Young team striving to make new waves


Eager to dive into a new and improved season, Diamond Bar High School’s girls water polo season began with a strong start on Nov. 8. 

With new head coach Gary Cheever, a completely different set of varsity players and new senior leadership, the team has evolved much since their last traditional 2019-2020 season. 

Cheever took on the role of head coach following former head coach Devin Hunter’s admission into the police academy. His years of coaching the boys water polo team has helped ensure a smooth transition back to the pool for the girls. 

Practices have been intense for the girls as they work diligently to get back into shape. Oftentimes, Cheever challenges his athletes to push their physical boundaries, such as doing a lot of swimming drills to get back in shape. 

“It’s definitely been a change in work ethic, especially coming out of COVID,” senior goalie Erin Wong said. “We have been doing a lot of catch up.”

Wong remarks that the team has been showing more drive than previous years, possibly due to Cheever’s positive influence. She notes that more girls have been showing up and putting their full efforts toward daily practices. 

“We got a new coach so practices have been different,” junior Madison Bautista said. “Every coach has a different way that they teach people, so getting used to his style was a change for us.”

A notable player on the team is junior Juliana Longoria. With over ten years of experience with club water polo, she brings an invaluable resource to the team.   

The girls played their first tournament on Nov. 20, losing both games. After suffering a loss against San Dimas High School, 19-11, their low morale led to another loss against Vista Murrieta High School, 21-4. 

We were not as successful as we would have liked to have been but the girls have come closer as a unit,” Cheever said.  

Although the team lost these two initial matches, they learned from this experience and performed much better at their first home, non-conference game. 

“There were a lot of turnovers during the game so we had to learn to get on offense and get on defense quickly and learn how to work effectively with our environment,” sophomore Gianna Salas said. 

Applying their knowledge from the tournament, the Brahmas went into the Nov. 29 game against Chino with improved defense and team chemistry. This proved to be helpful, as they won 13-8. 

“This year’s team is very young and has been working very hard,” Cheever said. “It has been a true pleasure to see their growth since June.”

The team will play their next game on Dec. 13 against Norco High School.