As it turned out, the GMAC boys’ and girls’ water polo tournament on Wednesday at MAST Academy in Key Biscayne may as well have been dubbed the “Hialeah Invitational.”
That’s because the T-Breds — from the moment both teams got off the bus — dominated all day long.
After their first title a year ago, the girls were looking to repeat as GMAC champions and did so in dominating fashion, crushing Mourning 18-4 in the final. That victory came after beating up on Coral Gables 26-4 in the morning semifinal.
The boys then jumped in the pool for their championship match against Krop and cruised to an 8-4 win over the Lightning. That win followed a 19-0 wipeout of Cutler Bay in the semifinals.
“I guess the boys saw all the success the girls were having and decided to go out and catch up,” quipped a smiling Alex Donis, who is in his fourth year coaching both teams and is widely credited with the rise of both programs. “Both teams did a great job of coming out and taking care of their business today.”
While it was the first GMAC title for the boys, Donis said that the girls (14-1) — while certainly happy about claiming another GMAC trophy — have much bigger plans. That desire is fueled by a heartbreaking one-point loss to Orlando Olympia in last year’s state semifinals, then having to watch Olympia go on and win the title.
“We did a good job of coming out today and just taking care of our business,” said senior Ashley Luy, who had four goals against Mourning. “It’s been hard, you don’t get this good by not working hard. We’re out there every day giving it our all and our goal is not to let happen to us this year what happened last year. We want that state title.”
Paola Dominguez-Castro, who plays in the Olympic Development Program, led the way with six goals while Alejandra Aranguren also scored four goals.
“I got them all back from last year and these girls are definitely a driven bunch after coming so close last year,” said Donis, whose team took a two-point lead into the final quarter against Olympia last year. “Today was good work but coming out and doing what they were capable of doing.”
“Just an amazing feeling and it feels great to be joining the girls getting the trophy today,” said senior David Lemus, who, along with Adrian Mena, led the way with three goals each. “What’s really cool is how we support each other. We were out here rooting for them today and then they stayed around to root for us. We’re on big family and now we would like to go to state together.”
Said Donis: “I’m very proud of what we’ve gotten done with this program. A real credit to the club program in our city and seeing kids who just stay home and go to Hialeah High without running off to private programs. The fact that we actually have one girls who plays on the Olympic Development Team and another who has multiple scholarship offers, tells you everything about what we’re doing.”