Boys water polo looks to continue last year’s success

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Bobby Bolan '20 catches the ball during game and prepares to pass the ball to his teammate (photo courtesy of Tom Musch).

Maggie Kahn, Sports Co-Editor

After losing several seniors as they went off to college, this year’s boys water polo team will need to adjust its playing style in order to achieve its goals, head varsity coach Doug Eichstaedt said.

The loss of graduated player Victor Perez ‘19  has opened up a lot of opportunities for other players to score, Eichstaedt said.

 “He was certainly the focus of our offense,” he said. “Now we’re not going to be reliant on getting the ball to him [and we can spread the ball around a little more and be able to attack on either side].”

Tryouts begin March 2, lasting between one to two days, and then the team delves right into practices before starting competitions. The boys are in the water six days a week, doing drills in the pool, dryland exercises or lifting in the weightroom, Eichstaedt said.

Martin Brown ‘20, driver, understands the loss of the upperclassmen, yet he is not intimidated, he said.

“On paper, losing three seniors in some of the most technical positions in water polo may look like we have a lot of holes to fill,” Brown said. “But this group has been playing together for almost four years in the off-season. We all know what each other is capable of and what we need to do to win games.”

After coming close to earning the state title last season, the team is eager to work hard and reach that ultimate goal, Ethan Wright ‘20, center, said.

“I do feel some pressure going into the season because I know we can win state,” Wright said. “We have beaten every team that we will face this season, it’s just a matter of making sure that we play our best. I think we will handle it by doing what we always do: [by just relaxing and having] a good time in the pool.”

Bobby Bolan ‘20, attacker, is aware of these expectations and plans to hold himself and teammates accountable this season, he said.

“Last year, we became very complacent during the middle of the season,” Bolan said. “It’s up to the other seniors on the team and me to motivate the younger guys at practice and continue to work hard while succeeding.”

Eichstaedt is not worried about the new seniors stepping up and leading the team, he said.

“I think [the team’s strength would be] teamwork, camaraderie and balance,” Eichstaedt said. “I think we have a lot of different types of players that make a really strong team.”

Even though the pressures of this season are great, the team feels like it has made strong bonds between players as well as with Eichstaedt, Brown said.

“Our two biggest strengths are chemistry and experience,” Brown said. “I don’t think any other team in the state has played as many games together as our core group. We have tons of experience in big games.”

The team’s first game will take place on March 12 at Hinsdale South High School against the Hornets at 6 p.m.