Meet the sport that unites swimming, basketball, and soccer: water polo. The boys’ water polo season is underway and with a challenging season thus far, they have won six games and lost fourteen, senior Co-Captain Sachin Patel said.
Patel had high hopes for the rest of the season because of the skills he and his teammates honed while participating in the Junior Olympics this past summer. Patel said the Junior Olympics is the biggest water polo tournament for high schoolers in the country.
“The Junior Olympics were four days of just water polo,” Patel said. “Teams from all over the country participate in it.”
The varsity team played their first game on March 12, and continues to practice daily to keep their skills consistent, Patel said.
The team plans to recover after their recent string of losses, Head Coach David Lieberman said. To prepare for the rest of the season, Lieberman said the team looks forward to continuing their practices while also keeping up their conditioning.
Water polo players are unique because they have to excel in many athletic abilities, Lieberman said, including swimming, wrestling, catching, throwing, passing, shooting a ball, and maintaining athletic awareness.
To remain at a high level of athleticism, Patel said the team practices daily for two to three hours. In addition to hours of [training], communication, and friendship with the team are very important, Patel said.
“Having that friendship [with team members] is definitely something that helps us bond better together and helps us play better together as a team,” Patel said. “Some of my best friends are on the water polo team.”
Junior Jacob German, who mainly plays the whole set and point positions on the varsity team, agreed that unity within a team sparks more team chemistry.
“[Being a strong team] is the most important thing,” German said. “If your team isn’t on the same page, you’re not going to get anywhere.”
Sophomore Aidan Hogan, who plays wing and flat (defense) on the varsity team, credited their early losses to a series of miscommunications. However, Hogan offered advice regarding improvements.
“[If] everyone can stay consistent and motivated as a team, I think that’ll be really beneficial,” Hogan said.
Patel added that water polo is not a game focused solemnly on aggressive fighting but also based on strategy and communication.
“[Water polo is a] combination of strategy, intelligence, and strength,” Patel said. “[Communication is] the most beneficial thing because with communication, you can do amazing things.”