Matt Sherburne had to carry a lot of the load this past fall for the Corona del Mar High boys' water polo team.
One of four team captains, Sherburne was counted on to get things done from the center position. He usually met that challenge.
Sherburne will continue his journey at the next level too. He has verbally committed to play water polo at Cal, he said Wednesday.
"I like the fact that there's a football team," Sherburne said. "A couple of the schools that I was looking at didn't have that, and I think that contributes a lot to school spirit. Obviously, it's a very prestigious school in terms of academics, and the coach [Kirk Everist] was great. The water polo program's awesome, obviously. The team's rebuilding right now ... I think I can come in and make a contribution. It should be a lot of fun."
Sherburne led Coach Barry O'Dea's Sea Kings with 89 goals, helping them earn at least a share of the Pacific Coast League title for the 15th straight year. He earned league MVP and first-team All-CIF Southern Section Division 1 honors, helping CdM advance to the quarterfinals. Sherburne was a Daily Pilot Dream Team selection.
He is the second area player to commit to the Golden Bears, who finished fifth at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament last year. Newport Harbor senior Luca Cupido, the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year, also is Cal-bound.
Four other Newport Harbor products — Blake Kelly, Matt Russell, Preston Lee and 2011 Newport-Mesa Player of the Year Farrel South — are listed online on Cal's 2014 roster.
"I've played against [Cupido] a couple of times," Sherburne said. "I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun to be in the water with him. It's funny, he's from Newport and I'm from CdM. There's a couple of guys from Newport up on the team and Cal, and they were kind of giving me a hard time on my visit, but it was all fun. Once you go to college, it doesn't really matter anymore, what high school you went to."
Sherburne's father Rick played water polo at UCLA, and his older brother Wesley plays at Pepperdine.
Now Matt will be making his own impact at the next level.
"Whatever the coach needs me to do, I'm ready to do," Matt Sherburne said.
Sherburne said he wished to thank the CdM coaching staff, including O'Dea and four-time Olympian Ryan Bailey, who helped develop Sherburne as a center.