A Southern California water polo match crossed the line into a physical incident on Monday when a junior varsity player for Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei School reportedly violently choked a varsity player for Anaheim (Calif.) Servite High.
Servite water polo team
According to the Orange County Register, Servite principal Michael Brennan reported the alleged attacks to the Anaheim police department, which is investigating the incident and could potential press assault charges if it is determined which Mater Dei player or players was/were responsible for the choking violations.
While the victim of the choking incidents was not revealed, he reportedly told coaches that he was being choked in the middle of the match, leaving the pool to re-gain his breath. He returned to the water shortly thereafter, but was again pushed underwater and claimed to be choked a second time.
The Servite player who was attacked was taken to the hospital, but his condition was not released to the media.
Bizarrely, there is nothing that the California Interscholastic Federation can do about the incident because no ejections were filed from the game. Instead, the state governing body will have to wait for schools to file additional information before deciding to take any action against individual Mater Dei athletes or the school in general if more details about the scary choking incident is made public.
Water polo is always a physical game, so it's not shocking when a player complains about an overly-aggressive move from an opponent. Still, two cases of alleged full-on choking in a single game is a stunning claim for any teenager, and one which is sure to raise the ire of water polo critics everywhere, regardless of what happens next.
- Mater Dei School