Nov. 15, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Three Air Force water polo players were honored by the Western Water Polo Association today, as the league announced its annual awards, voted on by the league's coaches. Sophomore Josh Stedman was named a first-team All-WWPA selection, junior Cruz Smithson earned honorable mention all-conference recognition and rookie Petar Jackovich was named to the WWPA All-Freshman Team.
Stedman, an all-freshman selection last season, is the youngest member of this season's All-WWPA first team and the second Falcon to be named a first-team all-conference honoree in the past three seasons. The attack from Brea, Calif., currently ranks second on the team in goals (38) and points (48), while leading the Falcons with 26 steals on the season.
Smithson also earns the first conference accolades of his career after being named the WWPA Newcomer of the Year in 2009. The utility player from Capistrano Beach, Calif., currently has a team-best 43 goals and 58 points on the season and is third in both assists (15) and steals (16). Meanwhile, Jackovich, a native of New Lenox, Ill., was honored as an all-freshman team member after finishing the regular season with eight goals, two assists and eight steals.
In addition to releasing its all-conference teams, the WWPA also announced the winners of this year's major awards. Loyola Marymount senior Edgaras Asajavicius and freshman Joe Ferretti were named the league's Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively, while UC San Diego's Denny Harper was named the Coach of the Year.
Air Force will head to the 2011 Western Water Polo Association Championship, hosted by UC San Diego, this week, Nov. 17-20. The fifth-seeded Falcons will face 12th-seed Occidental in the opening game of the tournament, with the winner advancing to play fourth-seed UC Davis on Friday.
2011 Western Water Polo Association Men's Water Polo Honors
Player of the Year: Edgaras Asajavicius (Sr.) - Utility - Loyola Marymount
Newcomer of the Year: Joe Ferretti (Fr.) - Utility - Loyola Marymount
Coach of the Year: Denny Harper - UC San Diego
Edgaras Asajavicius (Sr., Utility) - Loyola Marymount
John Butler (Jr., Driver) - UC San Diego
James Case (Sr., Driver) - Santa Clara
Jon Colton (Jr., Utility) - Loyola Marymount
David Morton (Sr., Goalie) - UC San Diego
Aaron Salit (Sr., Center) - UC Davis
Josh Stedman (So., Attack) - Air Force
Brian Chong (Sr., Driver) - Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Brian Donohoe (Jr., 2M Defense) - UC San Diego
Joe Ferretti (Fr., Utility) - Loyola Marymount
Colin Hicks (Jr., Attack) - UC Davis
Mark Hudnall (Jr., Attack) - Pomona-Pitzer
Graham Saber (Sr., Driver) - UC San Diego
Michael Wishart (Sr., Goalie) - Santa Clara
Honorable Mention All-WWPA
Brett Carter (So., 2M) - Chapman
Erick Gonzalez (So., Attack) - Whittier
Tai McDermott (Sr., Utility) - Occidental
Daley Meistrell (Sr., Driver) - Santa Clara
Jeff Parsons (Sr., Driver) - Redlands
Cruz Smithson (Jr., Utility) - Air Force
Blake vanHartesvelt (Sr., Center) - Redlands
Kyle Testman (Jr., Goalie) - Loyola Marymount
WWPA All-Freshman Team
Mark David - Santa Clara
Joe Ferretti - Loyola Marymount
Matt Machalko - UC San Diego
Dan Newell - La Verne
Petar Jackovich - Air Force
Chris Richardson - UC Davis
Stephen Vint - Pomona-Pitzer