Water Polo Builds Foundation

As the new school year begins, many students are suiting up for Varsity Water Polo. With a few changes from last year, the team is looking forward to a successful season.
The most dramatic change to the team since last year is that it is now co-ed. The Girls Varsity Water Polo team was cancelled last Spring, but girls who wish to play are welcome to join the team this Fall. Although there are no girls currently signed up, the team is very excited to have a larger pool of potential recruits involved moving forward.
With only ten returning players, this year’s team consists mostly of new players. Returner Mitchell Riley ’22 said, “This year, new players, from preps to PGs, outweigh the number of experienced players. With wisdom and experience [from] last year and added enthusiasm for the game from new teammates, we are all excited about what we can accomplish in the pool this season.”
With so many new members, one of the challenges the team faces is creating unity out of varying levels of experience. To achieve this, Head Coach Kurt Hinck ’08 has been focusing on the fundamentals of water polo during practices. This method allows all the players to develop a solid foundation in the sport, which they can build upon as the season progresses.
The Water Polo team is known for the sense of camaraderie among its players. The support that both the returners and new players show each other is vital to helping new players integrate smoothly. Jeffrey Lim ’21 said, “Whenever someone is struggling, a captain, or any teammate, jumps in and tries to help.”

Whenever someone is struggling, a captain, or any teammate, jumps in and tries to help.

— Jeffrey Lim ’21

Also integral to the tight-knit team is the active leadership of the upperclass students. Coach Hinck said, “Our seniors are the core. Their leadership is tested constantly, since they not only have to work to get better, but have taken on the responsibility of teaching and mentoring a large group of new students.”
The team acknowledges that water polo is not the most widely known sport. Nevertheless, Lim believes that support from the stands gives a boost to the team and exposes new people to the sport. He said, “Everyone should come to at least one game. Water polo is a very aggressive sport, and that makes it very exciting to watch.”
The team also encourages anyone who is curious to consider trying out for the team. Carter Levine ‘22 said, “Water polo can be exhausting, but it is also a really fun sport. I especially recommend it for those who enjoy swimming but do not enjoy swim races.”
Two games that are expected to be particularly challenging this season are those against Brunswick and Deerfield, teams with strong foundational skills. In the past, the Bearcats faltered due to the lack of consistency.
This year, however, the team hopes that its extra practice on the basics will be to its advantage. Although tedious at times, this type of practice is essential in converting the team’s many natural athletes into water polo players, through and through.
The team looks ahead to its next game at home, this Saturday, against Loomis Chaffee. After going 0-2 against Loomis last year, it looks to gain footing in the league and make a statement with a victory over the Pelicans.