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The One Way Water Polo club has been an established area sports program for awhile. Local coaches Charlie Bell and Rob Knight started the club in 2007.

Recently, the club's numbers and fortunes have risen.

"Our numbers have been up," Bell, who oversees the program by himself now although the club has several other coaches, said during a One Way workout at Paul Nelson Pool Tuesday night.

Bell is a long-time area water polo fixture who has aided water polo programs at several area schools. Knight, a former solo Righetti head coach, is now a co-coach for a Righetti program that has won multiple CIF Southern Section divisional water polo championships.

Bell said the One Way Water Polo age groups range from 7U (7-and-under) to 14U. Boys and girls from several One Way age groups were at the workout Tuesday night. 

"We have a lot of 12s (12U players) who are going to move up to the 14s," said Bell. "We're trying to have more 10s (who will eventually move up to the 12-U age group)."

Bell said he would like to have even more 12U players.

"We have had more participation," recently, he said. "It's just gaining more interest, we're getting our name out there a little more, thanks some to media coverage. A lot of it is just word of mouth among the kids."  

The One Way 12U team made a big breakout last month. The squad finished third at the age group Junior Olympics, the best Junior Olympics finish ever for a One Way squad.

The Junior Olympics water polo event took place at various spots in Orange County. One Way 12U squad members included Lucas Anderson, Alex Andrade, Michael Brown, Jonathan Carcarey, Adrian Eisner, Aidan Fitzpatrick, Levi Pick, Morrison Stefford, Jacob Timmer, Kyle Timmer, Logan Todd, Cahill Tucker and Zachary Whitfield.

Miles Whitfield was the head coach. Bell and Justin Murillo were his assistants.

"We had a couple of guys who led the scoring, but our scoring was pretty balanced," said Bell. "Defense was the big reason why we were as successful as we were."

Carcarey, a utility player, concurred with that assessment. "We played high and in the lane on defense."

As One Way's tournament wins mounted Jacob Timmer, another utility player, said, so did the team's confidence.  

"Going into the tournament, we didn't know what to expect," said Timmer. "After the first three games, we thought that with a little effort we could get first, second or third."

At least two former high school stars are part of the large One Way Water Polo coaching staff. Lydia Lombard is a former Righetti High School standout who went on to play at Cuesta College. Katie Perry played for Bell when he coached at St. Joseph. Both of them assisted at the Tuesday night workout.

Bell, however, was the one who was obviously in command of the workout. At the outset, he firmly let some of the swimmers know that they needed to pick up the pace of their warm-up laps.

He doled out praise when the players did what he wanted them to do during the workout, and he let them know when they didn't.

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"Much better, much better!," he exclaimed at one point when players made the kind of "explosive," movement Bell wanted during a drill. 

"Why are our passes hitting the water?," he said at one point. "We need dry passes."

Later in the workout, Bell's wasn't the only voice he heard and he let the players know.

"What happens when I'm talking and someone else is talking?," he inquired.

"Push ups!," the players responded.

"That's right," Bell replied. "Five push-ups." The players complied, with five push-ups against the pool wall.

The workout proceeded to go smoothly, with the kind of aptitude Bell likes to see as he and the other One Way coaches groom their players.

"The idea is to have them good for high school," said Bell.