BY OLIVIA LEWIS
With fall sports coming to an end, spring sports are picking up. One of these sports is water polo, which is considered to be a rigorous sport, especially since the players aren’t allowed to touch the bottom of the pool, forcing them to tread water the entire time. This sport requires immense stamina because of the amount of pushing and pulling during the game, and because the rules state that a team is only allowed six substitutes per game.
The Cooper City High School water polo teams show this stamina and strength. The boys’ water polo team won districts last year and was runner up for regionals. The girls’ water polo team also won districts, but lost in regionals.
“We did really well last year,” senior Jake Tanner said. “I think we have a chance of winning again this year.”
Water polo has been conditioning since the beginning of October, preparing for the spring season. Both the boys’ and the girls’ teams condition under the guidance of Coach Ross Benner Monday through Friday. The boys condition from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. while the girls condition from 6 to 8 p.m. For conditioning, the boys and girls swim about a 1500 each day. Once they finish their swim sets, they go into drills which consist of jumping out of the water, holding their arms fully out of the water and egg beating.
“I believe we will go far as long as all of us keep focused, put in our time and work together.”
There are no tryouts for the water polo team, and anyone is welcome to go out and join. The boys’ team has a lot of players but is interested in adding more to the team. The girls’ team, however, isn’t as fortunate with the number of players so they are asking for more girls to come out and join the team.
“There are no tryouts for water polo,” sophomore Victoria Chacon said. “It is not a high demand sport, but we definitely need more girls to come out.”
Practices started on January 22, and the teams’ practices are the same times as the conditioning. For practice, both the girls and the boys swim 1500s to start out. Afterward, they get the balls in the water and practice dribbling up and down the pool, where they fake the ball and practice positioning their bodies. They eventually move onto shooting drills where they practice shooting at each position. To make that drill more intense, the coach will put defenders on the shooters. They also do 2v1, 3v2 and 4v3 drills which are meant to prepare them for breakaways during the games.
“I believe we will go far as long as all of us keep focused, put in our time and work together,” senior Luke Tanner said. “I am confident we will win districts, as we have no new competition in our district, but I know regionals will be a true battle since we will have to go up against St. Thomas High School, which has one of the best water polo teams in Florida.”
Photo by Carly Cuoco