Water polo searches for more members

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photo by James Lopez

The boys water polo team do conditioning drills. The team hopes to improve on a disappointing season from last year.

The splash of the pool, the attempts to catch the ball, the roughhousing of the players is all commonplace in water polo. Water polo has not been one of the most popular sports in high school, but it is one of the hardest. A mix of handball and swimming, players must constantly tread water while trying to score, creating one of the most difficult but rewarding sports. 

The tryout period, which was more of an informal practice, lasted from Jan. 9-12. The first practices consisted mainly of conditioning and swimming, before moving on to drills with the ball.

These tryouts have been used as a tone-setter for the season with being more focused to come back from a disappointing season. The girls team finished 6-14, while the boys finished 3-15. First-year coach Joe Remet and first-year assistant coach Brochet Pretorius hope for improvement this year.

“We’ve got to play harder and we’re gonna basically turn that around,” Remet said, “You saw it in the first practice, it’s going to be a lot of swimming.”

Most of the participants were returning members, with only three first-year players. Both teams had less than the max of 13 players per roster last year, barely meeting the requirement of seven players needed to have a full team. A problem that has plagued the water polo team since last season has been the lack of members. In a high energy type of game, this creates a huge issue. Just like in basketball and soccer, subs are integral to keep a team fresh.

The team is still open to any new members as the season goes on. 

“One of the beautiful things about the sport is you can have no skill level, but we’ll figure out something for you to do,” Pretorious said.

Both teams were impacted heavily by the loss of last year’s seniors, leaving important holes on the team. This has left many openings for new teammates to take the chance and take up those openings.

During the previous season, both teams lost to Oviedo, with the girls losing to them twice. Remet has used the losses for both teams as the big motivator going into the season.

“I always like to set my goals high. I’d love for both teams to beat our rivals, beat Lake Mary and Oviedo and play really hard every single game,” Remet said. 

Both teams will compete for the first time on Jan. 28 in a preseason classic held at Lake Highland Prep. Tickets can be found on gofan.com 

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