The Roy G. Snyder Natatorium at Wilson High School was absolutely electric over the weekend. The stands that lined at the schools lower house swimming pool were overflowing with athletes, fans, and college coaches alike watching some of the finest water polo the state had to offer. Eight teams, which included Pennridge, Governor Mifflin, North Allegheny, North Penn, Cathedral Prep, LaSalle College, Cumberland Valley, and host Wilson High School battled hard all season long, and earned a spot to play for the 2017 Water Polo State Title.
The Cathedral Prep Rambler water polo team found themselves in the state tournament after an impressive regular season. With wins at the McDowell Cup, Screaming Eagle Tournament, Tiger Classic, and a semi-finalist finish at the Beast of the East, Prep had the number one seed at its Western Conference Championships.
The North Allegheny Tigers upset Prep in the conference finals by a score of 17-13, ultimately giving them the fourth seed at states.
After arriving in Reading, Pa., late Thursday night the Prep water polo team spent the day preparing for its first round battle against Governor Mifflin, the tournament’s fifth seed at 7 p.m. The whistle blew, and the crowd roared for the Ramblers as they stormed out in front and never looked back. Prep went wire to wire besting the Mustangs 13-7. Calvin Behm paced the Ramblers with 8 goals, Thomas Uht had 3. Robbie Maholic and Alec Thomas also both tallied one.
“This was big for us. The second the final buzzer sounded we had a weight lifted off our shoulders,” commented varsity starter Robbie Maholic. This placed the Ramblers in the top four in the state and ended a shaky four-game losing streak they carried with them into the tourney.
Early the next morning the Ramblers faced their toughest test to date. Facing the number one seed and host team Wilson, the team had more than they could handle. After a back and forth first half, the Bulldogs ran away with it in the closing minutes to beat Prep by a score of 15-8.
“This isn’t what we wanted, but we played well. We are ready to come back tonight and finish off strong,” said Christian Fortin. He scored 2 goals in the loss. Calvin Behm had 5, and Michael Rahner had 1.
In the third place game, the Ramblers squared off against Western Conference rival North Allegheny. Losing there past two games against the Tigers, the Ramblers fought tooth and nail to come out on top once again. In a thrilling battle that came down to the wire, Prep topped the Pittsburgh school 13-10. Thomas Uht had a spectacular performance in his final game scoring 6. Calvin Behm had 4 and Alec Thomas, Ethan Neff, and Robbie Maholic all had 1.”
“I’m really glad I was able to end my career on such a high note. [It] couldn’t have been better,” commented Thomas Uht.
Concluding the tournament, the Prep water polo team was presented with the third place state trophy for their efforts. Christian Fortin was an all-state team honorable mention. Andrew Burns made third-team all-state, Thomas Uht second team all-state, and Calvin Behm first team all-state. The Mr. Water Polo Award was given to Calvin
Behm for the first time in school history as the best player in the state.
“It’s a great honor,” commented Calvin on the award. With this finishing, Prep takes home one of its most impressive state hauls in recent history.
“I would like to thank all of the seniors. They have made my job and this year very enjoyable,” said Coach Mike Doyle.