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CdM doesn't lose step with Bailey

Former Sea Kings' boys' coach has helped with smooth transition from Chaney for girls' team.

July 31, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Scott Smeltzer…)

June and July have been memorable months for Sam Bailey.

On June 7, Bailey became an uncle for the first time. A day later, Corona del Mar High named Bailey as its new girls' water polo coach.

Bailey has not even coached the Sea Kings for two months this summer and the disciple of the program's former coach, Aaron Chaney, has the team playing at a high level.

The Sea Kings on Sunday reached the final of the California State High School Championships. The title appearance marked the second one at a premier tournament for CdM in an eight-day span.

The Sea Kings' next event takes them to Los Angeles County to compete in the S&R Sport USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics. This time, Bailey will not be around to lead the teenagers.

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The 33-year-old is leading another cause that is dear to his heart.

While the Sea Kings prepare today for the four-day tournament that starts on Thursday, Bailey plans to be in the air for 10 hours. His flight is to Ecuador, where for the next three weeks he and four dozen volunteers will try to empower communities.

Bailey is the founder of Eco Surf Volunteers and he and his staff do not just ride waves while in Ecuador. The organization is in its third year, and every time Bailey visits, he wants to help the people of Canoa.

"We teach English through arts and crafts to elementary kids," Bailey said. "The organization is designed to help educate the kids, provide material and financial support to the schools.

"Most of these people depend on the fishing industry. The new industry is tourism and outside investors want to take over the local economy. I want the locals to have a say."

Reaching out to Ecuadorians is important to Bailey. He said this is the last time he probably can in person because the job at CdM is going to be a 12-month commitment.

When Bailey took over one of the elite programs in Orange County, he said he informed CdM of his prior commitment to Ecuador. Bailey said school officials were OK with him leaving.

Bailey said he feels the Sea Kings are going to be all right without him for three weeks.

Taking the reins during the four days at the S&R Sport USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics is Bailey's assistant, Christina Hewko. Bailey knows Hewko well and trusts her. Bailey coached Hewko at CdM during her senior season in 2003, when Bailey was an assistant under Chaney.

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