Braves Lasso the Vaqueros

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BALDWIN PARK, CALIFORNIA– On September 8,  the Baldwin Park Braves Varsity Water Polo team played their first home game of the season against the Rancho Alamitos’ Vaqueros, and won 11-6.

img_7071Coach Thomas Kersher was very confident that playing at home would give his boys a boost in their spirits, and his predictions proved true. With a total of 11 successful goals and 8 attempts the Braves’ hard work paid off.

Before the game started, a couple dozen Baldwin Park High School students filled the bleachers on the pool deck and cheered on their fellow Braves for the duration of the game.

The game started with junior Rudy Muńoz kicking up white water while racing towards the ball. He easily gained possession of the ball for the first quarter. Within a few minutes, the Braves worked together and were able to set up the opportunity for Oscar Barragan to make the first goal of the game. After multiple exchanges of possession, Muńoz was able to score another goal for the Braves, with only 1:00 left on the clock, leaving the Braves in the lead with a score of 2-0.

Managing to catch a few breathes before the second quarter, Rudy Muńoz sprinted full force towards the half tank and captured the ball to bring it into play. This quarter was certainly nail biting, with multiple exclusions called on both teams. However, the Braves worked together and were able to score five more goals, including a shot made by senior Ryan Valdez, with only 0.05 seconds left in the quarter and on the shot clock. By the end of the second quarter, the score was 7 to 1.img_7025

Despite their tactic of always playing defense, as in their previous games, the team felt more aggressive and chose a more offensive approach.

Feeling a little more at ease with a six point cushion, the Braves used the third quarter as an opportunity to recharge for the fourth quarter. As a result, the Vaqueros were able to score 2 goals, pushing the score to 9 to 3.

Baldwin Park’s goalie, Casey Booker, played an excellent game, blocking a majority of the attempts made by Rancho’s tiring offense.

At the start of the fourth quarter, captain Isaiah Rangel shot past the waving arms of the opposing team. Closing the game with the last shot, Barragan scored once again on the Vaquero’s goalie, closing the game with a score of 11 to 6.

As the highest scorer, Oscar Barragan is confident that this game was the big break he and his teammates needed. “I think what was such a game changer in comparison to the previous games, was that all of us didn’t hesitate as much when it came to shooting.”

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