East Lansing and Holt High Schools Boys’ Water Polo Team Receive Post-Season Awards for First Time

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Monday, January 25, 2016, 1:37 pm
Telaina Eriksen

Cameron Spicer looks to pass.

East Lansing and Holt High Schools Boys’ Water Polo Team (HOTEL) have received post-season recognition from the Michigan Water Polo Association and the Lansing State Journal for the first time. Charles Schertzing (senior, East Lansing) was the first water polo player in HOTEL’s history to make the MWPA East Region’s second-team. Schertzing and Zachary Sneathen (sophomore, East Lansing) made the Lansing State Journal’s boys’ water polo Dream Team. Cameron Spicer (sophomore, East Lansing), Will Kirkonnell (junior, Holt) and Matthew Eriksen (sophomore, East Lansing) were all-area selections in the LSJ Dream Team, and Mikey Kuhl (senior, East Lansing) received an honorable mention. HOTEL’s coach, Ronald Marsh, was selected as the Lansing State Journal’s boys’ water polo “Coach of the Year.”

Zachary Sneathen defending

 “It was a huge honor to be awarded a post-season award. Everybody on the team just worked so hard, I think any member of the team would have deserved to win it,” Schertzing said.

The HOTEL boys also made waves in MWPA’s Academic All-State category with Schertzing, Sneathen, Spicer, Eriksen, Kirkonnell, Johnny Hoerner (Holt, sophomore), Jerry Sweitzer (East Lansing, junior), Jack Sparrow (sophomore, East Lansing), Johnathan Ward (sophomore, East Lansing) and Mickey Moore (junior, Holt) all receiving the MWPA award for participating in high school water polo while maintaining a GPA of 3.75 or above.

The HOTEL boys show off their Academic All-State Awards.

The HOTEL boys made it to regionals for the first time in October 2015. Sneathen said that was his favorite memory of the 2015 water polo season. “We played Haslett at districts and held them to only a few goals. We figured out how to defend against them as a cohesive team and the win brought us to regionals for the first time,” Sneathen said.

Schertzing also remembered the district tournament fondly. “We scored eight goals on (Birmingham) Seaholm at districts this year. They beat us two years ago to crush our playoff hopes, and doing that provided a cathartic, team win,” Schertzing said. HOTEL lost at regionals to #4 ranked Ann Arbor Pioneer, who ended up winning the East Region tourney.

Spicer was happy to be a part of the HOTEL team that went to regionals for the first time and he’s already looking forward to next year. “One of my main goals is to be a part of the first ever HOTEL team to make it to States. That would be such an accomplishment,” Spicer said.

Eriksen goes up for a block.

Eriksen agreed. “We are a young team,” Eriksen said. HOTEL is losing just two players this year—Schertzing and Kuhl. “I just don’t think we are going to get worse.”

A big part of HOTEL’s success this year has been the training many of the boys do during the summer--two hours of swimming each morning and two hours of water polo practice each afternoon five days a week, and “dryland” (weight room and land conditioning) two to three days a week. They keep this practice schedule up for all of June and July and then high school practices start in mid-August.

“This is a team with great chemistry,” Marsh said. “They work hard, they spend a lot of time together, they know each other, trust each other, and play well as a team. I can’t wait to see what they do next year.”

Schertzing has his own plans for next year. The HOTEL alum lost last year at the annual HOTEL varsity vs. HOTEL alumni game. Schertzing will play on the alumni side for the first time in August. “We’re going to destroy them at alumni game this year,” Schertzing said.


Disclosure: Telaina Eriksen’s son is Matthew Eriksen, HOTEL Varsity goalkeeper.


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