Umansky head of the class

Estancia senior, who leads Newport-Mesa in scoring, hopes to end high school polo career with CIF run.

October 22, 2010|By Matt Szabo,
(Scott Smeltzer…)

Charlie Umansky is one of the best athletes at Estancia High.

He's played varsity water polo, basketball, track and field, swimming and even surfed for the Eagles. And he's not one to brag, but the senior is also one of the best in the classroom.

Umansky said he has a 4.67 grade-point average. He's in three Advanced Placement classes — English, U.S. Government and Macroeconomics.

"If I don't mess up, I'll be valedictorian," Umansky said. "I'm on track, I guess you could say."

The straight path is similar to the ball leaving Umansky's arm in a water polo game. Regardless of the opponent, Umansky usually finds his target in the back of the net.

The Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week has an area-best 88 goals in 20 games this year (4.4 per game) for the Eagles. He scored five in a big 9-8 victory over Saddleback last week, keeping the Eagles in second place in the Orange Coast League.


If Estancia (15-5, 3-1 in league) can beat cross-town rival Costa Mesa on Wednesday at home, it will likely finish all alone in second. That should help lead to a better seeding in the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs.

Umansky, a versatile four-year starter, has been in the midst of it all.

"He's improved every year, obviously," Coach John Carpenter said. "This year he's really determined. He wants to do really well in CIF."

Umansky has chemistry in the pool with fellow senior Preston Schow, who transferred from Mater Dei two summers ago. While Umansky is the most obvious standout as a goal-scorer, he also prefers to give credit to other senior teammates like Matt Thome, Asher Twardowsky and goalie Conner Graham.

They present quite a formidable core for Estancia. And players like junior Derek Andrews, who scored the game-winner against Saddleback and also had three goals in a win over Sage Hill on Wednesday, have stepped up as well.

The Eagles are a long way removed from winning just seven total games in 2007 and '08, Umansky's freshman and sophomore years.

"I think I definitely got a head start, playing with Jeff Crosson and Tyler Wayman when I was a freshman," Umansky said. "It just helped. I think I've improved in all areas, but I don't know, I've seen improvement with everyone since our freshman year. There's a core group of freshmen that are here right now, with me, Matt, Conner and Asher. When they were sophomores, they were on varsity too. We've been here for a few years, and we're beating teams now."

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