Water Polo: Shore has the Spotlight
BOYS WATER POLO PREVIEW: Shore has the spotlight at Corona Santiago
BY KYLE GLASER / STAFF WRITER
CORONA – Tanner Shore’s value to the Corona Santiago water polo program has been described as everything from “extremely important” to “indispensible” over the years, largely depending on depending on who you ask and what jaw-dropping feat he just performed in the pool.
But the biggest testament to Shore’s value?
The senior attacker is Corona Santiago’s only returning starter this season, and his presence alone has the Sharks believing they can make a repeat CIF-Southern Section finals appearance.
“This will be my 20th year coaching, and he’s one of the top two players I’ve ever had,” Sharks coach Scott Penttila said. “I thought he would be a good player when he came into our program as a freshman, but he’s surpassed even what I though he could be.”
Shore, formerly a utility player, was named CIF-SS Division 3 Co-Player of the Year last season as well as all-Big VIII and all-area first team. He boasts 283 goals and 401 points over the last two seasons and is being actively recruited by major college programs.
Now, as Santiago’s key player, the spotlight and leadership role are all his.
“I definitely feel like I have a new role and I need to step up even more,” Shore said. “I was a team captain last year but I was kind of quiet because we had so many seniors around. Now I feel like I’m the one everyone will look up to. It’s new, but I’m ready.”
He’ll need to be. In addition to replacing so many starters, the Sharks were moved up to Division 2 in the offseason, making a title game return trip immensely more difficult.
“It’s going be tough,” Shore said. “We’re definitely going to have to step up and realize were playing with the big dogs.”
Even so, Santiago’s young pups are coming along in Shore’s eyes, and he said they may just be able to compete with the “big dogs” of Division 2.
“I actually see us doing pretty well in CIF,” he said. “The guys we have to fill in the holes are pretty good. I’ve been trying to coach them up a bit, and they’re definitely going to do a good job.”
If they can, it will only open up more room for Shore to excel.
“He’s an extremely hard worker, first of all…and then his athletic ability makes him unique,” Penttila said. “It just looks different when he shoots and swims than others. Everything just looks smoother. It comes naturally to him.”
With colleges actively recruiting him, a CIF Player of the Year award in his trophy case and nearly 300 goals in just two varsity seasons, Shore has already proved his value.
Now, all he can do is elevate it with another banner season.
“I definitely love to play the sport, my heart is always in it,” he said. “I just try hard and put all my effort into it. Whatever you put into it you get out of it, and I’m putting a lot in this year.”Article Link: http://www.pe.com/articles/shore-749286-year-player.html