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Water Polo: CdM Grey ready for action

Bailey-coached squad, a gold-medal threat at Junior Olympics, features nine players from Newport Beach.

July 26, 2013|By Matt Szabo
  • From left, Evan Zoernack, Ben Zepfel, Reid Chase, Colby Watson, Jake Wyatt and Jack Harryman are members of the CdM Grey team in the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics that begins Saturday.
From left, Evan Zoernack, Ben Zepfel, Reid Chase, Colby… (Don Leach, Daily…)

There are many reasons why the CdM Aquatics Grey 18-and-under boys' team plans to have a good time at this year's USA Water Polo Junior Olympics.

Two of the captains from last year's CdM high school team, Newport-Mesa Player of the Year Reid Chase (Stanford) and fellow Dream Team selection Colby Watson (USC), weighed in on a couple of them before CdM Grey played in a scrimmage Wednesday night at UC Irvine.

"It's fun, because we all know each other and we've played together for so long," Chase said.

Watson grinned as he gave a reason that was the exact opposite.

"This team's fun because we're meeting new people," Watson said, setting off loud laughter among the members of the team.

Chase and Watson actually are both right. They are joined on the team by a sizable CdM contingent, players like fellow recent graduates Jack Harryman (Pepperdine), Danny Marshall (UCLA), Armen Mavusi (UCLA) and Jake Wyatt (Brown). Incoming senior goalie Evan Zoernack and 2012 CdM graduate Ben Zepfel (Harvard) also play for CdM Grey.

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Yet, so do Newport Harbor graduate Dan Stevens (Harvard) and Los Alamitos graduates Connor Lees (Cal State Long Beach), Max Merrill (Cal) and goalie Luke Weiser (Brown), as well as Edison incoming senior Troy Oates.

Simply put, the CdM Grey team has a lot of talent. It is seeded third in the 18-and-under boys' championship bracket at the Junior Olympics, which are taking place at pools throughout Orange County from Saturday through Aug. 4. Session one, featuring boys' divisions and the 10-and-under girls' division, lasts through Tuesday. CdM Grey opens its tournament with games at Foothill High on Saturday.

The team's head coach is Ryan Bailey, a four-time Olympian who has been coaching at CdM for three years now. Evan Zepfel, Ben's older brother who played at CdM and Harvard for four years, is an assistant coach.

Bailey said he's excited, as this is the first year CdM Grey, tailored toward post-high school and collegiate players, is fielding teams at the Junior Olympics. CdM Grey also had a 22-and-under team planned, but that age division was scrapped for this year's Junior Olympics.

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