Last year, 2015 November, I was fortunate to attend all Semi-Finals in SJS – Div I, II, and III. I was impressed with all twelve teams, but especially impressed with two in particular — Div I’s Davis Senior HS, Davis, CA, and Div III’s El Capitan HS, Merced, CA. Both teams won their Semi to advance, but lost in the Sectional Finals.
Although I couldn’t go to these Divisionals this year, I still followed their progress on the SJS website bracket updates, and was pleased that both teams rebounded season long to capture their respective titles, Davis in Div I and El Capitan in Div II (They were moved up a notch due to their continued development/experience/progress, I suppose, but it’s never easy to move into a tougher bracket).
This article focuses on my NFHS Video review of the three Div II games — Quarter Finals, Semi-Finals, and Finals — televised live-stream and recorded by the El Capitan Gaucho Network on the National High School Sports Network (NFHS).
Since El Cap drew a bye in the first round as #1 seed, the opening game, Friday November 4, 2016, was against #8 Bear Creek HS Bruins. The Gauchos took a five goal lead in the First quarter, 7-2, to cruise to an 18-9 victory. Marion Carpenter and Madison Nolan led El Capitan with 4 goals apiece, with Metztli Enriquez, Mackenzie Wenham and Hope Stokes with 3 goals each. Stokes had 3 assists with Carpenters’ 2 assists on offense; aside from Goalie Toni Perez making a few key blocks, Stokes led the team on defense with 4 steals and 2 field blocks.
Field Player Hope Stokes has proven herself as the key team leader of El Capitan. And for both assisting and scoring, to see is to believe…
If you would like to watch a 1-minute highlight clip of Bear Creek vs. El Capitan HS Girls Water Polo in the CIF-SJS D-II Quarter-Final, played at Merced CA, click on the below link:
The first video, Quarterfinals, was easy to see #’s and easy to follow, as the announcers were great for both play-by-play and color commentary. (The full game is available).
This information is sent sent to you using ShareThis (http://www.sharethis.com), as a courtesy of NFHS, the High School Sports Network. Full videos are available on line for NFHS members.
The Div II Semi-Finals were at Tokay HS, Lodi CA, where El Cap met #4 seed Lodi HS Flames, Wednesday, November 9, 2016. The Gauchos jumped to a 4-0 Quarter and 7-0 Halftime lead, then as wide a spread as 10-0 in the third before cruising to the 13-5 win. Goalkeeper Perez had 6 blocks, 1 steal, and Stokes had 4 steals and 1 field block to lead the defense. The second video, Semi-Finals, had lots of sun glare, was as easy to see numbers, so the announcers got the players wrong multiple times. None the less, the scoring I captured to notes was: Nolan, 4 goals, 2 assists, 1 draw, 1 steal; Enriquez, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 draws; Wenham, 1 goal, 1 steal; Alex Jasso, 1 goal; Stokes, 4 goals, 1 draw, 3 steals, 1 field block. Next up: The Finals!
Follow the link as shown above or click here to go to the game:
My synopsis: The Div II Final, held at Woodcreek HS, Roseville CA, featured #1 El Capitan Gauchos versus #3 Del Oro Golden Eagles. This third video, taken Saturday, November 12, 2016, shows a classic win for El Capitan — winning their first CIF-SJS Title, 7-4. Although it’s a ‘widescreen’ format, most of the action is clear, the Gauchos taking the 1-0 lead with with :01 left in the First Quarter off of a lob by Senior star Metztli Enriquez. The Eagles tied the score first possession of the Second, only to have the Gauchos bounce back for a 3-1 Halftime lead on goals by Senior lefty Marion Carpenter, extra assisted by classmate Hope Stokes, then by Stokes, assisted by another Senior, Madison Nolen. Nolen lead all scorers in the assist department with 3. You may have a hard time following unless you know the players by style and accomplishments. The announcers, unfortunately, are not very audible/understandable, and often the video camera technician was unable to quickly adjust from backcourt to frontcourt, so a few key plays are missed.
El Capitan’s Team Captain, Hope Stokes, led all goal scorers with 3 — and her 2 in the Third Period gave the Gauchos a 6-2 lead before the Eagles soared back with 2 to end the frame, 6-4. But then, any comeback-potential high was exhausted when Senior Alexandria Jasso provided the lone insurance goal in the Fourth Quarter to close out the scoring. Game over. Championship won! Final season record: 24 wins – 6 losses. Congratulations, El Capitan High School Girls Water Polo Team!
Above image shown ©2016 Robert Schlie with permission of MaxPreps.com. For a full review of photographer Robert Schlie’s Championship Game portfolio, should you wish to purchase this or any other great photos, click on the below link:
Additional Side Note: Div I #1 seed Davis pounded their opponents: 13-1 over Vintage in the Quarters, 12-2 over Lincoln-S in the Semis, and 20-4 over Oakdale in the Finals.