On November 1, the Milken Water Polo team honored seniors Daniel Afar, Alex Daneshgar, Bradley Nourafshan, Sam Nourafshan and Josh Yashari through a ceremony, where they were all commemorated for their contributions to Milken Water Polo. The ceremony took place after they played in their final game. On the day where they hosted their largest crowd of the season, the Wildcats played their best game, beating Al Hambra High School by a score of 20-5.
Afar led the team with five goals, playing one of his most aggressive games ever. Afar had been one of the key players on the team this year. He has grown much bigger and stronger over the years, and helped guide this team through the season.
“I wanted to make up for the other games this season in which I did not play as well,” Afar said.
Bradley Nourafshan, who scored four goals, had one of his highest scoring games of the season. Nourafshan had always been a strong player, but his strengths were not fully put to use until this season. As a senior he was able to play more, and showed how much he had grown as a player.
“It was our last game, I wanted to play well,” Bradley Nourafshan said.
Behind Bradley Nourafshan in scoring was his cousin Sam Nourafshan, who scored three goals. As one of the premier scorers on the team, Nourafshan not only played well, but also helped his teammates play better as well
“It wasn’t my best game of the season, but I feel that as a team we played very well together,” Sam Nourfshan said.
Daneshgar finished the game with two goals, playing aggressively throughout. He helped set people up more than trying to score. After two years of being on varsity, Daneshgar is one of the most improved players in the Water Polo program.
The fifth senior on the team is Yashari. Although he did not score in the game, he was a constant defensive presence that helped stop shots and steal passes.
Afar, Daneshgar, Bradley Nourafshan, Sam Nourafshan and Yashari first learned to play from former coach Ivan Podvalov. Upon entering his sophomore year, Afar made varsity, where he remained for the rest of his time at Milken. In his junior year, he had he won the defensive player of the year award. Afar went from being a shy freshman to a beast in the water.
“Water Polo really changed me. It taught me to be dedicated, the value of teamwork, and determination. If not for Water Polo, I don’t know who I would be today,” Afar said.
Daneshgar, Sam Nourafshans, Bradley Nourafshan and Yashari, all made the varsity squad in their junior year.
The future leaders of the team are juniors David Itkin, Benji Donitz, and Jake Zingerman. These juniors will help lead the team to what will hopefully be another great season next year.