BEAR RIVER HIGH – By Tate Atkin, Headliner Sports Editor, April 27, 2022
The Bear River High water polo teams had a very successful week with both the girls’ and the boys’ teams going undefeated. They look to use that recent success to propel them into their upcoming postseason play.
On April 19, the Bears battled Cache. The matchup was one that Bear River head coach Danny Esplin had circled on his calendar as a tough game for both squads. The boys' team played well and came out on top with a big 15-8 win. The girls' game was much closer. The teams were tied going into the fourth quarter until the Bears scored three goals and kept that lead to the end of the game for the win, 10-7.
“It was a great win. The girls showed grit,” Esplin said about the girls’ team performance.
Next up for Bear River was a matchup against Wasatch High on April 20. Both the teams roughed up Wasatch and sent them home with losses. The boys’ team defeated Wasatch, 21-7 while the girls beat Wasatch, 19-7.
The Bears ended the week against Ogden High. The girls dominated the entire game coming out victorious against the Tigers, 21-5. The boys' game was a bit closer on the scoreboard for a 10-2 win, but the Bears dominated throughout the competition. Ogden wasn't allowed a score until halfway through the fourth quarter.
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“The game we played was a good, physical battle, but our defense was relentless,” Esplin said when talking about the win.
Bear River now turns their sights on the postseason. This weekend they will play their final games before the state tournaments as they compete in the Jesse Kochel Cup being held in Salt Lake City.
The boys will face two of the top-5 ranked teams with Skyline High on Thursday, April 28, and Murray High on Friday and finish the weekend against Canyon View High on Saturday, April 30, who they split the season series with 1-1.
The Lady Bears will compete against Murray High (who is right above Bear River in the rankings) before facing Canyon View High in their final game of the tournament.
This last tournament will go a long way in determining where both the boys’ and girls’ water polo teams from Bear River High will be ranked going into the state tournament on May 19-21, as they both defend their 2021 state championship titles.
Photos by John Fronk