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Daily Pilot Boys' Water Polo Dream Team: Sea Kings were Chase pack

Corona del Mar senior team captain highlights Newport-Mesa Dream Team as Player of the Year.

December 26, 2012|By Matt Szabo
  • Reid Chase, who led Corona del Mar High in 2012, is the Daily Pilot's Newport-Mesa Player of the Year.
Reid Chase, who led Corona del Mar High in 2012, is the Daily… (Scott Smeltzer )

Just five days after the season ended for his Corona del Mar High boys' water polo team, senior Reid Chase was on a plane for Singapore.

Chase headed overseas for training, prior to the inaugural FINA Youth World Championships in Perth, Australia. When he arrived down under, he discovered that he would be trying something new at the tournament for Team USA, coached by former Newport Harbor head man Jason Lynch.

Lynch had Chase guarding at two meters, something he rarely did in high school.

"The two-meter men I was playing against were just massively big," said Chase, who helped the U.S. finish eighth in the tournament. "The level of play up there was a lot different, and I feel like I became a much better player up there and more experienced. This is like the first time I've ever played two-meter guard. I had to adapt to it, but I picked it up pretty quickly."

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Versatility always was a strength for Chase, the 2012 Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year. In many ways he stepped up for the Sea Kings (23-7), helping them win the Pacific Coast League and advance to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinals.

Chase, the league MVP and a first-team All-CIF Division 1 selection, led CdM with 84 goals and also contributed 31 assists and 36 steals.

"You could count on him," CdM Coach Barry O'Dea said. "He was going to come through. He came through for us in the biggest occasions, not only on the scoreboard. He was a guy who could put up goals, played great defense, counterattacked. He embraced the role — he really wanted to be that guy."

Chase, a repeat Dream Team honoree, is the cousin of 2011 Newport-Mesa girls' Player of the Year Alex Musselman, a goalie who is now at UCLA. He was one of four team captains for the Sea Kings boys, and definitely a leader.

He showed a sign of things to come over the summer, when he was tournament MVP as CdM captured the Pan Pacific tournament in New Zealand. He also helped CdM win an in-season tournament, the FINIS Memorial Cup in San Jose.

And, when the Sea Kings needed him most, he delivered one of his best games of the season. Chase had a game-high four goals and three steals as the Sea Kings rallied to stun rival Newport Harbor, 7-6, in a Division 1 quarterfinal on Nov. 10.

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