Water polo wins at Districts


Photo provided by: Faith Shimick

The boys water polo team beats Gainesville in their Mar. 30 District Final. “It’s awesome,” boys captain and senior Will Parnell said. “It just, you feel like you’re on top of the world, that you can’t really be beat.”

Faith Shimick, News and Copy Editor

On Wed., Mar. 30, both the boys and girls water polo teams beat Gainesville High School at home in their district final game. Both teams dominated with the girls winning 22-7, and the boys 17-8. 

Having beaten Apopka in the semifinals, they advanced to the second game of the season against Gainesville. A second probable win against a team does not always mean the game will be any easier.

“They might get better the second time, but at the same time we’ve also strategized in our fight against them,” freshman Lucas Wilson said. “You’re starting at square one because both teams have advanced to each other’s level.”

However, sometimes confidence outweighs the uncertainty of the other team’s performance. 

“We played them earlier this season and we killed them, and we’re a lot better as a team now,” senior and boys captain Will Parnell said. “Our team can beat them better than it was at the beginning of the year when we were still trying to figure things out.”

The camaraderie both teams have developed both out and in the pool helps significantly. The strategy from a past game may change and fluctuate, but the relationship only gets stronger. 

“The relationship with your teammates definitely has a huge impact on how any individual player and the team as a whole plays,” senior and girls captain Katie Sands said. “Team sports, water polo included, require a lot of trust. You have to trust that your teammates are gonna make a good decision on where to pass the ball, that they’re gonna do their part to help defend or be sprinting to get on offense, or know when to shoot. A lot of that trust is built in the water, but the friendships help strengthen it. Also, being friends with all of your teammates makes everything more fun, which helps you keep going and keep wanting to work hard.”

The relationship each team has with their members was definitely apparent in the water. At the end of every quarter, the home team had the advantage. There were certain moments in each game that just clicked.

“My favorite moments are just when everything kinda works together as a team, where we all kind of [mesh],” Parnell said. “I don’t know, it’s just like a different feeling when we’re all working together well, it’s like a well-oiled machine.”

The opponent for Regionals has not been announced yet, but the match will take place on Weds., Apr. 6. For now, though, the teams are enjoying their well-deserved win.

“I definitely felt happy after the game,” Sands said. “This is our second year in a row winning Districts, and it’s definitely exciting, and then for me specifically, it’s my second year winning Districts in a row in 2 sports, so it felt really good to keep that going. There’s some nerves about regionals, but mostly excitement for that and the harder games that’ll come with that.”