Newport Harbor triumphs in Battle of the Bay II in the Bay!

Under 70-degree sun-splashed skies and a water temperature in the low 60s (brrrr!), the “Battle IN the Bay II” featuring Newport’s two local public high school water polo powerhouses – the Corona del Mar Sea Kings and the Newport Harbor Sailors – was held Wednesday afternoon (May 22) at Marina Park, Newport Beach’s jewel on the bay.

An estimated crowd of 400 was on hand to watch the NHHS girls beat CdM 16-8 and the NHHS boys take the night cap, 16-5.

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Photos by Laird Hayes

(L-R) Lifeguard Capt. Gary Conwell, Mayor Will O’Neill, Lifeguard Receptionist Chelsea Crager, Chief Lifeguard Brian O’Rourke, Lifeguard Officer Carly Christian, Lifeguard Capt. Mark Herman, Recreation and Senior Services Director Sean Levin, Newport Harbor HS Asst. Principal Dr. Jennifer Fox with daughter Naomi and Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commissioner Keira Kirby

On hand were a who’s who of Newport Beach city officials including CdM Principal Dr. Jake Healy; NHHS Assistant Principal Dr. Jen Fox; Mayor Will O’Neill; Councilmember Erik Weigand; Parks Beaches & Recreation Commissioner Keira Kirby; NBPD Sgt. Tracy McKenzie; Harbormaster Paul Blank; Director of Recreation and Senior Services Sean Levin; Marina Park Recreation Manager Racquel Valdez; OASIS Senior Center Manager Melissa Gleason; Chief Lifeguard Brian O’Rourke; Lifeguard Captains Gary Conwell, Andy Hayes, Mark Herman and Andy White and Lifeguard Officers Carly Christian and Rob Marienthal.

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Lifeguard Capt. Andy Hayes with rookie lifeguard Penelope Barto (left) and second year seasonal Kate McAllister (right)

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Some of the estimated 400 spectators watching the Battle IN The Bay II at Marina Park

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A three-sided view of the Battle IN The Bay II from the American Legion with spectators on the Balboa Boulevard side and in front of Marina Park

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With the TK Burger truck selling more than 300 burgers, it doesn’t get much better than burgers on the bay

The TK Burger truck kept busy, with selling more than 300 combo dinners to a hungry crowd.

Head Coach NHHS Aquatics Ross Sinclair shared a recap of the battle:

“Today was a great day showcasing both programs and celebrating this great community. Thank you to CdM coaches Lucas Reynolds and Marc Hunt for being a part of this fun event. You could see the competitive spirit in the games, but also the enjoyment from the looks at all the athletes playing in such a fun venue.

“Overall I was very pleased with the way our boys and girls came out to play good quality water polo. Both teams put on a great display of defense and worked hard to set each other up for success.”

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Following the action from Marina Park

And NHHS Principal Sean Boulton shared his views of the day:

“The (second) annual Battle of the Bay lived up to the hype this year, with Newport Harbor High School taking both games against Corona del Mar High School (CdM). The event was a resounding success for the Newport Beach community, and the City of Newport Beach is lucky enough to have two high-performing schools in its city boundaries.

“(It was) A game and matchup of unity: Former players, city employees and educational community members all came together to cheer on their teams, creating a vibrant and supportive atmosphere. This celebration of school spirit transcended the competition itself.

“While the final score favored Newport Harbor, the true winner was the Newport Beach community. The Battle IN the Bay in the Bay II served as a powerful reminder of the city’s unity and passion for its schools.

“With regard to Newport Harbor’s domination: The Sailors secured victory in both games, showcasing their prowess on the pool. This undoubtedly fueled the excitement for their home crowd, and for Battle IN the Bay in the Bay III.”

With a few words (and gibes) from CdMHS Principal Jake Haley:

“The battle in the bay game II, did not disappoint for those who were in attendance – note you will not see any pictures of Dr. Boulton, as he was probably working on his golf game, while I was diligently at the harbor supporting our student athletes.

“The atmosphere had great vibes with TK Burger, multiple spectators, sunshine, great music and unbelievable representation by our city with our mayor, police force and fire/lifeguards in attendance.

This event truly represents what’s great about Newport, community coming together to embrace who we are and what we believe – supporting each other and most importantly, our student athletes. Congratulations to the girls and boys, Water Polo teams of both Corona del Mar High school and Newport Harbor High School, well done!

“Dr. Boulton, I hope your golf game is as good as your teams played yesterday that you missed. I look forward to next year and hope that you will skip your tee time to embrace the event.”

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The Sailors and Sea Kings boys post-game handshakes following Newport’s 16-5 win

Congrats to both teams representing the terrific sport of water polo – one that promotes school, sport and community.


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