October 16, 2006

2006 Bronco Men's Water Polo Blog

Oct. 16, 2006

Junior Mike Detoy will give weekly commentary right here throughout the Bronco water polo team's 2006 season as part of the new Bronco Blogs feature on santaclarabroncos.com. With fall classes now well underway, Detoy will give Bronco fans an inside view of what it is like to be a student-athlete at Santa Clara.

Mike enters his second year in the pool for Santa Clara after redshirting his freshman year. In 2005 Mike was an invaluable contributor to the team off the bench, converting 12 goals, including a hat trick against Chaminade. Outside the pool, Mike is an active on campus, working at the Malley Fitness Center, and is also a member of S.A.A.C., the Student Athletic Advisory Council.


Tuesday, October 24th, 2006, 5:59 p.m.

Awesome. That's the one word that can describe the game against #7 LMU. The emotions were high, the intensity was there, and everyone played up to their potential. It was great seeing how all of our hard work has paid off. But the best thing about it is that we still have a few more weeks to work hard and have more success just like the one we had. After a week full of midterms and trying to stay healthy from the flu that is going around school, it was a great way to spend a weekend. All of my teammates believe we deserve to play the top teams competitively and this weekend proved that we can.

This week should be a good week. I am a little bogged down at work and I have 2 midterms later in the week. The cold and flu are still going around campus so its always fun trying to keep yourself isolated from the latest people who are infected.

"So what are you going to be for Halloween?"

I get asked that question from everyone I know. The truth is that I have absolutely no idea. Last year, I had a spur of the moment idea which turned into one of the best costumes. Last year I was Hulk Hogan, with real handlebar mustache.

After I make it through this week, my team gets to spend Halloween weekend in Davis for the Davis Shootout. I really can't wait for the games. We play Davis, Air Force and San Diego. It will be great for my team to play the top teams in our conference within 8 days of each other. With about 4 weeks left until WWPA's, the season has come down to crunch time. This is where we have push ourselves the most so we can enter the conference tournament in our best shape yet we also have to juggle tests, projects, and other school related events. I'm off to read and study for a quiz I have tomorrow, so until next time...

-Mike


Monday, October 16th, 2006, 5:44 p.m.

First off, I would like to say hello. With the new school year underway, it seems like it we have been practicing forever. The team started practicing in mid-August and we have not looked back. We are currently 10-9 overall and 8-1 in our conference, WWPA. I will bring you up to speed on our season thus far.

At the beginning of every season there always are a few weeks are full of intense conditioning and let's face it, not too much fun. At the beginning of our "Hell Weeks" the team knew that our coach Keith Wilbur was going push us to our limits. I can honestly say that those were the roughest weeks of my colligate water polo career. Our team worked very hard during those weeks and leaders started to emerge. We are a very young team, 14 underclassmen of our 24 man roster, and because of this, our leadership was in question. We suffered a huge setback when one of our senior captains Whit Gilfillan, who everyone on the team admires, broke his leg. Our other senior captain, Kevin Starry, was also recovering from a lingering shoulder injury. The first test of our ability was the Labor Weekend Tournament at the Naval Academy.

I should have known it was going to be weekend to forget when our plane had to circle the Atlanta Airport because of looming Hurricane Ernesto. We finally reached Annapolis safely and had our first practice at Navy. That night, I remember running across the street to the market with freshman Liam Farrell in rain and wind and we both questioned why we left sunny California. I would prefer not to reminisce on the games because we lost them all by a goal or two. We capped off the weekend with a boat ride around the harbor and up the Severn River.

We returned home and had some work to do. We had an intense week of practice and then we had our alumni game. It was great to see the recent graduates and connect with some the alumni from before my time at Santa Clara. After a nice day off, we had a week before our next tournament, NorCals. We knew we would have some tough competition considering our first game was against USC. We ended up loosing but it was really neat to see an improvement playing them this season compared to last season. The team left NorCals wondering how we were 0-8 after playing so hard and coming up so close. Coach Wilbur really helped the team to regroup and refocus for Slugfest the next weekend.

At Slugfest we played our conference rivals, Redlands. It was our first game of the weekend and we smelled a victory. The team really came out to play. We entered the third quarter tied and we knew that we were not going to lose another close game. Liam came through for us in the forth quarter to seal the victory against Redlands. Later that day, we played Claremont. Riding high on the emotions for the first game, we continued where we left off. Sophomore Jack Wall had his second hat trick of the day and Junior Chris Parolin had a great game adding two goals, an assist, and drew two kickouts and a 5M. We left Slugfest with 4 wins and the team was starting to turn around. That great feeling slowly disappeared when the first day of school arrived. It was nice to see the familiar faces from last year and reconnect with friends but the thought of trying to juggle a very important aspect, the school thing, brought my spirits down. The first week of school went by without a fluke and we were onto the weekend, which meant more games.

We were scheduled to play Cal Baptist and another conference rival, UC Davis. We were victorious against Cal Baptist and had our first home game against Davis the next day. We had a great fan turnout...they were loud and really supported us. It was a shame we could not get a victory for them but it was great to have their support. After a short week of practice, we traveled down to Claremont for the Convergence Tournament.

At Convergence, the team played great. Everything was clicking. Both goalies, J.Y. and Rob, had great games and it was nice not just to get victories, but to win in all aspects of the game. We had fun down in L.A. and it nice for the hometown kids, like me, to see their families. Another week of school followed except towards the end of the week the midterms started happening. One advantage of the quarter system is that you get tough or bad classes over with quickly. One disadvantage is that there is not time to slack off. You start a class, have a midterm, have another midterm, and then it's your final. Maybe a paper is thrown in here or there. That brings me up to this past weekend.

This last weekend we had our Senior Day versus Santa Cruz. To say they are a rival is an understatement. It comes down to necessity that we beat them especially as a thanks to our seniors this year. Again, we had a packed house. The fans were loud and sometimes boisterous (one fan got asked to leave). There were many hustle plays by our senior `Danimal' Soares. It was a great game to play in and the overall hype levels were just second to none. We ended up with another victory and more important, we got above .500. For a team that started out 0-8, it was a great accomplishment for us to improve our record to 10-9 and even better 8-1 in WWPA action.

A true test will come this weekend when we face LMU at Davis. They are a tough team and currently ranked 6th in the nation. We are going to practice hard this week and get ready for the competition to come. Sorry for the long initial post, I just felt obligated to bring you up to date. Until next time...

-Mike