With head coach Cal Lowell taking his La Quinta High School boys' water polo team to the CIF finals this year for the first time in school history and his son, Aaron Lowell as the Blackhawks' leading scorer, you might just say it's in the blood.
After winning the Desert Valley League for the first time in school history, the Blackhawks are headed to the CIF Southern Section Division VI finals today against Temescal Canyon, also a first for the school. This marks the first time a boys' water polo team from the desert has reached this pinnacle since 2001, when Palm Desert lost to Riverside Poly.
If La Quinta wins, it will mark the first time a desert team has won a CIF championship since 1977 when Indio beat El Dorado 12-10.
Guess who was the star of that team?
Yep, Cal Lowell. Even more prophetic, was the fact that that team's coach was Cal's dad, John Lowell. To top off the eeriness, Cal was a junior at Indio in 1977 and Aaron is now in his third year at La Quinta.
"I have thought of it -- especially because my dad was a junior in high school when he won CIF," the younger Lowell said this week. "If we win CIF, I don't know what I'm going to do -- I think my grandpa would be smiling down on us from heaven if we win CIF."
What the Blackhawks will have to do today to get that grin from on high, is beat a Temescal Canyon squad that came into the postseason with the equivalent of a No. 3 seed, while the boys from La Quinta were given the de facto No. 4 spot.
Technically that puts La Quinta in the underdog position for the second match in a row.
"We all know we can win this thing," Aaron Lowell said. "We have a good chance and we're super excited -- that's it, there are no mixed emotions at all."
The team's second-leading scorer, junior Trent Rubio, echoed Lowell's sentiments, and what he thinks the Blackhawks have to do to beat the Titans.
"We don't want to go in overconfident, I think that's what happened to Malibu," Rubio said. "We've got to go out there and be focused. We're pretty excited because a team from La Quinta has never gotten to the finals. We got our first DVL championship banner this year and we're hoping to get another banner for the CIF championship."