Tahquitz loses at home to Hemet High, 16-4
■ By Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
Fall may be in the air, but it’s still warm enough to hit the pool in SoCal. Good thing, because the Tahquitz High School water polo boys hosted the Hemet Bulldogs on Tuesday. The Titans had a 12-5 season record to protect, and a 1-2 league record to improve. At the very least, the water temperature was perfect.
The Bulldog boys proved they were already warmed up, surging ahead of the Titans in the first quarter, 4-1.
Quarter two didn’t treat the Titans any better, as the Bulldogs dog-paddled their way to an 8-3 lead.
With a five-point lead, the Bulldogs’ pride was on display during halftime as Titan coach Tim Kurdmisto tried to light a fire – one that pool water can’t extinguish – under his Titans’ feet.
Third quarter saw the Bulldogs expand their lead by eight, 12-4, despite a valiant Titan effort.
And then in fourth quarter, Hemet sealed the deal with four additional points to take this game 16-4.
Kurdmisto is humbled to have been beaten by this long-running local team.
“They played well; they outmanned us,” said Kurdmisto. “They have a huge squad, and we’re a little bit short on manpower. The problem is that we don’t have a feeder program into the school, whereas Hemet, West Valley, Beaumont – all the other teams we play in league – they have developmental programs that feed into their schools; we don’t have the same thing here at Tahquitz.”
But despite a lack of such a program, Hemet coach Mason Rafferty noticed that the Titans are making headway in their game nonetheless.
“Tahquitz is getting better, they’re improving! They’ve been around for seven or eight years now and we’ve been seeing some improvement there, which is awesome for them,” said Rafferty. “And awesome for the league, really in general. The better competition we have, the better every team gets as a whole.”
The Bulldogs may be only 9-13 this season, but this improves their league standings to 4-0. Tahquitz is now 12-6 and 1-3. Tahquitz will play the rattlesnakes at Rancho Mirage today, while Hemet plays against the Mustangs at West Valley this afternoon. Let’s cheer on our local boys as they find out which two of these four teams deliver the undertow today!