Boys’ Water Polo Season Overview


Rissa Liu

UHS Varsity Boys’ Water Polo inner scrimmage.

Leah Schulman, Staff Writer

Boys’ Varsity Water Polo is back after last year’s successful Pacific Coast League (PCL) season and CIF run. This year, the team has expanded with enough players for four full teams. Though the season has only just begun, Coach Jesse Briggs has already seen so much improvement. 

“We have strong leadership from our senior captains . . . [and we] have improved on our swimming and passing and other key fundamentals of this sport,” Briggs said.

Though Coach Briggs’ primary concern is about the success of the team, he ultimately hopes that the boys walk away with valuable lessons.

“Water polo is an extension of life, and if I can teach some life skills that will help the players succeed later in life, then I feel good about the time we spent together,” Briggs said. 

Coming back from their victorious season last year, the players have set many goals for themselves. Varsity goalie, senior Ryan Watson, hopes that the team will make CIF past the second round. Watson also hopes to win league again or place in the top three. 

Although the players want to uphold their title as league champions, they face the difficult reality of having lost starting seniors from the previous year. Not to mention, most of the players happen to be on the younger side. 

“Losing seniors has definitely negatively impacted our team,” junior Oleg Shatskikh said. “We are rebuilding this year, gaining around 20 freshmen. We definitely don’t have as much experience, but the future looks bright.” 

While the boys are extremely driven, chemistry is one of the biggest contributors to their strength as a team.

We learn to deal with hardship as a team, we learn to understand each other, and most importantly, every year we have become closer,” senior Joshua Zhou said. “Water polo is probably the most bonded team that I am a part of. The amount of inside jokes we have this year is great, and I am very [much] looking forward to how we grow this coming season.” 

The team has high hopes for the PCL season this year. On Oct. 13, the team will face off against Beckman at 4:15 pm for their Game of the Week.