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Boys' Water Polo Dream Team: South did it all for Sailors

More than just a hard shot, senior was a leader for Newport Harbor. He earns Newport-Mesa Player of the Year award, highlighting area's best.

December 24, 2011|By Matt Szabo
(Don Leach / Daily…)

Some of the most valuable respect a person can get is from his peers.

As team captain, Newport Harbor High senior Farrel South had that from his Sailors' teammates.

In a broader sense, South had respect from his water polo-playing peers across CIF for his considerable skills. He had some La Cañada players standing behind the announcer's table buzzing during a CIF Southern Section Division I semifinal game Nov. 16 against El Toro.

South had two blistering shots in the fourth quarter, scoring each time to bring the Sailors closer. Those La Cañada players were still taking about that second rocket shot from the right wing minutes later.

Though the Sailors came up a goal short in that game, it wasn't due to lack of effort. And South's efforts this year helped Newport Harbor achieve plenty in Coach Robert Lynn's first year at the helm.

South is the Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year in boys' water polo. The only repeat Dream Team selection from last year showed he was this year's best player after helping Newport Harbor go 25-2 and win the Sunset League.

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"Going 25-2, to me, I thought it was a very, very good season," South said. "Even though we couldn't pull it out in the semis, we played our hearts out. I probably wouldn't change anything about the season. I thought we grew stronger, as individuals and as a team. I thought we competed very, very well."

South, who led the team with 85 goals, earned respect elsewhere as well. He was the Sunset League Player of the Year and a first-team All-CIF Division I selection. He helped Newport Harbor win two of three in-season tournaments, the S&R Sport Cup and the Finis Memorial Cup. At the latter tournament he was named MVP.

He showed up in big games, scoring a game-high four goals in a Battle of the Bay win over Corona del Mar. He was a three-year starter, but progressed so much in those three years, despite recently dealing with tendinitis in his shoulder.

"My sophomore year I was a role player," South said. "I was the runt on the team, basically. I was the youngest one on the varsity team. I kind of had to do whatever I was told to do ... I think every year was really rewarding. From my sophomore year until now, I think I've become a better player, a better team player. My offensive skills have gotten a lot better, as well as my defensive skills."

At times this year, South would guard two meters. Nobody on the coaching staff needed to tell him to do so.

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