Boys Waterpolo Working to End the Season on a Positive Note


Jack O'Donnell

Junior Bradley Setzler receives the ball during a team scrimmage.

Mina Orlic, Sports Editor

   Combining hard work, tremendous effort, and plenty of skill, the UC High Varsity Boys Water Polo Team has made a splash this season with an overall record of 8-13.

   Varsity Coach Beto Vasquez stated, “This season has been fairly successful so far. We have met some of our teams expectations for the season, but we still feel like we have lots to improve on.”

   “One of our goals as a team this year has been to improve our emotional control during games. Instead of having public outbursts, we have been practicing positive communication and working on how we talk to each other as teammates,” said Vasquez. According to Senior Captains Malachi Sanders and Brock Kammerer, another goal is for the team to go to CIF State Finals — where the top three teams in the Open Division and the Division 1 champions will compete.

   One new aspect of the UC High Boys Water Polo Program that the boys got to experience this year was playing in a tournament outside of San Diego. “We traveled as a team in one van to Santa Ana, CA, where we stayed overnight at a hotel, and we played five games of high level water polo against some very good Orange County and Los Angeles County High School programs. We also took the opportunity to visit two universities: Long Beach State and Chapman University. It was a fun trip,” said Vasquez.

   Water polo is a very physically demanding sport, and as a result, you have to be both mentally and physically fit. “In my opinion, the team had done a good job keeping themselves healthy. Water polo is a tough sport that wears the body down rather quickly, so it’s been important for the boys to take care of their bodies and their minds,” stated Vasquez.

   “Water polo is different from other sports in that you never really get a break, and you’re always working hard to get the advantage over another player. Another difference is that there are many one-on-one matchups between two players in the middle of the larger 6-on-6 game,” Sanders explained. “You have to be smart with the ball and think ahead before something happens. There are also kids who play dirty, which can get annoying,” said Kammerer.

    This season has been full of high-energy games, one of which especially stood out. “Our toughest game so far has been our early season matchup against Poway High School. We traveled to their home pool, and we had a good chance going into the game, but a couple of mental breakdowns resulted in a loss.  They have beat us two years in a row. We hope to see them again in the CIF playoffs for a rematch,” stated Vasquez.

“There are more than a couple things that the team can improve on, but I believe the most important thing right now is that we have to improve the way we communicate with each other. The only way this season ends on a good note is if we come together and succeed as a unit,” continued Vasquez. Kammerer agreed, stating, “The team can always improve on communication and defense.”

   Despite some challenging games, some of our players have had an exceptional season thus far. Vasquez said, “Brock Kammerer has had a great scoring season, and we hope he finishes on the top of the scoring list. Cooper Lynch has stepped it up this year, and he’s helped the team improve offensively. Our goalie, Evan Satre, was having a phenomenal season, but he’s been sidelined due to a head injury that occurred midway through the season.”