By Jack Lewis
The freshman water polo team, coached Mr. Matthew Schaeffer, continues to work toward improving their record this season.
Coach Schaeffer said that the 4-8 record doesn’t dampen the team’s optimism. According to freshman goalie Thad Collins, the team has faced some stiff competition that has outperformed the squad and that the only way to bounce back from their tough start is to work harder.
Schaeffer believes that the team has real talent and ability to achieve success. He said, “Freshmen, without a doubt, have the most improvement from the beginning of the season to the end.” He compares the team to a block of marble. After each new skill learned throughout the season, the team looks more and more like a work of art, and Coach Schaeffer expects that the boys, unfamiliar with each other, begin to play as one.
Commenting on the team’s diversity, freshman Ben Hobin said, “One big concern with most freshman teams is the lack of competition with one another. Each athlete comes from different backgrounds of the game.”
Hobin explained that after the first practices “the team really learned to play together, like a team should.”
Schaeffer said that the main focus for this season is not how high an individual can climb, but how many people one can bring to the top. He also said that some key technical aspects include protecting the ball, heads up defense, and creating an offense.
The conditioning, inside and outside the pool, pushes some players to their limits. The goal for conditioning is to outlast the other team’s stamina. The last thing you want to do in a water polo game is get tired, which Coach Schaeffer is assuring the team won’t.
Practice isn’t all just conditioning. The team works on ball control, movement to the goal, and strategic plays to lead to a victory. Hobin adds, “My favorite part of practice is shooting drills, because the only way to win is to score.”
After a tough start to the season, Coach Schaeffer said the biggest goal for the Cubs this season is to defeat Harvard-Westlake on Oct. 26.