Within the span of five days, Clovis West girls water polo coach Scott Torosian had himself quite a wild ride, eventually checking off team goal No. 1 – a TRAC title.
But in the meantime, a magic number was reached, a landmark achievement – 300 – as in the number of career wins for the 13-year coach in an already storied career. But it was the way it happened that he’ll remember for a long, long time.
On Oct. 20, Clovis West went to Clovis North with a record of 6-2, while the Broncos were 7-1 and in control of a league title. But what transpired was a game for the ages as the Golden Eagles beat the Broncos 8-7 in a triple overtime game, the last goal scored by Lauren Cotton in what’s called “sudden victory.”
“That will be a game I never forget,” said Torosian. “I’ve never coached a game with three sudden victory periods. The resiliency of this group made it emotional.”
Then five days later in the final league game of the season against rival Clovis, Clovis West would beat the Cougars 6-4 on senior night, clinching a co-championship with Clovis North and the No. 1 playoff seed.
In a season when the Golden Eagles overall record is 14-12, they have grinded out wins with stellar defense and only one senior on the roster, Caitlyn Snyder, who’s also a standout swimmer. Only two of the team’s losses were to in-section opponents.
In the title-clinching game against Clovis, Torosian pointed to the defensive efforts of Snyder, Emily Mayer, Abby Samansky and Lauren Cotton as keys to the victory and also goalie Maciah Lee’s 12 saves.
However, there’s more to Torosian that just the U.S. History teacher and water polo coach that has won five Valley titles and holds a 302-103 career record.
He readily gives credit to his success to others and this much is clear: it’s never about him.
“It takes a whole family to get there, from a coaching staff to my wife allowing me to do what I do year in and year out to my kids and my parents,” says Torosian. “I give my coaching staff a lot of credit on these wins, we work as a full team.”
And just ask his four-year starter Snyder, who has taken on a leadership role this season with such a young team and raves about Torosian not only as a coach but as a person and mentor.
“What makes him such a great coach is that coaching to him isn’t only that he wants to see you improve as a player but more importantly as a person,” said Snyder, whose sister, Sarah, was also a standout and currently at USCB. “He treats his players like family and truly wants to see us succeed in every aspect of life.
“I will never have a coach that I have same bond with as I do with Coach Torosian. He is definitely someone that all of the girls and I call an amazing coach. He’s a part of our family.”
Clovis West was given the No. 1 seed in the D-I Central Section playoffs and Clovis received the No. 4 seed. Clovis North is the 2 seed.
Why is that significant? Well, first of all, Clovis West has been to 20, yes 20, straight Valley title games.
And the last eight championship games have been Clovis West vs Clovis, each school winning four. But, if the two teams meet again it will be in the quarterfinals.
If team goals No. 2 and 3 play out – getting to the Valley title game and winning it – that would bee win No. 305 for Torosian, a pretty sweet deal indeed.