After helping their respective teams enjoy respectable, and even stellar, seasons and then showcasing their talent during the postseason, 18 area boys' water polo players earned All-CIF recognition.
The CIF Southern Section office unveiled the top players from each of the seven divisions Monday.
Leading the way was Arman Momdzhyan, who helped Glendale High capture its third straight undefeated Pacific League championship and first CIF Southern Section Division V crown.
Momdzhyan, who led the area with 169 goals, was selected the division's player of the year. He was also named the league's most valuable player as well.
“It's quite an honor to get this kind of recognition,” said Momdzhyan, a senior utility player. “I'm very thankful to all the coaches and players who have helped me through the years.
“I was very motivated to play my very best and help us try to win CIF. When you achieve All-CIF and winning CIF, it can't get any better. There's are a lot of great players out there. Not just in our division, but all of the others.”
Glendale, which finished 22-6, 8-0 in league, had four players pick up All-CIF accolades. In addition, Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook was named the division's coach of the year after guiding the Nitros to their second straight championship contest.
“Arman was just a fantastic player and I was lucky enough to have been able to coach him,” Holbrook said. “Not only was he our go-to guy, but he was our leader.
“To be named coach of the year is like icing on the cake. With all the success we had, it's been a fun year. It was very enjoyable to be around a great group of guys.”
Crescenta Valley and Flintridge Prep each had four players receive Division V honors. La Cañada had three players earn Division III accolades. A pair of Pasadena Poly athletes who reside in the area received Division V recognition.
Among those who picked up first-team honors were Manuk Piloyan and Artak Arzumanyan of Glendale, Ryan Moguel of Crescenta Valley, Ethan Vandeventer of Flintridge Prep and Peter Loakes of La Cañada.
Piloyan, a junior hole/guard, finished with 117 goals and played a large role in propelling Glendale to the school's first CIF championship in any sport since 1989. Arzumanyan, a junior utility player, tallied 89 goals.
“Manuk did it all for us,” Holbrook said. “He's always been a great goal scorer, but he also did a great job of shutting down the other team's best players.
“Artak rises for the big games and he could match up well against the teams we played. Both of them did a lot to help the team out.”
Moguel, a senior hole/set, finished with 39 goals in 13 matches. He missed the first part of the season after transferring from Hoover and then helped the Falcons go 16-10 and 6-2 in the Pacific League for second place.
Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju said Moguel provided a spark once he joined the Falcons.
“He just transformed our team,” Sakonju said. “The key was that he came in and made our team a legitimate contender.
“He was one of the reasons we gave Glendale two close games.”
Vandeventer picked up All-CIF first-team honors for the second season in a row. The senior driver led the Rebels (16-11, 7-3 in the Prep League for third place) with 97 goals, 56 assists and 53 steals. He collected 17 postseason goals.
“When I first saw him, I knew we had something special,” Flintridge Pep Coach Dan Hare said. “He just continued to get better. He didn't take a play off, whether we were in a CIF game or up or down by 10 goals in a regular-season game.”
Loakes, a senior utility player, played a major role in helping the Spartans win the Rio Hondo League championship. The Spartans finished 21-10 and 8-0 in league.
Loakes, who was named the league's most valuable player, finished with 97 goals, 120 steals and 57 assists.
“It's a pretty cool thing to get,” Loakes said. “I'm proud of myself and it's something I've worked to get. We had a fun season and got a lot accomplished.”
Receiving second-team accolades were Daniel Sarkissian and Harut Bankikyan of Glendale, George Vine IV of Crescenta Valley, John Treinen of Flintridge Prep, Justin Moh of La Cañada and Pasadena Poly's Brock Hudnut.
Sarkissian split time in the cage throughout the season and was the winning goalkeeper in Glendale's 13-11 win against Los Altos in the division championship match in which the senior collected 11 saves.
Bankikyan, a junior utility player, flourished on both ends of the pool for the Nitros.
Vine, a senior goalkeeper, backstopped the Falcons throughout the season. Vine recorded 263 saves.
Treinen, a senior utility player, collected 68 goals, 41 assists and 35 steals.
Moh, a senior hole/guard, finished with 60 goals, 75 assists and 47 steals for the Spartans.
Hudnut, a La Cañada resident, had 57 goals, 99 assists and 48 steals, to go along with a 44.9 shooting percentage in helping the Panthers win the Prep League championship.
Picking up All-CIF third-team recognition were Nate Fernandez and Griffin Harting of Crescenta Valley, Carlo Sivilotti and Diego Delgado of Flintridge Prep, La Cañada's Jeff Lee and Omar Dairi of Poly.
Fernandez, a senior driver, collected 66 goals and 32 assists. Harting, a junior utility player, had 45 goals and 23 steals.
Sivilotti, a senior hole/guard, picked up 22 goals and 21 assists despite missing 10 matches because of an injury. Delgado, a junior utility player, had 46 goals, 39 assists and 68 steals.
Lee, La Cañada’s starting goalie, finished with 197 saves, 97 steals and 38 assists.
Dairi, a junior driver and Glendale resident, notched 52 goals, 32 assists and 82 steals.