Men's Water Polo Season Preview
Men’s Water Polo Lands Eight Players on All-Conference Teams
Cougars Boast a Trio of All Americans
SAN LUIS OBISPO (December 19, 2019)— Men’s water polo finished 3rd in the Western State Conference and reached the CCCAA Playoffs for the 39th consecutive season. The Cougars, who have never missed the post-season, advanced to the second round of the playoffs and ended the campaign 21-13 overall and capped off their 39th straight winning season. Cuesta’s continued excellence was recognized as the post-season awards were doled out. Cuesta had eight players named to the all-Western State Conference teams, including a trio of poloists named to the All-America squad.
Sophomore Brad Dennis (Visalia) was the key to the Cougars’ success this season. Dennis was an all-WSC Honorable Mention pick in 2016, but collected all of the accolades during his second run through the CCCAA. Dennis earned All-America honors after being named to the All-CCCAA State and Western State Conference First Teams. He was the focus of the Cougars’ offense and led the team in nearly every offensive statistical category. He paced the team with 66 goals and dished out a team-best 32 assists, in addition to his State leading 81 exclusions drawn. Dennis’ ability to earn fouls and provided the Cougars with a State-leading 216 power plays.
Sophomore Goaltender Chandler Mankins (Pismo Beach: Arroyo Grande HS) repeated on both the all-State Second Team and the all-WSC First Team and earned enough votes (Top 5 on Second Team) to earn All-America honors. Mankins recorded 335 saves on the year, which ranked both 4th in the State and 4th all time at Cuesta. He was also quick around the goal face and was third on the team with 37 steals. Mankins ends his Cuesta with the 4th and 9th best single season save totals in program history and holds the #2 spot all time with 628 stops. He is only the 9th Cuesta Goaltender to earn All American honors in the program’s 39-year history.
Sophomore Emerson Trout (SLO HS) joined Mankins as a leading vote getter on the 2017 All-CCCAA State Second Team and also earned All-America honors. Trout was the Cougars’ top interior defender and developed into a reliable offensive threat as a sophomore. He was third in the State with team-leading 97 steals and added 44 goals on offense, which was 4th on the team. His steal total represents the 6th best total in Cuesta history and the most thefts by any player since Doug Leach set the record of 117 in 2001. He also ranks 8th at Cuesta in career steals with 120.
The Cougars placed Sophomores Austin Barton (Albany, OR) and Josh Jewell (Arroyo Grande HS) on the 2017 All-WSC Second Team. Barton is an explosive player and was the Cougars’ Swimming MVP last Spring. He excelled at both ends of the tank with 55 goals and 38 steals, which were both the second highest totals on the team. Jewell added 17 goals on offense and tough one-on-one defense on the perimeter and two-meters.
Sophomore Mitchell Iunker (Templeton: Paso Robles HS) joined freshmen Cole Silva (Porterville HS) and Ethan Klemowicz (Arroyo Grande HS) as 2017 All-WSC Honorable Mention selections. Iunker was the Cougars’ primary Center and scored 53 goals on the season. Silva was the team’s top scoring freshman and netted 25 goals in his first year. Klemowicz added a dozen tallies, but was also a highly-regarded defender. He came off the bench to register 37 steals, third on the team.
All American Brad Dennis
All American Chandler Mankins
All American Emerson Trout
2017 All State
First Team Brad Dennis
Second Team Chandler Mankins
Second Team Emerson Trout
2017 All-WSC Honors
First Team Brad Dennis
First Team Chandler Mankins
First Team Emerson Trout
Second Team Austin Barton
Second Team Josh Jewell
Honorable Mention Mitchell Iunker
Honorable Mention Cole Silva
Honorable Mention Ethan Klemowicz