Hood River Valley High School’s water polo club team played the final games of its inaugural season recently, picking up a win against Parkrose High School and a loss against Sam Barlow to finish with a 5-5 record.
At Parkrose, the Eagles pushed to a 9-5 win against the only other 5A junior varsity team in the Mt. Hood League; all other teams are 6A. Parkrose’s coach played members of the girls team whenever HRVHS freshman Emily Burns entered the water, giving her a rare opportunity to compete against girls.
HRV coach Dave Cameron commented, “It was great to see how much more aggressively Emily played against girls after playing against boys all season. She managed to snag two steals, and turnovers are a key component for winning a game.”
Goals in the win were scored by Connor Dunn (3), Stan Ocheskey (3), Myles Cameron (2) and Russel Grim (1).
The Sam Barlow team presented some bigger challenges to the young HRVHS squad, as a few members of the Barlow varsity squad led a big assault in the final quarter of the game to steal the lead and finish with a score of 8-5. Some of the HRVHS players will move up to varsity next year, so playing against experienced varsity athletes on other teams was a great opportunity to gauge the skill level that will be needed to be successful next year.
The new water polo program is off to a great start, with a final season win-loss record that went far beyond anyone’s initial expectations.
“We knew we were going up against established teams, so our goal for this year was to try to win one game.,” Cameron said. “We blew that goal out of the water.”
Anyone interested in playing on the high school team next year can learn the fundamentals of the game and gain the conditioning required by participating in the Hood River Water Polo Club, which starts its spring season at the beginning of March. For more information, contact Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org.