by Cael Hill
The Las Lomas boys water polo team is like a well oiled machine: they know what they are doing. Head coach Steve Mann and his assistants have been coaching water polo for well over 14 years now. Therefore, our school has always been a threat when it comes to water polo. This year seems no different, with new incoming players helping out the team and its chemistry. Although we have lost a few seniors, new incoming freshmen and sophomores have really improved the team, while the players from last year have also improved. So far this season, it seems as if our boys Water Polo team has no real competition. They have gotten off to a strong start destroying their opponents. Last year, we went 16-10, having a 6 win difference. This year, it will surely be higher, as the team is currently undefeated.
Connor Rankin, JV captain and varsity player, stated, “The coaches believe we need to work hard to get better, but they think that if we try hard enough we could be the best.” Practice isn’t the only thing the team need. The players knowing one another is also a big part of it. “This year, we are working on being more connected and spirited as a team in order to have a close bond,” said Rankin. Contributing to this is their pasta feeds where they all gather and bring a dish to wherever they decide to meet up;. It’s not just eating, it’s really connecting with one another. This connection helps new players like freshman, Jack Richards, and Tommaso Bravi, a new student from Italy, feel comfortable joining and being apart of the team.
In order for the players and coaches to get better, they watch films and tapes of former water polo players to improve their game and coaching. They also use their practices to do the same. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays before school you can see them playing from 6:30 to 8:00 am working hard in the pool. They also practice after school doing passing, shooting, and defending drills, as well as timed laps. They are also in the weight room, usually working on legs for treading water and staying on their defender. All of this hard work will pay off when it comes to the games; it’s showed it the past, and it won’t be any different this year. It may be the beginning of the year, but it’s obvious how the rest of the year will go. There is no doubt that this year will go swimmingly for the Las Lomas boys water polo team.