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Bearer leads surge

Senior goalie has stepped up and helped lead Battle of the Bay victory against rival Newport Harbor.

October 30, 2010|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
(Scott Smeltzer…)

Bruce Bearer is a self-described sports junkie.

He's not just the senior goalie for the Corona del Mar High boys' water polo team. He's also the former basketball guard. One of his favorite activiities in his free time is to go golfing with dad.

"My life is basically athletics-based," Bearer said. "I love to play sports and follow sports. I've played everything."

The fall season means it's fantasy football time. Bearer has one of the top quarterbacks in the game on his squad, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.

Bearer, in turn, quarterbacks the defense for the Sea Kings. And the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week is getting better and better at that role.

He had 11 saves in the Sea Kings' Battle of the Bay win over rival Newport Harbor on Oct. 23. He followed that up three days later with a season-high 16 saves against Irvine, a win that all but clinched the Pacific Coast League title for CdM.

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The Sea Kings, ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division II poll, came out determined against the rival Sailors. Bearer, a team captain, said a performance like that was due.

"We felt like we needed to come together for one big game, and there was no better game than the Battle of the Bay," Bearer said. "We had a unanimous feeling that we just needed a big win. [Newport Harbor] is pretty notorious for their press, and I think we threw their press back at them. I think we came out with more energy."

Bearer brings energy for CdM to the pool, to the weight room or wherever else he goes. His teammates notice it, and so does CdM Coach Barry O'Dea.

Bearer shoulders the load — even with a sore shoulder.

"Bruce is one of the hardest-working players, day in and day out," O'Dea said. "His shoulder's been bothering him, but he doesn't complain. He does such a good job at getting himself prepared. He's become just a master at that. A lof of times your goalie is one of your better athletes on the team, and he definitely is that."

Bearer, a two-year starter on varsity, is in his fifth year playing goalie. Originally, when he first started playing water polo at age 9, he was a field player.

That changed when Ted Bandaruk, who runs the CdM youth program, approached him prior to his eighth-grade year.

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