Water polo has seen a resurgence this year after a six year absence with the formation of a club dedicated to playing and competing. Coaches Jessica Bailey and Travis Kiser oversaw the formation of the club and helped students pursue their interests in the sport.
“Swimming is more of an individual sport and I wanted the team to experience team bonding,” Bailey said. “As a coach, I am able to see leaders emerge in the group that I may not have noticed during the swim season and we are able to address communication, and bond more as a team. [The students] really push each other and rise to the occasion.”
Playing water polo helps the swimmers in the off season and strengthens the bond team members share.
“[My friends and I] joined water polo because it would be a good off season training,” junior Marco Gutierrez said. “We were arguing and complaining a lot but, towards the end, we really started to see teamwork within each other.”
Kiser was able to lend his experience to the team from playing while he was in high school and for the club team at Texas A&M.
“Water polo is a great team sport that builds leadership, physical fitness, and camaraderie amongst those who play,” Kiser said.
While many swimmers are on the team, there are no formal requirements outside of rudimentary swimming skills to be able to join the club.
“Knowing how to swim is definitely important, but so is knowing how to handle a ball and knowing the field,” Bailey said. “It is very similar to soccer and I have found that soccer players, football players, basketball players, and volleyball players can adapt easily to the sport.”
While there is already a boys team, more girls are needed to form a girls team that can compete in tournaments around the state.
“We did not have enough girls to have a girls team, however we did take some girls to the tournament and they were able to play with other teams for the experience,” Bailey said.
Although Bailey is leaving next year, Kiser will still work with the club to help them compete and improve their skills.
“[My plan is] to win,” Kiser said.
If students are interested in playing water polo, they can speak with Coach Milne or Coach Kiser.