In The Deep End: Champion’s First Year Of Water Polo


Adam Canady

Ian Rutledge and Emiliano Martinez compete against an opposing school. Taken by: Adam Canady

Tsuyosh Maningat

This school year marks the first time Boerne ISD incorporated a water polo team, with the water polo team ending up placing second in state overall; the season ended with a 15-1 win-loss record. However, with all the attention surrounding the water polo team, a very good deal of people are still scratching their heads as to what the sport really is. 

Waterpolo is more or less a mix of soccer and swimming, where only one hand can touch the ball and feet can never touch the pool floor. It’s a seven-on-seven game, with six players moving in the water and one goalkeeper. There are four quarters and teams switch sides halfway through. The aim is to get the ball, which is bright yellow and roughly the size and appearance of a volleyball, into the opponent’s goal.

Students in water polo seem to be responding positively to the new sport. The Boerne City Park offers a recreational water polo team at the public pool, so for most players it’s not a new experience, but love of the sport comes through the different opportunities it introduces such as developing a fast reaction time and working with a reliable team.

“Waterpolo, to me, is a perfect mix of swimming and soccer; personally I think it’s one of the most challenging sports. But also one of the most fun ones,” said senior Emiliano Martinez-Galarza, who’s on the water polo team. “The way in which the game is faster-paced and harder to get good at makes it challenging but rewarding.”

What is it exactly that makes water polo so hard? Some Champion players say treading water, not being able to touch the ground, and keeping up with the pace combines to make the game challenging. Junior Roberto Perez, who plays as a “flat,” or one of the forward positions, said that he’s getting used to treading water, but ball handling was one of the hardest learning curves; however, these challenges don’t stop athletes from endorsing it — especially to those interested in swimming.

I do recommend new players because this sport builds athleticism. I will play again next year and probably the rest of my life,” said Perez.