BWP: SB players excel at USA Water Polo ODP National Championships

ODP players

Coach Rich Griguoli, Miles Cole, Sawyer Rhodes, Peyton Collins, Jesse Morrison and Spencer Wood won a silver medal.


This past weekend, nine boys from the SANTA BARBARA PREMIER Water Polo Club (SBPWPC) participated in the 2015 USA Water Polo (USAWP) Olympic Development Program (ODP) National Championships in Riverside: Miles Cole (San Marcos), Peyton Collins (Rio Mesa), Jake Ehrhardt (Rio Mesa), Taylor Gustason (Dos Pueblos), Jesse Morrison (San Marcos), Sawyer Rhodes (Santa Barbara), Caleb Sandberg (Righetti ), Blake Spiller (Santa Barbara) and Spencer Wood (San Marcos).

Going back to December, the boys made it through an extensive training & tryout process, ultimately being selected from the top-players in Southern California’s highly-competitive Coastal (CCA) Zone that encompasses San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Cole, Collins, Morrison, Rhodes & Wood represented the Zone’s Cadet/16U (’99-’00) Red team, competing against teams from USAWP’s 11 Zones across the country. The team made it all the way to the Finals and brought home the Silver Medal. Impressively, the boys from Santa Barbara scored 8 of the teams 9 goals in the Championship game. The team was coached by Rich Griguoli, Technical Director for SBPWPC.

Ehrhardt & Spiller competed on the Zone’s Youth/18U (’97-’98) Red team that steamrolled their way to the Gold Medal game where they had an impressive 12-5 victory over the team from Northern California’s Pacific Zone. Gustason & Sandberg played for the Youth/18U Blue team that finished 8th.

At the conclusion of the tournament, Cole, Collins, Ehrhardt, Gustason, Rhodes & Wood were identified to participate for their respective age groups National Team Selection Camps being held later this month. After the four day training camp, the USAWP National Teams will be selected to represent the USA in international competitions this summer. Ehrhardt was a member of the Cadet National Team in 2014 that competed in Belgrade, Serbia.

USAWP also handed-out their 1st Annual Nick Johnson Inspiration Awards for each zone, named for the Santa Barbara High and UCSB Student Athlete who passed away last year tragically from shallow water blackout. Collins received the award for the Cadet Division & Gustason for the Youth Division.

Last month, the SBPWPC 16U team won the prestigious KAP7 International tournament 68 teams competed for the title.