San Dieguito Academy wins first water polo championship

The champion Mustangs water polo squad.
(Mark Herrera)

Junior Duke Grady and some of his San Dieguito Academy teammates took practice shots at halftime of the Division III final on Nov. 13 at the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex in La Jolla. Not that Grady needed to tune-up, having already scored five goals. Instead, it was to tune up the reserve goalie in what would be a 16-7 victory over Valley Center for the Mustangs’ first title.

“This is the dream, to get the (championship) ring,” said Grady, a third-year varsity member, who helped stake San Dieguito to a 10-1 halftime edge. “It’s all that you could ever want. We played really well as a team to start the game.’’

Grady finished with five goals, and Dylan Butler also had five for the Mustangs, who missed out on the playoffs last season in D-II.

“I didn’t think that this (title) was possible,’’ Grady said. “I guess we’ve always had it, but we didn’t know it ourselves.’’Grady’s freshman brother, Dane, added three goals, in San Dieguito’s first final since 2016.

Valley Center went 14:58 without scoring midway through the game.

— Glae Thien is a freelance writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune.