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  • Writer's pictureMWPA News Wire

Week 8 Players of the Week

The Michigan Water Polo Association has named its eight players of the week for the final time of the 2022 Spring Season.

On the girls side, Grandville's Isabelle Bargenquast, Rockford's Adrianna Alcala, Grand Blanc's Lydia Ferguson, and Ann Arbor Huron's Emma Kaipainen were players of the week. Boys players of the week were Grand Haven's Garrett Barry, Rockford's Christian Wagen, Walled Lake's Tyler Hulka and Ann Arbor Pioneer's Luke Packard earned the honors.

Below is a breakdown of the week that was for each athlete.


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District 1, Girls | Isabelle Bargenquast - Grandville Bulldogs

The Bulldogs needed to defeat a team they'd beaten in a road overtime thriller just four days prior to advance to the District 1 Championship Game. Moreover, it was a top ten team, and a good one. Isabelle Bargenquast helped the Bulldogs achieve that feat as they made the District 1 Championship game and made that game a bit of a heart attack - falling by just two to #1 Hudsonville in a 7-5 loss. Bargenquast tallied eight times, drew nine exclusions, had six steals and three assists for Aubrie Scott and Chloe Graverson's Bulldogs last week. A productive week for a team that needed it.

District 1, Boys | Garrett Barry - Grand Haven Buccaneers

Gradually, the Buccaneers have come on and played some really good water polo of late, and just look at those numbers - it's clear Garrett Barry is big reason for that. Barry hit the triple-double with 15 goals, 18 steals, 11 assists and eight drawn exclusions. Further, Grand Haven rebounded from a district seed loss to Jenison to defeat the J-Cats and finish in the top two of District 1, a game in which good defense was plentiful - as seen by Garrett's numbers above for. Bill Hamm will need similar of his guys if he's to return to the state tournament again this year.

District 2, Girls | Adrianna Alcala - Rockford Rams

This is the time of year you need kids that can grind it out. They might be lower scoring games where each possession means just a little more, and having a good strong center defender is a huge plus. Enter Adrianna Alcala, who plays that position for perhaps the state's hottest team right now. Per Katie Clarin, the stats don't tell the whole story of her defensive impact in the District 2 tournament, where they scrapped their way past ELODH and defeated East Grand Rapids to claim the District's top prize.

District 2, Girls | Christian Wagen - Rockford Rams

MWPA All-Name Team for SURE for THE WAGEN. Dude is a stud - he scored 14 goals, had 15 steals, six assists and drew five exclusions as the Rams kept their hold on District 2 with yet another District title. Wagen has helped lead a surging Rockford to a shot to be one of jus two 30-win teams this season, and with a deadly West Regional Tournament path ahead, the Rams will need Wagen and company to be rolling if they want a shot to add another title to a crowded case of trophies.

District 3, Girls | Lydia Ferguson - Grand Blanc Bobcats

Last week, all she did was push Grand Blanc to the edge of program history - a win Friday, and the Bobcats are headed for their first ever state tournament. More than that, Ferguson helped Grand Blanc to their first EVER District Championship as they rolling through District 3 in emphatic fashion. Ferguson's 18 steals pair nicely with nine goals, six assists and three drawn exclusions. A lot happened for Grand Blanc last week. It's definitely been a ton to digest - but Ferguson and the Bobcats don't plan for this week to be the last of the history-making.

District 3, Boys | Tyler Hulka - Walled Lake Cobras

Quietly, Hulka has put together a very strong season for the much-improved Cobras. Playing for a former (good) Walled Lake goalie himself in Sean Collins, Hulka pairs good blocking ability with a big arm - he scored three times (all in 7 on 6 situations) for the Cobras last week, dropped six assists, and had four steals for Walled Lake who finished third in District 3. The Cobras have the tall task of Ann Arbor Skyline in front of them for a bid to the state tournament, but a goalie can always make things interesting.

District 4, Girls | Emma Kaipainen - Ann Arbor Huron River Rats

There's NOTHING quiet about Emma Kaipainen's ability. 28 goals last week would be eye popping without the 17 steals and 15 assists. She's been on an absolute tear this season - racking up monstrous goal totals, defending at a high skill level. Honestly, we've run out of superlatives for Emma. She's absurd. Ridiculous. Borderline unfair. Mary Chatigny's sights are on far more than just making states - having in most if not all games, what is the best player in the water, is a big boost to those hopes.

District 4, Boys | Luke Packard - Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers

Every single positive cliche about a player that is the child of a coach applies to Luke's last week of polo. Dogged determination, grit, attention to detail, great at both ends of the pool. One source said to us "It's the best I've ever seen this kid play - he was unbeatable." Pretty high praise for Luke Packard who helped Ann Arbor Pioneer to a District title, upsetting Ann Arbor Skyline. Danger lurks ahead for Don Packard and the Pioneers - win their way to the Regional title game and they could in fact again see those Eagles for the East Regional Championship.

About District Players of the Week: District Players of the Week are nominated by head coaches weekly through a form including statistical and circumstantial information. The District Players of the Week are chosen by an impartial group if there are multiple entrants within each District.

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