SAN MARINO — A season after the most successful campaign in Hoover High boys' water polo chronicle, the Tornadoes look hardly the same. And it's intentional.
"We tried last year that one-man team and you can only go so far," said Hoover Coach Ara Oganesyan, whose 2009 squad advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division VI quarterfinals during a season in which Hakop Kaplanyan scored a CIF record 229 goals. "When you go to the CIF, that's the show.
"If it's gonna take some learning along the way, we'll make those sacrifices."
The latest sacrifice came in the form of a 9-7 nonleague loss to host San Marino on Tuesday afternoon.
It was a match in which Kaplanyan did not play at all the first quarter and was held out the start of the third quarter. The reigning All-Area Boys' Water Polo Player of the Year took just two shots in the match, scoring on both, as Oganesyan is looking for a more team-oriented style with a defensive foundation. Still, the coach admits his All-CIF standout has had his struggles adjusting.