Can you be perfect? Yeah, it’s a line from the movie “Friday Night Lights,” but it also begged the asking of Kingsburg High’s water polo teams this season.
The answer is an emphatic “yes” as the Viking boys and girls teams defeated rival host Selma 17-2 and 15-1, respectively, on Thursday, to finish unbeaten in league. The feat marked the second consecutive year the Kingsburg boys had run the table in league.
Now, it's onto the playoffs for both teams.
The Kingsburg girls are seeded No. 1 in Division III and play the winner of Bakersfield Christian vs. Hoover at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kingsburg High pool. Immediately following, the No. 4 seed (in D-II) Viking boys meet No. 5 Lemoore. Both games are quarterfinal contests.
“We’re excited to be the No. 1 seed – it’s exciting for the seniors and shows how well they’ve done,” second-year Kingsburg girls coach Emily Dewey said. “We’ve been wanting to go to Valley and now we’re focused on Saturday.”
The Viking girls fell to Reedley last season in the semifinals.
The Vikings girls have been led by Bridgette Garcia who has 50 goals and 36 assists, according to MaxPreps.com. Sofia Righetti has also paced Kingsburg with 41 goals, 29 shots and 58 steals.
Against Selma, freshmen Mikayla Vierra and Righetti made four goals apiece. Also excelling for the Vikings were Jillian Gipson, Tara Fry and goalkeeper Brighton Kinney.
Still more contributors throughout the season have been Jessica Burch-Konda, Mary Rooney, Megan Buendia, Evan Yakligian and Bianca Valenzuela.
Not to be outdone on Thursday night, the Viking boys also rolled past their neighboring rivals.
“I’m proud of the boys,” Kingsburg coach Josh Lee said. “They put in a lot of hard work. We didn’t take going unbeaten in league for granted. We’re thankful for the competition we have (in the league). Everyone is a good sport and I appreciate that.”
The Vikings out-scored the Bears 9-0 in the first quarter and 6-2 in the second and were never threatened after that. Satoshi Shinkawa led the Vikings against Selma, Lee said, with six goals and two assists. Other stat leaders were: Jake Goodbar (two goals, three assists), Joey DeForge (two goals, two assists), Alex Meyer (two goals), Cristian Valenzuela (two goals), Conor Righetti (one goal, two assists), Colby Simmons (one goal, three assists) and Jackson Huckabee (one goal).
Other contributors this season have been: Spencer Molles, Seiji Shinkawa (brother of Satoshi), Quinton Davis, Andy Reimer, Brendan Dorval, Cole Young, Garrett Pack, Jacob Wilson, Josh Rodriguez and Coleson Jobe.
“We’ve been getting ready for Valley," Lee said. “We’d like to go as far as possible.”