demands of the



Carpenter, entering his 25th season at the helm, inherits an

experienced corps that includes seven returners he hopes will keep

defenses constantly guessing.

"The thing you don't want is to get into a vanilla game where the

ball goes in set, to the driver, and then to the right," Carpenter

said. "You want to mix it up a little bit ... single set, double set,

no set. Every year, we try something different. We have done no-set

offenses in the past."

Carpenter said the Eagles worked on the counterattack during a

summer that included a 10-5 record in tournaments.

"We have good overall team speed," Carpenter said.

One of the Eagles' faster players is junior Chad Kunert, who

scored more than 30 goals last season, Carpenter said.

Kunert and senior co-captain Sean Goodman, both entering their

third varsity season, figure to be the Eagles' top two offensive

threats, Carpenter said.

Goodman scored roughy 60 goals as the Eagles went 9-11, 2-4 in the

Golden West League, last season.

Estancia returners also include seniors Matt Metkovich, who will

also enter his third varsity season, and Richard McElveny, along with

juniors C.J. Buchmann, Danny Alderete, Devon Mellin and co-captain

Scott Hulett.

Alderete is a threat at two meters, Carpenter said, while McElveny

will make the switch to starting goalkeeper, taking the place of

Nathan Marsteller, who started the last three seasons.

McElveny, primarily a field player, saw limited time in goal last

season, but made strides this summer.

"[McElveny] improved a lot," Carpenter said. "He is quick."

Carpenter also expects junior Brock McDonald, who played on the

junior varsity team last season, to see adequate time on varsity this


The Eagles have been holding their preseason workouts at Costa

Mesa's pool to allow crews to make needed repairs to fiberglass

sections peeling off in Estancia's pool.

Carpenter expected the Eagles to be back in their own pool by

Tuesday at the latest in preparation for their Sept. 14 opener

against visiting Savannah.

Carpenter hopes the Eagles can earn one of the top three places in

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