A two-time Bay Valley Athletic League MVP, Sarmento recently signed his letter of intent to attend the University of the Pacific in Stockton. He appreciated the school’s small-community feel and wanted to stay close to home. Sarmento also considered Long Beach State, UC Davis and UC San Diego.
The Pacific Tigers also boast a talented water polo squad that competes against USC, Cal, Stanford and UCLA in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The team finished the 2011 season ranked sixth in the nation.
“I look forward to being a part of a real good water polo program,” Sarmento said. “When I went there, it was a real close group and I look forward to being part of the family they have there.”
This past season, Sarmento shared MVP honors with Heritage’s Ty Elder. Sarmento scored 88 goals for the Lions in his senior season, tacking on 82 steals and 39 assists. He was also named Liberty’s captain and maintained academic honors throughout his time on campus.
In addition to water polo, Sarmento made a splash for the Lions’ swimming team as a member of the varsity squad all four years. He drew interest for his swimming prowess, but water polo is his main sport.
“It was a great four years,” Sarmento said. “I give a lot of credit to my high school coach (Kurt Roessler). He’s been a good mentor and he’s helped me stay motivated throughout the whole four years.”
Pacific head coach James Graham was excited to add a player of Sarmento’s caliber to his recruiting class. Graham feels that Sarmento’s physical and mental attributes will facilitate a natural transition from high school to Division I.
“We’re expecting him to come in and train to be a defender for us,” Graham said. “With his size and speed, we think he’ll be an excellent fit. Obviously he’s a local guy and we always like to bring in players from the area. … He’s got all the right attributes to make the leap to Division I.”