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SPORTS – “Recap the season with the Bear River High boys’ water polo team”

BEAR RIVER HIGH – By Justice Wise – April 27, 2021

Photo courtesy of Dacia Hook

It’s been a busy season for all of Bear River High School’s spring sports and that has put a little behind on updating sports fans. Here’s a quick recap of the 2021 Bear River High boys’ water polo season as of April 27, 2021.

March 6, 2021

Mountain Crest 19, Bear River 1

The Bear River boys’ water polo team’s seasonal debut was a disappointing loss from the Mustangs of Mountain Crest High School in Cache Valley. Despite a valiant effort by Bear River’s goalie Joshua Leavitt, who had 11 saves on the day and a goal by senior Taten Gage, the Bears would fall to the ‘Stangs, 19-1.

March 12, 2021

Bear River 7, Ogden 5

The first game in a home tourney for the boys’ team had them tussle with the Ogden High School Tigers. The Tigers came out strong with three goals in the first quarter, but the Bears quickly retaliated in the second quarter with two of their own, not enough for the lead but enough to remind the Tigers they mean business.

After half time the Bears came out strong and took the lead with three goals in the third quarter and would seal the victory with another two goals in the fourth. Hayden Swain-Schmit, the sophomore phenom, had four goals on the day. Gage scored two, while Keeghan Gibbs, Hunter Oram and Keegan Hadley each had one making the game a 7-5 win for Bear River.

Tooele 13, Bear River 8

Next in line to face the Bears were the Buffaloes from Tooele High School. The Buffs came out with four goals in the first, but the Bears matched them with three of their own. Only the Buffs took that personally and answered with six more goals in the second quarter.

A courageous effort by the Bears which included four goals from Gage, two from Garrett Griffin, one from Swain-Schmit, and one more from Peter Ingleby, throughout the rest of the game would prove to be not enough to clench the win. Bear River lost to Tooele, 13-8.

March 13, 2021

Cyprus 10, Bear River 8

The Bears faced the Cyprus High School Pirates in their last game of the tournament. The Pirates owned the first half with seven goals, but the Bears didn’t take that lying down. Bear River came out in the second half with six of their own goals.

Swain-Schmit, Gage and Griffin each scored two goals for the day while Hadley and Gibbs each had one. The Bears would fall to the Pirates, 10-8.

March 16, 2021

Bear River 11, Kearns 6

A road trip was up next for the Bears as they traveled to Kearns High School to face off against the Cougars. The Bears had a goal from nearly every player on the team with Gibbs having three, Swain-Schmit and Griffin having two while Hadley, Oram, Gage and Aaron Betournay each having one. The Bears beat the Cougars, 11-6.

March 18, 2021

Maple Mountain 11, Bear River 7

The Maple Mountain High School Golden Eagle were next for the Bears. The Eagle came out and smacked Bear River in the mouth with three goals in the first quarter. The Bears would answer those goals with three of their own in the second but not without the Eagle scoring another two to end the first quarter still on top. Bear River would score four more goals through the second half but lost, 11-7.

Gage led the team with three goals followed by Swain-Schmit, Gibbs, Oram and Griffin each scoring one. Leavitt had 10 total saves on the day for the Bears.

March 19, 2021

Bear River 7, Canyon View

In a much-needed home win against the Canyon View High School Falcons, the Bears took a lead in the first half with two goals but quickly had to start working for the victory after the Falcons came out of the second half with three goals and two goals in the fourth. Despite the tight score, the Bears would seal their victory with three goals in the fourth quarter.

Leavitt had an outstanding game with 12 saves. Gage and Swain-Schmit each had three goals while Brody Rowley, an 8th grader, had one.

March 20, 2021

Copper Hills 12, Bear River 11

Bear River then hit the road to face off against the Grizzlies from Copper Hills High School in this battle of the buoyant bruins. The Bears came out swinging and scored four goals in the first quarter and would maintain the lead going into halftime, but the Grizzlies retaliated with eight points in the second half. It was a tight game but the Bears would fall to the Grizzlies, 12-11.

April 10, 2021

Herriman 15, Bear River 3

The Bears hosted the Herriman High School Mustangs in an unfortunate, 15-3 loss.

April 16, 2021

Bear River 9, Canyon View 7

At home, the Bears hosted Canyon View High School Falcons again and bounced right back from the loss the week previous for the win, 9-7.

April 19, 2021

Bear River 13, Mountain Crest 11

The Mustangs from Mountain Crest High School Mustangs took an early, all-be-it tight, 5-4 lead against Bears in the first half. But halftime must have been filled with inspirational speeches by the coaches, urging the players to remember the last time they faced off against the Mustangs because the Bears came out with a furious vengeance. Bear River scored nine total points in the second half compared to the ‘Stang’s six. The Bears would win this rematch, 13-11.

Gage had an outstanding day with four goals, Swain-Schmit had three and Griffin had two while Oram, Gibbs and Ashton Esplin each had one.

April 24, 2021

Bear River 15, Maple Mountain 12

Next up on the Bears’ path of revenge were the Golden Eagle from Maple Mountain High. This time around the Bears wasted no time in putting the beat down on a team that had beaten them before. Bear River came out strong with five goals in the first quarter and three in the second quarter. The Bears kept their foot down on the throttle and came out of halftime with five more goals. The Bears beat the Golden Eagle 15-12.

Griffin stole the show this game with five solo goals. Gage was close behind him with four, Swain-Schmit had three, Gibbs had two and Hadley had one.

Bear River 11, Canyon View 8

Bear River then faced off, for the third time this season, the Falcons from Canyon View High. And for the third time in a row, the Bears beat the Falcons. The Falcons would take the first half with a 5-3 lead against the Bears, but the Bears came out in the second half with five goals in the third quarter and three in the fourth.

Griffin would once again own the day with four goals of his own. Gage brought in three, Hadley with two and Oram and Gibbs with one. The Bears had the win, 11-8.

“We have had some boys join the team this year, Garrett Griffin and Keagan Hadley, that have had an instant impact by scoring goals and helping on defense,” said Bear River High School's water polo coach Danny Esplin.

Up next for the Bear River High boys’ water polo team is a game against the Brighton High Bengals on Friday, April 30, at 5 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Julie Esplin
Photo courtesy of Katrina Oram
Photo courtesy of Brandy Rowley
Photo courtesy of Brandy Rowley
Photo courtesy of Julie Esplin
Photo courtesy of Julie Esplin


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