San Marino Looks to Be In the Thick of A Tough Rio Hondo League Race After Solid Preseason Performance
By Mitch Lehman
Talking to San Marino High School head varsity water polo Coach Robert Zirovich, one gets the sense he is a man who has found his kismet. Harvard-educated and well-spoken, Zirovich is happiest on the deck of a swimming pool, instructing young people on the intricacies of the unique sport.
It has been a lifelong pursuit for the Arcadia High School graduate, who heads up the Mid-Valley Water Polo Club as his “other” job. A year ago he was called in to put out a dumpster fire at SMHS, and he hasn’t gone back to the station.
“I hadn’t planned on returning to coaching high school ball,” he says with a hint of surprise in his voice. This has been a lot of fun working with the kids over the last year. They are the reason I am still here.”
His enthusiasm has seeped into the pool, where his Titans blasted off to a 9-0 start before winning the 12-team El Rancho Varsity Water Polo tournament last weekend.
“I am really proud of these kids,” Zirovich said. “They really came together and played well as a team.”
Non-league games against Arcadia and perennial powerhouse Los Altos will set the table for a Rio Hondo League buffet that is getting tougher and tougher to navigate as time goes by.
“Our league is by far the most competitive in the division,” said Zirovich, a 17-year coaching veteran of the water wars. “La Cañada and South Pasadena have been very good for a long time. Temple City finished second past year. San Marino has a strong history and Monrovia is getting much better.”
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