The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

Varsity Boys Water Polo Honors Seniors

Lauryn Chao
The Senior Boys stand with their photos by the poolside!

Adding to their already impressive five-game winning streak in Pacific League this season, the Arcadia High School (AHS) Boys Varsity Water Polo team secured a landslide victory against the Pasadena High School (PHS) Bulldogs on Senior Night, Oct. 3, with a final score of 20-1.

As Coach Janice Clark explained, this final score did not come as a surprise to the team, as Pasadena “had let [the team] know ahead of time that they would not have a [Junior Varsity] team.” “And so that meant that some of their players, who would have been on a JV team if they had enough bodies, were playing with varsity teams. So it wasn’t going to be a strong competitive game for us.”

AHS won the sprint at the start of quarter one and gained control of the ball. At the start, PHS came in with an aggressive playstyle, moving fast to intercept and block passes from AHS. Despite this tactic, Arcadia scored four goals in just the opening minutes. As the quarter continued, they carried the momentum gained from this strong start and  achieved a final score of 8-0. This impressive result of strong teamwork and coordination was also helped by the excitement for Senior Night.

The pace of the second quarter was slower for both AHS and PHS, as both teams adjusted their strategies and played more carefully. AHS focused on long passes between the goalie and players, and frequent passes in front of the goal to confuse the opponents and maintain momentum. This strategy enabled AHS’ success, and quarter two ended with 14-0.

AHS had a strong beginning in quarter three by scoring a goal in the opening minutes of the quarter. While AHS tried to breakthrough, PHS shifted to a strong defensive strategy which stalled the momentum AHS has had with its streak of goals. Because of this, PHS was able to play offensively, using long passes between players to quickly approach AHS’ goal. While they attempted a few shots on the goal, none of those attempts were successful, and AHS was able to counterattack afterwards. Eventually, the quarter ended with a score of 16-0.

In the final quarter of the game, AHS’ sprinter once again secured control of the ball like the previous three quarters. PHS maintained a strong defense against AHS’ persistent attacks. After the final three minutes of the game, one player from AHS was ejected from the game. This meant that PHS now had six players against AHS’ five. In response, AHS decided to switch out the players in the water for a new team. Despite this change in the team, AHS broke through PHS’ fierce resistance and scored yet another goal against PHS through a series of passes.

With the clock only 90 seconds away from the conclusion of the match, AHS stepped up its offensive efforts. Senior wing player Peter Zheng soon scored the 19th goal of the game. Senior wing player Karthik Villavan then built off the momentum of the previous two goals and scored the 20th and final goal of the game for AHS with a powerful unconventional backhand throw. Just four seconds before the end of the match, PHS managed to score their first goal of the game. The game concluded with a final score of 20-1.

As this match coincided with Senior Night, Coach Clark explained it was “really special this year that [the team] had seven seniors, which is how many people play at a time in a water polo game.” “With those numbers, we were able to have all of our seniors play at once and be a total senior team.”

The increased number of seniors on the team also meant that more players would be leaving AHS next year.

Coach Clark commented that “having seven graduates this year, [AHS] would be sorry to see them go, but it also will make a little more space for people who are on their way to move up [to Varsity].”

For some players, this year at AHS represents their last time playing competitive water polo. As Villavan explained, “I think I’m gonna say goodbye to the sport. Because although I love it, it’s not suitable for me because I gotta focus on other stuff [during college].”

Goalie Will Garcia was concerned with losing the team aspect of water polo.

He noted that he was “planning on playing in college. So [he] won’t be missing the water polo aspect of it, but [he]’ll be missing [his] team.”

For both the Varsity team and the coach, unity of the team was the big theme this year. Coach Clark commented that the team’s strength this year was not “just because of seniors because some of our starters are not seniors.” “But it’s strong this year because the group has been working together for two, three years now. We’re just hitting that real point where everything’s just clicking for people in the group, and we’re off to the best start in the league that we’ve ever had right now.”

As they depart next year for college, Villavan and Garcia left the younger players with some words of wisdom. For Villavan, it was important to keep a good mindset.

“Sometimes we get in each other’s heads, and we let other teams get in our heads. We should be very competitive. We need to win our games. But the team needs to be one, and we need to be a collective, because we have a collective goal,” said Villavan.

For Garcia, it was important for the younger players to have fun and enjoy the sport. “If you take [water polo] so seriously, you’ll get tired of it. You’ll get worn out of the sport. But if you find the enjoyment of something you’re doing, you won’t get tired of it. So finding enjoyment is the important part,” he voiced.

Congratulations to the AHS Boys Varsity Water Polo team for a well-played match against the Pasadena Bulldogs and bringing another thrilling match to the 2023-2024 season! With this landslide victory demonstrating their determination, hard work, and unity this year, the crowd wishes good luck to all the departing players and is eager to see the team play in their next game!

Photos by Lauryn Chao

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Arcadia Quill Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *