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Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Riding a winning wave

Water polo dominates to secure state championship

The Marcus water polo team had already defeated Richmond Foster in a physically taxing state semifinal game on Oct. 28, where the team struggled at times to score. The Marauders were now getting back in the pool just seven hours later with a state title on the line. Against all odds though, the Marauders were able to score a season high of 25 points in a dominating victory over Boerne Champion, to secure the teams first state title.

“The fatigue didn’t really set in until after the game,” Junior Owen Kroh said. “There was just so much adrenaline, so much excitement, just a fear of losing.”

The Marauders finished the season with a 24-2 record thanks to an extremely well rounded and mature roster. The team had a total of nine seniors who were all major contributors to the team’s success. 

“They’ve just done an awesome job leading the team,” Head Water Polo Coach Brandon Dion said. “They aren’t lording over or ever putting down the underclassmen, and they’ve really helped teach the younger guys how we do it around here.”

The Marauders came into the season with a chip on their shoulder after last year’s crushing loss to Southlake Carroll in the state region final. The game ended with Southlake winning in overtime on a game winning goal to knock the Marauders out of the playoffs.

“Burn the ships”  was the team’s motto throughout the playoffs. It was meant to signify that there was no turning back now, for the team it was championship or bust.

To make it to state the Marauders would have to go through a familiar foe, the Southlake Carroll Dragons. Southlake had beaten the Marauders during the regular season 9-8, and the two were set to play again in the region final. 

The Marauders came out firing early with a quick goal scored by Sophomore Asher Brunner 16 seconds into the game. They continued their scoring onslaught, scoring four more times to push the lead to 5-2 just six minutes into the game. Brunner continued his prolific scoring performance, adding six more goals to his total as the marauders cruised to a 18-6 win.

“That game was probably the most important of the season for us,” Kroh said. “Not only was it a game of just making it to state, but there was also a lot of animosity between teams. So we had to prove that we weren’t messing around and that it was our home pool.”

The win over Southlake placed the Marauders just two wins away from a state championship. Heading into the state semifinals Marcus was set to take on Richmond Foster. Coming into the game Foster had a 24-7 record. The Marauders would have to overcome a sluggish first half where a late goal helped the Falcons come within two points of tying the game before the first half ended 7-5. 

“They were being aggressive, they were being mean,” Kroh said. “So at the end of the day, we had to stay true to the way we play and try to run the game at our speed.”

As the second half began though, the Marauders came out looking like a new team, outscoring Foster 7-4 in the second half of the game. The offensive surge was headlined by four goals from Brunner, which helped the Marauders cap off a commanding victory, 14-9. The win also meant that the Marauders would be playing Boerne Champion for a chance at a state championship.

“Going into the game we knew a little about Boerne Champion, but hadn’t played them before,” Dion said. “We just came into the game knowing we’d have to execute and play our game our way.”

That’s exactly what the marauders did from start to finish. The scoring began early with goals from Brunner and Senior, Joseph McCreary. The Marauders led the entire game and didn’t let their foot off the gas, never letting the score get within 3 during the entire game. They scored 25 points, which was more than enough to secure their first state title 25-12. McCreary was named the games most valuable player with 12 goals on 14 shots along with two assists.

“It was wild,” Dion said. “Our boys worked really hard for a number of years, so just to see that hard work finally pay off was really awesome.”

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About the Contributor
Grayson McCrate
Grayson McCrate, Reporter
Grayson (he/him) is a first year sophomore staffer and a reporter for the marquee. He loves football and basketball, along with hanging out with friends. 

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    Marjorie GrayJan 4, 2024 at 7:09 pm

    great reporting