Garces water polo coach Jason Gall knows the importance of the continued rivarly with Bakersfield Christian.
He also understands how paramount it is to get younger players experience against varsity competition when time allows.
Gall was able to complete both tasks on Wednesday in the season opener for the boys and girls water polo teams as the Rams swept the Eagles 17-6 on the boys side, and 14-5 for the girls.
“I think it’s important that we play (BCHS) every year just to do whatever we can to promote the sport,” Gall said. “We are trying to grow water polo in Kern County. With Bakersfield Christian and us having team that play together, hopefully people can see that and choose to play water polo.”
These are the only high schools in the county with water polo programs.
Routinely Gall was able to call strategic timeouts to clear the bench and get all of his players on both squads quality playing time.
“We have pretty deep team,” Gall said. “Most of (the JV players) have experience and it’s nice to have them still be able to perform at a high level.”
George Rice led the way with four goals for the Rams (1-0) as Rory Begin scored three goals and Joe Starr had two goals and two assists for the boys. Austin Lee had seven saves.
Abby Schechter led Garces with three goals as the Rams led 7-0 after one and had a 12-0 halftime lead before the Eagles were able to score five goals after intermission.
The Garces boys team won consecutive Central Section Division II championships and in D-I this season.
“We’ve got a lot of things to work on,” Gall said. “It’s there, but we are there, yet. We’ve got the players to do it, just need to clean things up a little bit.”