Jumping Into the Water


Kennedy Winter, Journalist

     This 2021-22 school year, Ripon High School was given the “OK” to go through with all athletics. This is wonderful news for the Girls Water Polo team who got their season stolen from them last year, due to Covid-19. The season has almost officially begun, with the first scrimmage being played at Downey High School on Sept. 4 against Merced, Downey, Ponderosa, and Turlock.

     “I’m excited to start the season without giving hesitation or thought about if our games are gonna be cancelled or if we don’t have enough players. I would love to experience a real game and feel the intensity of it all…”, sophomore Samantha Schied stated.

     The team is struggling with a number of things this season, the most significant being the players. We are having all 11 girls play Varsity, with over half of them never having played a game in their life. Our senior goalie, Delany Brubaker, was recently injured and is out for the season, which also puts the team in a tough position. But, the team does have a couple very motivated seniors, Taylor Blair and Kennedy Brubaker, who plan to help push our team and our newest members to their full potential in the sport. 

     “I am quite nervous about the team situation since our goalie is out and she usually performs really well for our team. We have been training a new freshman as goalie and I hope she does really good! All of our new girls have been doing pretty good so I think this season should be good…” senior Taylor Blair stated. 

     The intensity of water polo conditioning is unlike any other sport, and the coach of the team, Erik Zador, does not let the girls off easy. The schedule consists of mandatory morning practices from 6:30-7:30am before school, followed by after school practices Monday-Friday.  The girls have to be in great physical shape and need to be eating right as well. This training is especially necessary this year, in preparing these inexperienced freshmen for varsity season. 

     “This season I’m worried about not knowing what to expect, or what to do in certain situations. Not just in a game, but in practice too. It can be a little nerve wracking at the beginning, but I’m starting to get the hang of it…” freshman Valerie Chun stated.

     This obviously isn’t the ideal season, but the girls are so excited to get back into the water and play some polo for Ripon High! 

     “I am super excited and can’t wait to see how we play!” freshman Tiffani Hunter said.