Men’s Water polo Win CIF Finals


Emma Perron

The Men’s water polo team won CIF Finals, and not many can say that. The Mustangs had the Stable, parents, family, and even their girlfriends cheering them on.

Emma Perron, Photojournalist

In 2013 the water polo team went to CIF Finals in Division 6. After 12 years, the Yorba Linda High School Men’s Water polo has returned to CIF Finals in Division 2 and won it all. 

Throughout the season, the Mustangs dominated and killed it. With the Mustangs being a solid and well-rounded team that works together, they played hard to earn a spot in the first round of CIF.

On November 2, a chilly night, the YL Men’s water polo team took on Esperanza. During the four quarters of the game, the Mustangs’ teamwork and communication were through the roof. This game ended up being a breeze, and the Mustangs won 14-7 against Esperanza. Excited, the boys are onto the next round of CIF Finals.

Two short days later, on November 4 at 5 pm, the YL water polo boys competed in the second round of CIF. Their competition,  ML King, made it to the second round by beating Murrieta Valley, but once they were against our Mustangs, their time in CIF came to an end. The YLHS Men’s Varsity Water polo team had defeated ML King by 7 points. 

By winning 19-12, the Mustangs had advanced to the quarterfinals. On Saturday the 6th, our fearless Mustangs had seen another day in CIF and did continue to see another day. While up against San Marcos, the water polo team worked together to overpower San Marcos.

Our Mustangs won their quarterfinal game 13-8 and earned their spot in the semifinals. This semifinal game was not a blowout like the others. This semifinal game on November 10 was against San Juan Hills, which was stressful and long. 

Yorba Linda High School and San Juan Hills were battling back and forth, point by point. By halfway through the game, it was 6-6, and by the end of 4th, it was 8-8. In the first 3 minute period of overtime, it was 9-8. In the second overtime, the Mustangs scored 9-9, leading the game to sudden death. 

Sudden death was beyond stressful because whoever scores first wins the game and clenches the spot for CIF Finals. No one scored in the first overtime, which led to a second overtime. In the double-overtime, Corbin Stanely (10) scored the last goal to allow the YL Men’s Water polo team to move onto the finals, expressing how “It was the best feeling I have ever felt; it was like Christmas morning. All I heard was my brother, Toring Stanley, screaming “give the ball to Corbin.” Matthew Mortenson threw the ball into me and thought I heard the goalie block it, but then I popped up, and it was in the back of the cage. By far, it was the best feeling I ever felt,”

The CIF Final game took place on November 13 at Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center, Irvine, against Redlands East Valley. To start, Cody Chastain (11) scored the first goal to get the Mustangs on the board. Toring Stanley (12) scored the second goal to tie to the first quarter, which tied the game 2-2. 

The game stayed 2-2 for a long time because most goals were not called because of fouls. At the end of the 4th, it was tied 3-3, and the third goal was scored by Corbin Stanley (10). 

The first overtime was played, and Cody Chastain (11) scored his second goal to have the game be 4-3. In the double-overtime, Reese Jenican (12) scored the fifth and final goal. In the last 35 seconds of the match, Redlands scored to have the game 5-4. The possession was now Yorba Linda, and they knew they had won the game.

Tyler Armstrong (12) was an absolute beast in goal and stopped some challenging goals during all CIF games. Corbin Stanley (10) explains this by saying, “Our goalie Tyler Armstrong (12) had the game of a lifetime; I don’t know if he made one mistake. The goals he saved were almost impossible to save, but he did it.”

The Men’s Varsity Water polo team had won the CIF Finals after 12 years. This team had exceptional teamwork, communication, and the heart to win it all. At the very end of the game, all of the teammates and coaches jumped in the pool to celebrate.

Reese Jenican (12), a team captain, said, “my team is my second family. We all see and hang out with each other every day. We all love playing water polo and want to play together as not just a team but a family.” 

“I think what made it so memorable was knowing I accomplished winning CIF Finals with my brother, my best friends, and my dad coaching,” conveys Corbin Stanley (10).

Team Captain, Toring Stanley (12) expresses, “It has been a dream since freshman year. It means a lot to my family because this is now the 3rd championship that my family has won. My Dad and Uncle both won in 1992 and 1994, so it was amazing to continue the tradition.”  

Cody Chastain (11) likes to add, “Winning CIF is a once in a lifetime experience, and very few people can say they won CIF. It felt amazing to accomplish something so big.” 

Congrats to the 2021-2022 Men’s Varsity Water polo team for winning and returning to the CIF Finals after 12 years. Be proud of your hard work and all your dedication in this season. Congratulations, 2021-2022 Men’s Water polo, to your victory.