Boys Water Polo: Dowdle, Loyola settle for second in state
Lincolnshire Saturday, 5/19/12 Loyola Academy's Charlie Dowdle (18) accepts the 2nd place trophy following Saturday's state championship game played at Stevenson High School. Lyons Township won the championship, beating Loyola Academy 14-6. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2012 8:08AM
Loyola senior Charlie Dowdle had hoped to be part of a state football championship last fall, but he fell one win away when the Ramblers dropped the Class 8A title game to Bolingbrook.
So when he and his Loyola teammates reached the boys water polo finals at Stevenson, the goal was to bring that program its first state title since the sport became recognized by the IHSA in 2002.
Dowdle did all he could to help Loyola achieve that goal, but the Ramblers again had their run cut short.
Loyola finished second after dropping a 14-6 decision to Lyons Township in the state championship game. Dowdle scored five times in the title match, just as he had in Saturday morning’s 15-6 win over Lockport in the semifinals.
“He’s amazing,” Loyola coach Dan Hengelmann said. “I give him a lot of credit. He’s one of the most amazing kids I’ve ever coached, in the pool and out of the pool. He’s just a special kid. He worries about his teammates more than his own achievements. We try to teach that more and more each day.”
Loyola (28-8) never really got going into the title game, as Lyons rolled to its first state crown. The Ramblers fell behind 5-1 after a quarter, and were facing a 10-4 deficit after three.
“Oh, yeah, obviously, it was definitely the best team we played,” Dowdle said. “I was really happy with how we played. We’re happy with getting the (second-place) trophy. We obviously wanted to win this year. But it didn’t work out. We’re happy with how we finished. A lot of teams would love to be where we are right now.”
Loyola came out focused and ready to go in the semifinals, blowing Lockport out. In addition to Dowdle’s five goals, Brendan Hulseman scored three times and Jordan Hodur and Tim Netzel each scored twice.
The Ramblers survived quite a shootout against Latin in the quarterfinals, winning 14-12 on May 17. Loyola took a 13-9 lead into the final quarter, but saw it shrink to 13-12 before putting the game away.
Dowdle and Netzel each scored four goals, with Hulseman adding three more. Dowdle wound up with a team-high 111 goals this season.