Loaded with seniors and supercharged with speed from its Division II runner-up swimming team, Crescenta Valley has a well-rounded team led by seniors Rane Colvin, an All-CIF goalkeeper and the reigning Pacific League Most Valuable Player, and Alan Dearman, an All-CIF hole/set. The Falcons are looking to win their second CIF title in three years after falling to Rio Mesa in the semis last season.
"I think it would be fair to say this is the fastest team in the division because all of them are just top, top-level swimmers," said Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju, who also counts swimming standouts Josh Chi, Andrew De Jong and transfer Louis Wojciechowski among his weapons. "Alan is also one of the best hole/sets in the division, Rane is arguably one of the best, if not the best, goalies in the division, so we've got all the right pieces, we just need to put it together."
After battling the Falcons to an overtime loss in the championship game of the Pacific League tournament last season, the Nitros also saw their bid to reach the CIF finals fall short in overtime against eventual champion Webb.
And, while most of that team is back, led by All-CIF hole/set Gor Asryan, second-year Coach Forest Holbrook has some younger players entering the fold to push his starters and provide more depth.
"We have a number of sophomores who came up who are going to be challenging last year's starters for starting positions," Holbrook said. "Our team is not the same team as last year. We've got two or three new players who came in that I can see challenging some of our older players for their starting spots."