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Mustangs' Ferris doesn't take game days off

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Costa Mesa senior, who scored 10 goals against Estancia, has blossomed into a big-time scorer for Mustangs.

October 05, 2012|By Matt Szabo
  • Costa Mesa High senior Wyatt Ferris is the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week.
Costa Mesa High senior Wyatt Ferris is the Daily Pilot… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

Wyatt Ferris used to be a quarterback in Pop Warner football.

With his height, he could certainly see over the defense, but there was something that he said held him back. He couldn't always remember the plays.

"I'd remember some, but I'd get them mixed up and sometimes just forget them straight out," Ferris said.

Fast forward some years, and Ferris no longer needs to remember plays on the gridiron. He is a senior leader for the Costa Mesa High boys' water polo team, and he is on fire.

Ferris, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week, scored a career-high 10 goals last week as the Mustangs bested rival Estancia, 17-3, in the Orange Coast League opener for both schools.

He was not done. He scored eight goals on Wednesday as the Mustangs defeated Saddleback, 16-4, in another key league game.

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A day after the game he had leader-type things to say, even though the game could have been expected to be tight. The teams played two close games over the summer, and Saddleback won both.

"I was expecting to come out strong," Ferris said. "I expected it from my team, and I knew that they expected it from themselves too."

What Coach Justin Taylor expects from Ferris, a three-year varsity starter, is a strong all-around game. He can both play at and defend two meters. Lately he hasn't been doing that as much, as Taylor prefers Ferris on the perimeter so he can counterattack with ease.

It wasn't always that way. When Ferris played on varsity as a sophomore he was primarily a defensive player. But last year he exploded to score a team-high 93 goals, which ranked him 13th on Mesa's all-time list.

"Last year he really came into his own and had a breakout season," Taylor said. "I guess I was a little surprised last year when his offensive game developed as well as it did. I think he realized that he was capable of playing a more well-rounded game. James [Lewis] and Wyatt fed off each other very well."

Ferris said he expected Lewis, then a senior, to lead the team in scoring. But he said Lewis is quick to remind him that he missed a couple of games due to injury.

"He had a higher average [per game], so he likes to say he had more goals than me," Ferris said, smiling.

Now the Mustangs have young pieces like sophomores Deighton Tachiki-Urias and Nick Lewis, but Ferris is undoubtedly the leading scorer. He has a league-high 44 goals for Costa Mesa (9-2), on his way to another season near triple-digits.

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