Player of the Year: Hannah Harvey
She's qualified because: All-Valley Division I MVP and Co-Player of the Year in the Tri-River Athletic Conference led Clovis to its second straight Central Section title, scoring five goals as Cougars beat Clovis West 13-10 in the final. Had 87 goals, 87 steals, 76 ejections drawn, 30 assists and won all but two of her sprints for 22-8 Cougars.
For all Hannah Harvey did in the pool to help Clovis High capture a second straight Central Section girls water polo title -- and she did plenty -- it was her efforts behind the scenes that Cougars coach Noah Minton appreciates most.
"We're so competitive and the girls are so intense, just being a unified team and keeping it all together has been one of our struggles," Minton said. "But Hannah does her best to look out for everyone, not just herself. She's a good leader."
A pretty good player, too.
The junior has been selected The Bee's Player of the Year following a season in which her 87 goals, 87 steals, 75 ejections drawn and 30 assists drove Clovis to a 22-8 record capped by a 13-10 victory over Clovis West for the Division I title. Clovis West sophomore Mary Brooks, who shared the Tri-River Athletic Conference Player of the Year award with Harvey, was also strongly considered.
"I think our team did outstanding this year," said Harvey, who scored five goals in the D-I final to earn All-Valley MVP honors. "We had some difficulties, but we were able to work through them and pull it together. It was definitely stressful , but in the end, it will help me in the long run be able to communicate with other coaches."
That Harvey has blossomed into a water polo player who's already starting to draw the attention of college coaches is somewhat surprising considering she didn't take up the sport until the eighth grade. Harvey was a runner until knee problems led her to follow older sister Kelsie into the pool.
"It was definitely interesting the first couple of practices I went out to," Harvey said. "With polo, it's hard to stay afloat while holding the ball. That was interesting, but I love learning new things and becoming good at them."
Minton said Harvey's drive to succeed at whatever she does has allowed her to make up ground on players who got their start in water polo years earlier. Between high school practice, Olympic development camps, winter camps and summer Junior Olympics, Harvey plays year-round.
"She's had the goal of of being able to play in college and is willing to work as hard as she can to do that," Minton said. "You want to tell your athletes not to over-do it, but she's stubborn that way. She always wants to get back out there. Her attitude toward the game and what she thinks she needs to do to be the best she can be is what makes her a great player. I'm happy we have her one more year."
Harvey said there's always something new to learn or improve on. Her big emphasis in the coming year will be improving the strength of her shot and gaining a little muscle weight.
"I love this sport," Harvey said. "I guess when you do something you love, it doesn't take a whole lot to get you to go."
The reporter can be reached at email@example.com or (559) 622-2407.