Stockton, Calif. - Head coach James Graham announced the newcomers to his 2014 Pacific Men's Water Polo team Wednesday, with juniors Brady Moore and Mitchell Youhanna joining via junior college and freshmen Chris Gardhouse, Blake Hokkanen, Tim Reeves, Jacob Rosenfeld, Ikko Saito, Devon Thumwood, Simon Vogel and Nick Zachmeier joining Pacific as freshmen.
"We're really excited about this group of incoming players," Graham said. "It's a very strong recruiting class. We've had great players come through the program over our history, but I don't think we've had an incoming class that was as deep as this one."
Goalkeeper Brady Moore was the Athlete of the Year at Cuesta College. In two seasons at Cuesta, he was a junior college All-American in both seasons. In 2012, he was named WSC Player of the Year and also made the All-State team. Leading Cuesta to a 28-10 record and conference title, Moore set a single-season program saves record with 442, obliterating the old mark by 72. He added 374 saves as a sophomore, repeating as WSC Player of the Year, all-league and all-state.
Mitchell Youhanna joins the Tigers from Diablo Valley College, where he helped the Vikings to a 20-4 record this past season. The team won the Big 8 regular season title and the NorCal regional playoffs before falling in the state semifinals. He was an All-Big 8, All-Nor Cal and All American selection. At Washington High School in Freemont, Youhanna was named an All-Mission Valley Athletic League and All-North Coast Section honoree.
Chris Gardhouse was named Marmonte League Player of the Year as a senior at Agoura Hills, helping the Chargers to a third-straight state championship. The First Team All-CIF, and All-Marmonte League honoree scored 58 goals as a senior as the Chargers won the CIF Division II title. He scored 42 goals as a junior, en route to the CIF D-II championship, and helped the Chargers to the CIF Division IV championship with 24 goals as a sophomore.
Blake Hokkanen, from Beaverton, Oregon, helped the Southridge High Skyhawks to the Metro League Championship and 6A State Championship in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He was named Metro League MVP as a senior and earned First Team All-Metro League as a junior and senior. He also earned First Team All-State accolades the last three years.
Tim Reeves comes to Pacific from Canberra, Australia. He was a member of the UNSW Wests Magpies premiership winning squad. He debuted in the National League as one of the youngest players in the league, when he was just 16-years-old. He played for the The Australian Born '96 team at the 2014 FINA World Youth Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
Jacob Rosenfeld was a three-time varsity letterman and the offensive player of the year at Thousand Oaks High School. Helped the Lancers to a second-place finish in the Marmonte League last season, and scored three goals vs No. 1 ranked Agoura. The Lancers finished 22-7 overall and 10-2 in league play. Member of the Coastal Zone Olympic Development Program Youth National Team.
Ikko Saito joins Pacific from Cerritos, Calif., where he was a First Team All-America, First Team All-CIF and First Team All-Suburban League selection the last two seasons. He also earned Suburban League MVP in 2012 and 2013, and was named First Team All-Suburban League in 2010 and 2011. He helped his Cerritos High Dons to four-straight league titles, and four-straight state quarterfinal appearances, advancing to the semis in 2013.
Devon Thumwood comes to the Tigers from Calgary, Alberta, where he played on the Youth National Team in the summers of 2010-12, the Junior National Team in 2012 and 2013, and with the Senior National Team Training Centre from 2012-2014. Thumwood earned Canadian National Championships all-star team awards at the 16 & Under Championships in 2010 as well as the 18 & Under Championships in 2011 and 2012.
Simon Vogel has spent the last two years as team captain of the Hungary '96 & Under National Team, which just won the FINA World Men's Youth Water Polo Championships this summer in Turkey. He also helped his squad to a fourth place finish in the Youth European championship, and six top four finishes in the Hungarian Under-18 National Chamionships.
A native of Kailua, Hawai'i, Nick Zachmeier joins the program from Le Jardin Academy where he was the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II Player of the Year as both a junior and a senior. He helped the Bulldogs to the ILH title for his final three years in high school, turning in back-to-back undefeated seasons.
Pacific is coming off the best season in program history, as the Tigers posted a 23-5 record, won the MPSF Regular Season title and advanced to the NCAA National Championship game before falling in overtime. After spending a month ranked number one during the regular season, the Tigers were second in the final poll.
The 10 newcomers will join 17 returning players for the Tigers on the roster next season. Graham, the 2013 National Coach of the Year, also announced his intention to redshirt Krisztian Laczkovics, Alex Obert and Aleksandar Petrovic. Obert and Petrovic were All-Americans last season. The Tigers will focus on developing players who's playing time was limited last year with nine seniors on the roster last year.
"We lost a lot from last year's team, but we have a very deep and very hungry group of players who are ready to step up. We know we will be competitive this season, and our overall goal is to bring a national championship to Pacific. This season will be about developing the experience necessary to achieve that goal."