Vigeant, Obert top all-SFL boys water polo team
The faces change, but the magic must be in the caps at Granite Bay as the Grizzlies have owned Sierra Foothill League boys water polo since they arrived on the scene.
This season was one of re-loading at Granite Bay, and the end result was the third section title in four years for John MacLeane’s crew. Four first-team all-league players led the way for the Grizzlies, including co-MVP James Vigeant.
Vigeant is a dynamic scorer, who tallied 125 times in Granite Bay’s 30 games as he led his team to a 26-4 overall record that included both league and section titles. The senior shares the league’s MVP honor with Del Oro two-meter man Alex Obert. The duo also shared the top player award at the section level for Division II schools.
“Alex is the most accomplished player in Del Oro’s young water polo history,” said Del Oro assistant Dave Obert. “His combination of size, arm length, arm strength and good hands make him a formidable two-meter player.”
Both Vigeant and Obert should be continuing their careers at the next level as they await final decisions on their options.
Granite Bay goalie Zack Meyer and field players Bradley Cooper and Robert Thyberg joined Vigeant on the all-SFL first team. Meyer was strong in the cage all year long for the section champions, while Cooper and Thyberg provided Granite Bay with a pair of strong options at both ends of the pool to complement Vigeant.
The Golden Eagles also placed three additional players on the first team, with goalie Leland Delehanty and field players Tommy McKenzie and Josh McCormick also being selected.
“Tommy is the most intensely competitive player within Del Oro,” Obert said. “His quick release and determination to get better each time he enters the pool will propel him to even greater heights in water polo. Leland generally plays best in big games and was a key reason for the Del Oro win against Rio in the section semifinals.”
McCormick is an academic All-American and is being recruited for opportunities at the collegiate level as well, with Air Force among the schools on his radar.
“Josh combines both good size and good speed in the water,” Obert said. “Josh’s versatility allowed us to play him on the perimeter and at two-meters. Josh generally leads the team in assists and serves as the quarterback on our man-up plays.”
Woodcreek, the third-place team in the SFL placed three players – Alex Parker, Landen Bogle and Jesse McWhirk on the first team, and Oakmont’s Shane Welch and Taylor Nordell are also on the first unit.
Parker, Bogle and McWhirk were among the best scorers in the league as they led the Timberwolves to that third-place finish and into the second round of the section tournament. Woodcreek had a tough draw there, but nearly ended the season for Rio Americano much earlier than anticipated.
Oakmont did reach the section semifinals, where it lost to Granite Bay, largely on the play of Welch and Nordell. Welch is best suited as powerful perimeter option, but his strength made him Oakmont’s best option at the two-meter position.
The senior, who is also being recruited by schools such as the Air Force Academy, absorbed the punishment in the middle that allowed his teammates to thrive. He was also a strong defender for the Vikings in the middle of the pool.
Nordell was Oakmont’s second scoring option, and also delivered a solid defensive game for coach Mark Plank’s Vikings.
2009 All-SFL Selections
School First Name Last Name Award
James Vigeant, Granite Bay
Alex Obert, Del Oro
Garrat Johnson, Bear River
Leland Delehanty, Del Oro (goalie)
Tommy McKenzine, Del Oro
Josh McCormick, Del Oro
Zack Meyer, Granite Bay (goalie)
Bradley Cooper, Granite Bay
Robert Thyberg, Granite Bay
Shane Welch, Oakmont
Taylor Nordell, Oakmont
Alex Parker, Woodcreek
Landen Bogle, Woodcreek
Jesse Mcwhirk, Woodcreek
Josh Brown, Bear River
Jake Armstrong, Bear River
J.T. Roe, Del Oro
Collin Johnston, Del Oro
Andrew Murch, Granite Bay
Mitchel Kobayashi, Granite Bay
Anders Price-Tison, Nevada Union
Drew Wixon, Oakmont
Grant Douglas, Rocklin
Justin Pugh, Rocklin
Brandon Bridges, Roseville
Chandler Sherman, Whitney
Sam Anderson, Woodcreek (goalie)
Jake Jabbora, Woodcreek
All Sac-Joaquin Section Division II:
James Vigeant, Granite Bay and Alex Obert, Del Oro co-MVPs.
First team all-section: Shane Welch, Oakmont, Landen Bogle; Woodcreek; Brad Cooper, Robert Thyberg and Andrew Murch, Granite Bay and Tommy McKenzie, Del Oro
Second team all-section: Alex Parker, Jesse McWhirk, Woodcreek; Taylor Nordell, Oakmont, Zack Meyer and Mitchell Kobayashi, Granite Bay; Josh McCormick and JT Roe, Del Oro.