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Water Polo Teams Begin the Season with a Clear Goal in Mind: the State Championship

Junior+Alberto+Escobedo+tries+to+steal+the+ball+from+the+opposing+team.+Escobedo+has+played+Water+Polo+throughout+his+entire+high+school+career.+According+to+Escobedo%2C+hes+excited+for+the+new+season+that+awaits+him.
Miguel Piedra
Junior Alberto Escobedo tries to steal the ball from the opposing team. Escobedo has played Water Polo throughout his entire high school career. According to Escobedo, he’s excited for the new season that awaits him.

The girls and boys Varsity Water Polo teams kicked off their preseason with a State Championship in sight when they compete for the title in April.

Last season, both teams had a great run in the regular season and postseason. The boys had a record of 22-4-1 and were able to win the District Championship Finals game. Unfortunately, their season was cut short after they lost to the Belen Wolverines in the Regionals finals. The girls on the other hand had a 23-2 record, won Districts and Regionals Championships but unfortunately lost to the Lake Nona Lions in the State Championship Final.

This year, the girls are mentally and physically prepared to defeat their opponents and win states this year.

“I feel like the girls are really focused to end this year with a successful season and successful results. Each day at practice I notice that all of the girls have been giving their all and are all with the same goal in our minds: to win States,” junior, and captain, Mariana Bernal said.

Even though the boys lost several important players from last year since most of them graduated, they are all putting in the work so that  they can become the main players of the team in the future.

Senior and captain Gabe Lewis prepares to shoot at goal. Lewis has committed to play D1 Water Polo at Pepperdine University and is excited for what the future holds for him. He is also excited to have a final successful season with the Raiders. (Miguel Piedra)

“We lost a bunch of players, one of them being our goalie. We have all been working together to help each other and the younger players to improve so that hopefully we can go far this season and win the Championships we didn’t win last year,” said senior, and captain, Gabe Lewis.

To get the teams in shape for the season, the coaches make both teams swim with clothes on. The reason behind this is that the clothes provide drag when the players swim, causing them to work extra hard so that by the time they swim with just their suits, they are faster than before. 

“I am a swimmer and have been swimming for my entire life  and I have never done anything like this in my life before. It is physically exhausting and every time I take the clothes off and just swim with my suit, I feel so much faster. Even though it’s a pain, it helps a lot,” junior Juanfransisco Gudino said.

The coaches are excited for the season ahead of them and believe both teams can go far this season.

“My hope is that both teams do really well, I think we have a lot of talent on both sides. We just need to get the work ethic together and I think we should be able to win State Championships on both sides. We have potential, we just have to put in the work,” Assistant Coach Hunter Pelletier said.

The Raiders will have their first tournament and first game in Orlando Feb. 9 where they hope to have a positive start for the season.

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Eduardo Kingston, Sports Editor
Eduardo Kingston is the sports editor for "The Raider Voice." It's his third year on the staff. Outside of journalism he does swimming and plays water polo. He enjoys watching his soccer team Flamengo play whenever they have games.

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