Although being a considerably smaller and less well-known sport, Water Polo still remains one of the most strenuous and physically demanding sports in the world. Competitors remain treading on water for 7 minutes at a time, whilst throwing around a water polo ball in an attempt to throw it in their opponent’s goal. Jesuit Dallas possesses a water polo team of its own, consisting of a junior varsity and varsity team. With the water polo season wrapping up, let this article be a commemoration of their success thus far this year.
History of Water Polo
In 19th century Great Britain, wealthy British vacationers would play in the water whilst passing a ball around, which eventually evolved into the modern-day version of water polo. In 1911 the sport was split into two camps, the more aggressive and body style contact version played in America, and the more skills-focused version played in Great Britain. Either way, the sport was officially added to the Olympics in 1900 and has remained a staple athletic event in the Olympics ever since. Interestingly enough, Hungary and Serbia, have historically been the best in Water Polo at the Olympic games.
Coming to America in 1888, Water Polo in the US adopted a more aggressive style of playing than back across the pond. Similar to rugby, the American style became popular in New York and California but remained confined to more affluent families who could afford the facilities, training, and equipment used in the sport.
Water Polo became a sport in Jesuit Dallas almost 10 years ago, and with the construction of the natatorium in recent times facilitating practices and training has been much easier and more efficient. For the last 2 years, however, Jesuit Dallas has not fielded a water polo team and so they’re coming off a few years of inactivity. This season will help them readjust to the sport and offer tough competition to propel them into the next year’s season.
So far, the water polo team has notched 4 wins over schools such as John Paul II, Irving Independent School District, and Denton. The team’s combined record is 4-3, and as the season continues more games will occur later in the spring. The team has traveled to Houston but mostly plays regionally around the DFW areas. A mix of public and private schools makes up the competition for this year’s water polo season. Interestingly enough, the sport is being added to the UIL roster of sports and thus will have a permanent year-round season.
For the rest of April, Jesuit Water Polo will play 4 games on April 5th, 8th, 12th, and 15th. On April 5th and 8th, Jesuit Dallas will face Hebron and on April 12th, the team will compete against Denton Guyer. Finally, Jesuit Dallas will tumble with a multitude of teams from across Dallas in the Keller ISD Invitational.
Interview with Coach Gall
I conducted an interview via email with Coach Jason Gall about the water polo season, details on the sports’ history within Jesuit, and what the future holds for the team.
How long has the Water Polo team trained for this season?
When did the Water Polo Season start?
Jesuit Water Polo’s Form and Techniques
I talked with Mr. Gall on the different styles of Water Polo and what style Jesuit Dallas has adopted. Here’s what he had to say:
I conducted interviews with seniors Connor McSorley, Antonio Vela, James Paredes, and Samuel Steffler, asking them about their personal experiences playing Water Polo and the team’s performance so far in the season.
Senior Connor McSorley stated:
This is my first year playing water polo actually, so I didn’t really know a lot about the previous history of Jesuit Water Polo. I joined because I knew my friends were doing it and it seemed like an intense interesting sport that was new, fun, and different. Right now, we are 4-3 on the season in the region with wins against Denton, Guyer, John Paul II, and Irving. We have 4 seniors, me, Antonio Vela, Sam Steffler, and James Paredes. We also have some experience sophomores on the team that start with us, including Domonic Arra and Teddy Scherer, as well as Nicolai Valenta. We traveled to Houston for a tournament on the weekend of March 25-26 to play 3 games.