Brian Semple walks along the pool deck at the Wylie Community Pool and shouts out instructions to his talented Dexter water polo team. The Dreadnaughts in the pool might be treading water while listening to their coach but they know they have the talent to stand with any team in the state heading into 2015.
“We have the potential to make the state competition, which means we could be one of the top eight teams in the state,” said Semple.
And that’s impressive considering there are no divisions in water polo. The small schools, medium schools and big schools are all thrown into the same pool – with only one team standing at the end.
Dexter went 23-18 last year losing to Ann Arbor Huron in the regionals. The Dreadnaughts return several key players off that successful season from a year ago.
Top returners include senior captains Matt Bergdolt, David Merz and Adam Theros.
“We have high expectations,” said Merz, taking a break from practice last week. “We played well in our first tournament. And we have two really good goalies so we should be looking pretty good.”
Theros agreed with the “high expectations” heading into this season.
“We have a big senior class with six starting seniors plus two good senior goalies,” he said. “We also have a lot more depth than in previous years.”
Key juniors returning to the lineup include Alex Janosi and Ben Daugherty.
The Dreads also have some talented younger players joining the varsity this year including sophomore Drew Golin (driver) and senior Alex Golin (two-meter offense).
Semple, in his 12th year as coach, says the Dreads have a veteran team with a lot of depth.
“Our speed and defensive intensity will be our greatest strengths this season,” he said. “Our half-court offense needs to improve, but as we play more this should become less of a concern.”
Dexter’s District consists of Saline, Pioneer, Huron, Chelsea, Skyline, Walled Lake and Grand Blanc.
“The key to success for us will be focusing on communication, using our legs and playing together as a team,” Semple said.