Righetti junior Ryan Trenev has played with and against some of the best high school water polo players in the nation.

In several weeks, he will find out if he can showcase his talents in South America.

After Trenev qualified for the national Olympic Development Program, he played in the ODP National Championships Feb. 24 and 25 in Pleasanton. He showed well enough to be among the 48 players ODP officials chose to keep training. His red coastal zone team came in fourth.

"They'll have another cut, to around 18 or 20 (players), that will be announced around March 31-April 2," Trenev said in a recent phone interview.

"There will be a final cut to 13, probably around May 13 or 14, and those will probably be the only ones who will travel," with the U.S. team to compete in an international age group tournament in Lima, Peru.

At the national championships, the players "were bigger, stronger, faster, smarter than the ones I usually saw at the high school level," said Trenev.

Still, "I felt pretty confident," afterward about making the cut. Trenev, a center, put enough of his shots in the net that he did indeed make the cut.

"A center in water polo is like a center in basketball," said Trenev. "It's the responsibility of players on either side of him to get the ball inside (to the center). It's the center's job to score.

"Whether I'm on offense or defense, I'm playing closer to the other team's cage."

Trenev is a three-year varsity player at Righetti. He played for Righetti's 2014 and 2015 CIF Southern Section Division 4 championship squads.

He already has an offer to play for a university, and for a university that has a prominent water polo program at that.

Trenev said that the University of the Pacific in Stockton has made him a verbal offer. "I'm 80 percent sure I'll go there," he said. "The only way I won't is if I get a better offer from another school."

Pacific competes in Division 1. The Tigers went 19-7 last year.

The junior said a senior friend and water polo teammate of his, Caleb Sandberg, convinced him to try out for the ODP.

"He said I would have a good chance to qualify," said Trenev.

Trenev did indeed qualify for the program. He made the grade after competing in two tryout camps, Dec. 10 and Feb. 4, at Pomona Pitzer College. 

He has accomplished a lot even though he is a relative water polo short timer at this point.

"I didn't start playing the sport until the summer before my freshman year in high school," said Trenev. "A lot of these guys have been playing since they were eight years old. I went out for the (Righetti) team because of my friends."

Trenev is also a swimmer. The Warriors have logged a heavy workout load but, early in the season, Trenev has already swam a consideration time, of 1 minute, 2 seconds, in the 100 breaststroke for the sectional Division 2 preliminaries.

Even with his busy swimming schedule, Trenev is still active with his water polo training.

"Three times a week I go with Caleb to train with the Santa Barbara Premier Club," Trenev said.   

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Sports Reporter