BY KYLEIGH SPRIGLE
The future of water polo at CCHS is unknown. The teams are left with no coach and the season is quickly approaching. Right now there are only a few options for the new coaching staff. At the moment, the teams are barely treading water.
“At this time we are in the process of hiring a new coach; we have two candidates,” athletic director Paul Megna said. “We have to have an interview and then we will go from there. Hopefully, they work out and qualify to coach in Broward County.”
The teams were run by two head coaches; they were separated for the girls’ and boys’ teams. The coaching staff consisted of a father and daughter duo. The boys’ coach, Serena Benner, left the team because she went back to school to get her master’s degree. The girls’ coach, Ross Benner, left at the same time as Serena Benner because they were essentially a package deal.
“We really shy away from younger coaches because of the age difference,” Megna said. “It becomes an issue. At least as an adult or a few years removed from college, there is a little more respect than there is [for] another student.”
“We need someone to babysit us. I think the team could basically coach themselves.”
The first solution the team proposed was using a student as the head coach. Senior Vlad Radu asked if he could coach the team. By the time the season starts he will be 18 years old, but that does not mean he can be a coach. Administrators from the school declined Radu’s request because there needs to be someone who is associated with the school there.
“Of course I would have been the coach,” Radu said. “I know the team’s chemistry and how each one of my teammates plays, and it would’ve been better than nothing, to be honest.”
In past years, conditioning has started in December. That gives the teams only two months to find a new coach and coordinate all the conditioning times. After that, the coach will need to schedule practices, games and tournaments in a relatively short amount of time.
“Our coaches definitely took some weight off our shoulders, but we’re all fine working harder to win.”
“Last season, our coaches set us up with a new starting line-up. We just need someone to watch over us,” senior Ryley Edmunds said. “We need someone to babysit us. I think the team could basically coach themselves.”
The team has faced a couple of drawbacks. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams lost their head coaches. The boys’ team had to replace some starters because they lost over a dozen seniors. For the past two years, the boys’ team has won districts. Losing their coach could cause some problems in the next few years.
“I believe we are capable of repeating what we did last year solely because of how many people we had work at Club in the off-season,” junior Bryce Pritchett said. “Our coaches definitely took some weight off our shoulders, but we’re all fine working harder to win.”
The real season, filled with games and tournaments, begins in February. The teams are expected to have a coach or two by that time.
Photo by The Lariat Photography