ORINDA -- Charlie Wiser did whatever was needed to make sure his senior season was another banner year for the Miramonte High boys water polo team.

A varsity starter since he was a freshman, Wiser helped the Matadors win the North Coast Section Division I championship for the third time in his career.

Wiser was a top-notch defender and strong passer throughout his four seasons at Miramonte and developed into a reliable scorer in his final two years. But it was the way he met new challenges that made Wiser especially worthy of East Bay Player of the Year honors for the second straight season.

After graduating some important seniors, the Matadors needed a team leader. Wiser filled the void.

They also needed help at the demanding two-meter position. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Wiser was up for the task.

He even helped the coaching staff develop game plans for Miramonte's most important contests.

"We could count on him to do just about anything," said Miramonte coach James Lathrop. "Whether it was be our center or guard the best player on the other team or take a big shot. Charlie did it all and played well in our biggest games. That doesn't even speak to the leadership that he brought to the team."

Wiser scored 64 goals to go along with 25 assists, 50 steals and 40 earned ejections. But Lathrop says what sets Wiser apart was his keen understanding of the game.


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Last year he hit the winning shot in Miramonte's NCS title game win. Wiser wasn't responsible for the same heroics again this year in the Matadors' 9-8 championship win over San Ramon Valley but did the little things -- like drawing several important kickouts -- that helped his team prevail.

"Jack Fellner is our star attacker, and we had Drew (Holland) back there in goal saving our butts," Wiser said. "I think we had all the pieces, I just had to work to get them all together."

Wiser now turns his focus to swimming. He's been one of the section's top breaststrokers since his freshman year and earned a swimming scholarship to Stanford. He'll also play water polo for the Cardinal.

Part of a family of Cal graduates, Wiser is excited about life on the Farm.

"It's pretty rare," Wiser said of the water polo/swimming double at the collegiate level. "But I think I'm up for the challenge."