MWPA Releases Week One Players Of The Week
The Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA) has named seven District players of the week for week one - with one district not competing (Boys District One).
Hudsonville's Elsie Roberts, ELODH's Faye McInerney, Grand Blanc's Sarah Hartwell, and Ann Arbor Huron's Lydia Hargett were the girls players of the week while Rockford's Chay Chino, Birmingham Seaholm's Owen Gregg, and Ann Arbor Pioneer's Matt Kugler were the Boys Players of the week. The breakdowns of their weeks are below.
District 1, Girls | Elsie Roberts - #1 ranked Hudsonville Eagles
Over the past several seasons, Ian Hewett's defense has been so good (four state titles in a row in case you wondered), that his good goalies haven't gotten as much credit as they deserved for their timely stops. Elsie Roberts however, was busier than most this week - the first year varsity starter in her first weekend on the job made 72 stops for an 82.2 percent save percentage which is purely absurd considering she saw four top ten teams and held now #2 Ann Arbor Huron to two goals. She also dropped three assists, had three steals, and helped the Eagles to a 3-0-1. Maybe get this kid some ice and a day off. You ever been hit by a water polo shot? They do not tickle, we'll tell you that.
District 2, Girls | Faye McInerney- #5 ranked ELODH Co-Op
A familiar face appears! The 2021 All-Stater got off to a roaring start to the 2022 season with six goals, 11 steals and three drawn exclusions in three games. Keep in mind, McInerney did all that without her head coach and a few key members of the squad who were off in the Golden State at ODP this past weekend. McInerney did all this in a weekend where they played #1 Hudsonville to a one-goal game, took down #5 East Grand Rapids, and narrowly lost to the newly ranked East Kentwood Falcons - her schedule was nothing short of tough.
District 2, Boys | Chay Chino - #5 ranked Rockford Rams
First of all, check out the power name on this kid. Definitely an MWPA-All Name Teamer. Also he's good at water polo. The Rams went out of state to get their reps in this weekend, and in a tough Illinois tournament field, Chay Chino (we love writing it!) represented the Great State of Michigan well. Chino scored eight times with 10 steals, three drawn exclusions and a pair of helpers for Craig Peterman's Rams. Peterman noted that with some of the major losses at the end of last season to the roster, he was looking to see who would stand out early - I think Mr. Chino, you may have done that. Nice work.
District 3, Girls | Sarah Hartwell - (RV) Grand Blanc
Another All-Stater from 2021, Sarah Hartwell picked up RIGHT where she left off last season for the upstart Bobcats - who started the year well outside the polls, and are now kicking at the door after a strong opening weekend. Hartwell scored 11 times, had 12 steals, drew three exclusions and added six assists for Emily Overmyer's Bobcats who beat district foes Seaholm and Groves by double-digits and suffered a narrow loss to the now ranked Pioneers of Ann Arbor Pioneer. This is a team with a very real shot to make some Grand Blanc history this year.
District 3, Boys | Owen Gregg - Birmingham Seaholm Maples
It was an opening weekend the Maples used to learn a bit about what they had, after losing big offensive production to graduation, Owen Gregg stepped to the forefront for Josh Stephen's Seaholm squad. Taking on three teams on the East Side (all ranked) Gregg scored nine times, added seven steals and two assists. The Maples may have walked out feeling a bit down about the results - but Josh Stephens now knows a bit more about this group and Gregg gives the Maples a good young playmaker to build around.
District 4, Girls | Lydia Hargett - #2 ranked Ann Arbor Huron River Rats
Rat Stats for you (we told you we'd have Rat Rhymes!) Lydia Hargett had a very unfriendly 2.00 goals against average last weekend in the East Grand Rapids Earlybird tournament....ALL AGAINST RANKED TEAMS. SHEESH. She knocked aside 32 shots, blocked a five meter, and gave everyone that thinks they know what Ann Arbor Huron is, something to think about. One thing for sure, Mary Chatigny knows with the experienced goaltending and offensive star-power, the Rats are deadly. Also we're not really sure what a "River Rat" actually is (except for being a sick mascot), but we know one thing: This writer has absolutely zero intention in trying to get in a pool and compete with it in Water Polo.
District 4, Boys | Matt Kugler - #2 ranked Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers
You know what never gets old? Don Packard, apparently. Also his ability to get the most out of everyone on the roster - such is the case with Matt Kugler in goal this past weekend at the Pioneer Earlybird. While he wasn't overly busy in the frame - he made 14 stops, including nine in a game. This in a weekend where the Pioneers went 3-0, with a 2-0 mark against ranked teams (and one just outside the poll), and scored in double digits in every game. One thing Kugler gives the Pioneer's that not every team has: Good goaltending depth. Of Kugler, Packard noted his team-first approach and what he brings to the group outside of the pool. We love that.