The Skyline Eagles are the champions of their district following two wins at the Birdbath on Saturday, October 21.
Skyline hosted the tournament to find the top teams of the Michigan Water Polo East Region District 4. The team earned a day off on Friday, when the competition started – and it ended Saturday afternoon with a showdown against Dexter. In between, Skyline won the morning game against Ann Arbor Pioneer, 14-1.
“It’s exciting,” said Coach Reb Godek, following her team’s photo with their trophy.
Hosting the tournament without a game on Friday posed a different dynamic, she said, and it was one they had to overcome. The first game saw the Eagles start with some sluggishness, she said.
“I usually like having a Friday night game because it warms us up a little bit,” said Godek.
But by the final game, they team was pumped for victory – and Godek said every player contributed.
Dexter’s Dreadnaughts started the scoring in the championship game, but Keegan Gardner quickly answered it to get the Eagles onto the board. Four more goals followed in the first: Matteo Procoppe on a 5-meter shot, another by Keegan from set, Wilson Noll on a rebound after a shot by Matteo and another by Matteo as he jumped to tip in a pass near the net.
Skyline’s wave of scoring continued in the second quarter. The first goal was by Ethan Procoppe, who swam to the net after catching a pass at about 12 meters. Wilson sank a long pass from Matteo, the moments later scored as he spun toward the goal. Spencer Jyawook scored twice, using his speed to outrace defenders.
Keegan launched the third-quarter scoring, hitting the net from about five meters straight up the middle. Matteo got two more goals, while Ben Keith – who just moved up from JV – also scored.
The fourth quarter was the last 5 minutes playing in the Birdbath for the team’s seniors: Matteo, Wilson, Josh Smith, Liam Keating and Alex Eisman, who distinguished himself during the game with some smart defense. They played the full period with two other teammates who won’t return next season: Junior Goalie Mason Hickman and Freshman Ethan Procoppe. Goals came from Wilson, Alex and Josh, plus two from Ethan.
The final score for the boys’ final home game of the season: 19-3.
Godek said the game didn’t present a lot of surprises to the coaching staff. Instead, she saw a solid team ready to face the next wave of challenge. Regional games start Friday, October 27, in East Lansing.
“They’re playing as a team,” Godek said, “and that’s what this time of the season is all about.”