Cal Leads ACWPC All-American Team Behind Nikolaos Papanikolaou

Quinn Woodhead, Stanford 12-7-19
Quinn Woodhead; Photo Courtesy: Shumesa Mohsin

Cal Leads ACWPC All-American Team Behind Nikolaos Papanikolaou

Cal placed three players on the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-American team, released this week. That includes national player of the year Nikolaos Papanikolaou, plus coach of the year Kirk Everist.

The national champions were also represented on the first team by goalie Adrian Weinberg and Max Casabella. Five other schools had one player each on the eight-player first team. UCLA augmented Jake Cavano’s spot in the first team with three second-teamers. USC, the national runner-up, put Jake Ehrhardt on the first team with two on the second.

Rounding out the ACWPC All-American Team were Rafael Real Vergara of Long Beach State, Quinn Woodhead of Stanford and Pacific’s Reuel D’Souza.

The first team represents players from five countries: Papanikolaou is a Greek international, D’Souza hails from Canada, Vergara from Brazil and Casabella from Spain.

Cal, UCLA and Pacific each placed five players on the three teams plus honorable mention.

Papanikolaou is a four-time selection, the last three on the first team. Everist is the coach of the year for the fourth time. It’s the ninth time a Golden Bears coach has won the award.

Not to be outdone, Ehrhardt is a five-time All-American, owing to the extra year for COVID-19. Woodhead is a four-time All-American.

The ACWPC All-America teams are selected based on nominations and voting by the men’s varsity head coaches. Votes are calculated by the ACWPC with the teams released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA).

The ACWPC also released the Division II and Division II All-American teams this week. Jeff Runyan of Concordia University is the first from his school to win the award in Division II. Salem University played three on the first team, and its coach, Robert Bullion, was named coach of the year.

In Division III, Dillon Goldsmith of California Lutheran won the Player of the Year award. University of Redlands coach Ryan Hall garnered that honor.

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