Thursday, July 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

DHS boys water polo team returns six starters

DHS coach Tracy Stapleton watches his Blue Devils during a recent practice at Arroyo Pool. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page B1 | September 01, 2013 |

Editor’s note: This is the sixth in an eight-part series previewing the Davis High fall sports.

It’s not everyday that a team has to deal with the loss of a two-time Sac-Joaquin Section water polo player of the year and U.S. youth national team member. But’s that’s exactly what the defending section champions Davis High boys are tasked with this fall.

After seeing four-year varsity player, and reigning Davis High Male Athlete of the Year Connor Stapleton go on to Stanford, the Blue Devils will attempt to recreate last season’s success without their former star. According to DHS coach Tracy Stapleton, who happens to be that standout’s dad, the locals have already shown there is life without Connor:

“They’ve been playing in club play as a team this summer, without Connor. And they’ve done well, so I don’t think they’ll have too much of a problem.”

Last year’s SJS title was Davis’ first since 2008, and gave the returning players a feeling they are eager to duplicate. And the team’s quest to repeat at section will be made easier by the return of six of last year’s seven starters.

Three of them — goalie Jeff Stark, utilityman Conrad McCarthy and attacker Bradley Nicholson — are juniors who are expected to makes significant contributions alongside seniors Garrett Fisk, Graham Fullerton, and Tyler Ujifusa. All six have experience playing at the highest level, including Fisk, who is currently representing the U.S. at the Pan Am Games in Argentina.

In addition to the three senior starters, there are five more 12th-graders on the roster, meaning the Devils will have no shortage or experience and leadership.

“In order for us to be successful this year,” Stapleton said. “We’re going to need good leadership, especially from Garrett, Tyler and Jeff.”

And Stapleton certainly knows a thing or two about success. During his 25 years at the DHS helm, his teams have consistently been among the best in the region, usually due to a particular skill that nearly all of those squads have shared:

“We play defense,” Stapleton said. “Every team of mine plays aggressive defense.”

Stapleton’s eight section crowns prove the adage “defense wins championships,” and this year’s squad hopes to follow in those footsteps.

Standing in the Blue Devils’ way, however, is a formidable group of talented teams, many of which will be out for revenge. Jesuit, as always, poses a challenge for DHS. The Granite Bay Grizzlies, who the Devils beat, 13-5, in the SJS final last year, also feature a squad that is skilled and hungry for revenge.

Other strong opposition comes from St. Mary’s and Lodi.

As the defending champion, Davis will be the main target for all of those teams and can look forward to getting its opponents best game each time out. The Blue Devils also must be careful not to get overconfident, but their coach thinks that won’t be a problem.

“(We’re) just going to take it one game at a time,” Stapleton said. “If we do that, I think we’ll be fine.”

Notes: DHS opens the season Thursday, when El Camino comes to town for a 4 p.m. matchup. … The section playoffs begin Nov. 9 at Johansen with the championship match set for Nov. 16 at Woodcreek.

— Reach Spencer Ault at sault@davisenterprise.net

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Teens lead the way in fight against cancer

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    USDA predicts record almond haul in California

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Consumption guidelines for Cache Creek fish updated

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

    Diplomas all around for professor and sons

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Museum sells market bags as fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    City of Davis recruits for its advisory commissions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Local singer/songwriter will perform Friday on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Davis Flea hosts night market Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Free technology help offered to seniors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Contestants sought for Yolo County Fair Queen contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Parents can learn all about IEPs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Zip Book: Request it, read it, return it

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Don’t tell me I can’t help him

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Water trains through Davis

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Water storage must be a priority

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    The real problem isn’t conflict, it’s violent conflict management

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Act now to support middle school students

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    UCD coach has navigated a Maze of experiences

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lethargic and roster thin, Post 77 loses Area 1 opener

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Pence outscores Phillies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Quincy Amarikwa: years in the making

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Area sports briefs: Nelson earns All-Academic honors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Youth roundup: Aftershock finishes second in tournament

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Majka makes winning look easy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Transportation fellowship goes to Aggie

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Arts

    ‘South Pacific’ storyline still making waves

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Miracle Worker’ auditions set for WOH

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, July 24, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8