Water polo, what may have been a second option is now a top sport for players.

Water polo is considered one of the most physically demanding sports a person can play. While their hard work often goes unnoticed, our PV water polo team members are the unsung athletes of our school, embodying dedication and perseverance in every game and practice they attend. 

It’s seen as a top contender for being the hardest summer Olympic sport, and for good reason. Water polo is often compared to soccer in terms of rules, but comparisons could also be made to things like basketball and football. The only difference? It takes place entirely in the pool. Players are not allowed to stand on the bottom and must tread water the whole length of the game.

Despite that, countless people haven’t even heard of it. Some members joined the team only after being cut from their first choice sport, and have stayed due to the fantastic camaraderie and companionship the team forms. The head coach, Ms. Fadden, and the rest of the players, open all newcomers with open arms.

“I’ve never swam competitively before, I actually didn’t know how to swim until 5th grade,” Julia Watson said, a sophomore, in her first season. “It’s like the hardest sport I’ve ever done physically, the first day I did this I wanted to quit, but the team environment keeps me there. Everyone is pretty much the nicest person ever.”

This year, there have been a lot of changes to the team and its dynamics as a whole. There used to be two head coaches, one for the boys’ team, and one for the girls’. Practices used to be separate from each other, and, now, they’re all co-ed, with the main separations being between the varsity and junior varsity team. 

“It’s definitely a big adjustment moving from split practices to this,” Casey Demark, one of the team captain for the boys, commented. “It’s a good adjustment, though. Scrimmages are a lot better, with even teams, so it’s always something to look forward to.” 

Before joint practices, it was extremely hard to have mock games with just the girls’ team or just the boys’ team, as the number of players wasn’t always big enough to accommodate it. Now, they can practice adequately for real games, even if the pool can get a little crowded at times. 

“As a team, we all really want to make it to the state conference this year,” Teagen Ford, a sophomore who has a year on the team under her belt already, said, when prompted about her goals for this season. “And a personal goal for mine is that I want to get a 40% shot average.”

All of the players work hard during practice, listening to their coach and enacting drills in a way that would ensure they were prepared for the upcoming games. Even those who were new to the team were learning and doing their absolute best, and having fun with their fellow teammates.

Alex Guano, a senior varsity player, spoke to encourage people to join a sport like water polo, and to emphasize that not getting your first pick isn’t always a bad thing. “I say go for it. For me, personally, I got cut from field hockey, and then I joined water polo. It was the best decision of my life. Don’t let getting cut from a sport determine your whole life. There’s always something else waiting for you that you’re going to love so much more.”