Water polo prepares for Serra after early playoff exit last year

Last week saw the start of “hell week” for the boys’ water polo team, when it got back into shape after the team’s only break all summer. Their first game is against J Serra on Friday.

Each day during the summer, the team had four hour practices.

At 7 a.m. every morning, the boys went to dry land training where they lifted weights, ran, did stairs, push ups and sit ups.

From there, they made their way up to the pool and swim coach Dawn Barrett conducted a swim workout. It was about 9 a.m. before they played any water polo. They then did drills and practiced for two hours.

The team also played in several tournaments and scrimmages over the summer. The highlight for Max Eliot ’09 was during a summer tournament. The Wolverines were seeded lower than expected, so they had to play the number one-ranked team, El Toro, in the second game. The Harvard-Westlake team went on to beat El Toro and get fourth place in the tournament.

“It wasn’t expected by everyone else,” Eliot said. “It kind of woke everyone up and like this team is legit, they are going to do well.”

This year, the team played many more games than in past summer trainings.

“It helped bring team chemistry,” goalie Michael Boggan ’09 said.

After coming off of a disappointing season last year and losing eight seniors, Eliot said that “the biggest difference in my mind is that we play as a team, we play together, you know we listen to each other in the water, we listen to Larry [Head Coach Felix] we are a cohesive unit.”

The team also got a taste of competition at the national level when they played a Hong Kong club team during the summer.

Michael Hartwick ’09 said that the Chinese squad “relied on speed and were not as physical.”

Going into each season, the boys hope for a CIF win. Elliot thinks it is a reality this year.

“I do believe in my team and I believe that we are a very, very good team,” he said.

Many players feel that season is different and by playing more as a team they will achieve their goals.

“Everyone plays a big part in the team,” Boggan said.

“We play hard and we play to win, but we don’t play dirty,” Charlie Weintraub ’09 said.