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Buhach Colony water polo will play today with Baker hospitalized

ATWATER -- Buhach Colony boys water polo coach Rodd Parker says his team will play its scheduled game today against Los Banos.

Parker's boys will be playing with heavy hearts with teammate Eric Baker in the hospital.

"It's definitely tough to focus on water polo when you have something like this happen," said Parker. "We're more or less a family and it's tough to see a member of your family get hurt like that.

"But our team has rallied together and we're ready to play."

Baker suffered head and neck injuries during a tournament this weekend when he dove head first into the shallow end of the Johansen pool to warm up before a game.

The boy's parents have declined to comment.

A source close to the team said the senior was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto with a cranial fracture and compressed vertebrae.

Baker was not transported to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center as previously reported.

However, according to a school employee, Baker was waiting to be moved to the UC Davis Medical Center to undergo surgery to have two vertebrae fused together.

Citing the confidentially of a minor, Parker is waiting for permission from the family to comment on the extent of Baker's injuries.

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