By RUTUJA SABNIS
Daniel Campanaro (Sr.) & Benjamin Gomez (Sr.), the Boys Water Polo Varsity Captains, have had quite the career so far, having been on varsity since freshman year. These two captains will try to lead our team into CIF’s this year, after the team’s divisions dropped from one to four, after beating only Northwood last season.
From waking up at 5 A.M. for swim practice, to evening practices from 3-5 P.M, and club practices on the weekends, the two athletes have demonstrated their true dedication to the sport. Campanaro was top three in league scoring players last year, and both he and Gomez were selected as all league players last year.
Campanaro began waterpolo at the end of seventh grade, and Gomez beginning of freshman year. Both are versatile players of the team. Gomez’s favorite position, however, is the corner spot because from there “as a lefty, you can drive, you can make cross cage passes, [and] you can shoot,” he states. Gomez’s position this year is to be determined, but Campanaro will be placed in set, also known as the six spot.
Their prior swim careers have allowed them to have remarkable success in water polo. At age six, Campanaro joined the Irvine Swim League with the Turtle Rock Sharks; at age six, Gomez joined the JCC Waves.
According to Coach Bahram Hojreh (Athletic Dept.), these two players “both have high aspirations of playing division one college water polo.” Gomez aims to use his water polo career to assist him in joining the Air Force Academy; however, Campanaro plans to stay in California and play for the UC Santa Barbara.
Their main focus currently is to beat Northwood and Woodbridge this upcoming season, ranked fifth and fourth in Pacific Coast league, respectively. Since the UHS water polo team is now a division four team, Campanaro states that “it’s more realistic for us to make CIF” than if it was a division one team.
These two co-captains hope to leave behind a legacy in this rigorous water sport in their final high school season.