by Brynn Searcy, Talon Staff Reporter
Tuesday, September 29th, Hood River Aquatic Center hosted Hood River Valley High School Water Polo for the second home meet of the 2015-2016 school year. Versus Sandy High School, HRV’s varsity boys won their game 10-3. They weren’t the only ones, though–HRV’s varsity girls kicked some major booty with a score of 14-2.
Over the course of the few short years that water polo has been played within the Columbia Gorge, the turnout at each meet has only managed to continuously–as well as immensely–grow. However, that doesn’t mean that HRV water polo has managed to completely attract the full attention of the community.
Water polo is, indeed, a sport which has been commonly misconstrued throughout the years, especially by anyone who doesn’t know the game. I mean, if you were asked to rank the degree of difficulty of a series of sports according to categories that ranged from agility to endurance, it isn’t hard to guess that water polo wouldn’t be very far up on your list.
However, with all due respect, that’s completely crocked. It seems as if water polo constantly gets robbed of its well-deserved spot on our list of rankings. I know because I come from a family of boys who exclusively play, live and breathe water polo.
C’mon, are we seriously supposed to believe that football, basketball, and even tennis are harder than water polo? Please.
Endurance? A water polo player swims an average of 1.5 miles per game, with another player dragging and climbing all over them, constantly pushing their head under the water.
Strength? Each player treads water for 32 minutes, muscle each other for position and rise up into the air like they’re jumping off a trampoline to shoot and block shots.
Agility? They work back-cuts and spin-moves like Kobe and Antonio Brown.
Nerve? They can take a 50-mph shot to the face and breathe in lungs-full of water. And they keep coming back for more.
According to ESPN, boxing is the No. 1 sport in their rankings based on agility to analytic aptitude. Don’t get me wrong, we all know boxing is brutal, but do you really know what water polo is? It’s boxing plus sprinting plus basketball plus wrestling with no floor beneath your feet.
Show me a boxer who levitates and shoots a ball with a defender in his face while he’s bobbing and weaving. Until then, show me your love for water polo and the amazing athletes within Hood River Valley who play it.