Yes, the Rio Mesa High boys’ water polo team has struggled in the pool.
Yes, the Spartans have experience and chemistry issues.
Yes, Rio Mesa—which has won four straight Pacific View League championships—appears vulnerable for the first time this decade.
Timmons remains composed, just like the Redcoats who say, “Keep calm and carry on.”
“Just two years ago we started 4-5 and we went on to win a CIF title,” said Timmons, the eighthyear head coach.
“This team will be fine once league comes.”
The 2010 Spartans survived a tough non-league schedule en route to a CIF-Southern Section Division 6 championship. This year’s squad has taken a similar approach.
“I always make our schedule very tough,” Timmons said. “I never back off. We don’t learn a lot with an easy schedule.”
The Spartans open Pacific View League competition Tues., Oct. 2 against Pacifica, a squad they vanquished earlier this season.
Rio Mesa is confident it can win a fifth straight PVL title.
“Pacific View League will be a piece of cake,” said senior twometer offense Rogelio Coronado.
“Oxnard and Pacifica will be good games, but I already know what’s going to happen. I’m confident.”
David Beauvais and Josh Morris are the only Spartans back from last year’s team.
Beauvais is a senior two-meter defender. Morris, also a senior, starts at goalie.
Rio Mesa had a hard time finding its groove in the pool, but team captain Josue Cornejo is making sure they’re on the same page for league play.
Cornejo was born to lead.
Cornejo, who coaches the U-12 Titan Water Polo Club, was encouraged by teammates to take the captaincy.
“It felt nice to have the support of my teammates,” the senior driver said.
Cornejo aspires to be a doctor or a firefighter.
Timmons said Coronado is the go-to player when the team is in need of a score.
Rio Mesa’s strengths are quickness and shooting.
“This team isn’t mentally strong like last year’s team,” Coronado said. “We’ll get there. I feel we can go to CIF playoffs.
“People look up to us because we have a huge reputation, but we have a lot to learn.”
Beauvais, a senior two-meter defender, plays for the Ventura Water Polo Club.
According to Beauvais, the team has two-a-day practice at least twice a week. The Spartans swim at 5 a.m. on Mondays.
Morris has a tough task of replacing standout goalie Kyle Walthall.
“I learned a lot from one of the best goalies in school history,” Morris said. “He always focused on quick reflexes. My goal this season is to be the top goalie in the Pacific View League.”
Morris is constantly on the move with Boy Scouts, and surf and humanitarian clubs.
Senior driver JD Heard is another player to watch.
A member of the RMHS golf team, Heard started golfing at 3.
Seniors Chandler Pacl, David Macias, and Ty Herbruck aid the Spartans.
Juniors James Woisard, Troy Fukutomi, Austin Hammond, Jake Howell are also solid contributors for Rio Mesa.
Sophomores Zander Lyskin, Joe Tinoco and Zach Morris, and freshman Robert Cervantes are up-and-coming players.
The Spartans took their bumps and bruises during non-league, but they feel good about the rest of the season.
“We will take a step down for league and play with some people that are slightly below us,” Beauvais said.
“Our record doesn’t mean anything.”