April 30, 2012
The University of California men's water polo program welcomes in seven new student-athletes - Mitchell Hamilton, Nikola Lipovac, John Neumann, Peter O'Laughlin, Max Schell, Andrew Schnugg and Farrel South - who will join the Golden Bears for the 2012 season, it was announced today (April 29) by head coach Kirk Everist. Included in Cal's 2012 recruiting class are two CIF Players of the Year and a member of the Navarra Water Polo Club in Pamplona, Spain.
Mitchell Hamilton is a 6-3 attacker from San Jose. Hamilton was the 2011 CIF Player of the Year from the Central Coast Section and a first-team High School All-American at Bellarmine College Prep. He is also a member of the De Anza Water Polo Club.
Nikola Lipovac is a 6-3 center defender who attended Hendrik Hudson High School in New York City and is a member of the New York Athletic Club. Lipovac graduated from high school in three years and is currently playing for the Navarra Water Polo Club team in Pamplona, Spain.
A 6-4 center, John Neumann was the 2011 CIF Player of the Year for the Sac Joaquin Section and a first-team All-American at Rio Americano High School in Sacramento. Neumann is a member of the USA National Youth Team and plays for the Rio Americano Water Polo Club.
"Mitchell (Hamilton) comes from a great high school program (Bellarmine College Prep) and has very good fundamental skills," said Everist. "He is long and has excellent quickness and speed. Nikola (Lipovac) has a great deal of potential, and is gaining much needed experience in Spain for Navarra after graduating from high school in three years. He has good size and is a solid perimeter shooter. John (Neumann) is a talented center with excellent hands, size and quickness. His international experience with the USA Youth Team will make his transition to college much easier."
Peter O'Laughlin is a 6-2 goalie from Carlsbad High School in Carlsbad, Calif., and a member of the USA National Youth Team. A seventh-team All-American, O'Laughlin is also plays for the OC Split Water Polo Club.
Another 6-4 center recruit for the Bears is left-hander Max Schell from Soquel High School in Soquel, Calif. Schell is a fourth-team All-American and competes for the Stanford Water Polo Club.
Andrew Schnugg is a 6-0 attacker from Acalanes High School in Lafayette, whose heritage is steeped in Cal tradition with older brother Bryan and father John having played for the Bears. Schnugg is a sixth-team All-American and a member of the Lamorinda Water Polo Club.
A first-team High School All-American from Newport Harbor High School, Farrel South is a 6-0 attacker who is a member of the USA National Junior Team and competes for the SoCal Water Polo Club.
"Peter (O'Laughlin) is one of the top goalies in this class and is an excellent worker with a passion for the sport," said Everist. "He will add depth to a very strong position for us. Max (Schell) is a big, strong left-handed center who, along with John Neumann, will provide us with depth at the center position. Andrew (Schnugg) comes from a long line of Cal water polo players. He is a smart, crafty player who we are familiar with though his play with our club, Lamorinda Water Polo. Farrel (South) is one of the top players coming out of Orange County this year. He is an excellent shooter with a lot of big game and international experience.
"All in all, this is a very balanced and talented class," concluded Everist. "We have players in virtually every position who I believe will make an impact on our program very soon."