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Water polo makes a splash in Hood River

Hood River is a town full of water sports enthusiasts, and now a new sport is gaining popularity – water polo. Water polo is a fast-paced and exciting game that combines the rules of soccer and basketball with the physicality of wrestling and the finesse of swimming. Each team has a goalie guarding a floating goal and six field players playing both offense and defense for four quarters.

Water polo came to Hood River last spring and has been growing quickly. With many of the high school players coming off a successful inaugural coed season in the fall, there is a great balance of veterans and new players in the pool. The goal for the team is to have enough players to support both a varsity and JV team in the fall to play for HRVHS in the high school season.

Eager middle schoolers are picking up this fun sport as well on the Hood River Water Polo Club’s junior squad. The group is learning the basic skills and rules of the game and is putting them to use in inter-squad scrimmages during each practice. Ten-year-old Madaket Greenleaf says that her favorite thing about water polo “is getting to spend time with my friends and learning how to do a new sport because it’s really fun.”

It’s not too late for players ages 10 through high school to join the Hood River Water Polo Club. Coaches are happy to work with all abilities.

Coach Dave Cameron says, “Obviously swimming is necessary but there’s an even bigger picture when it comes to this sport. Often times, ball players, lacrosse players, ice hockey players, soccer players, and wrestlers gravitate towards water polo. That being said, I think basic swimming skills, being part of a team, and wanting to have fun is all that is necessary to play this game.”

Practices are held at the Hood River Aquatic Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the junior squad (ages 10-13) meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and the senior squad (ages 14-18) from 6:30-8 p.m. The spring session will run through the end of May.

New members are welcome any time. For more information contact hoodriverwaterpolo@gmail.com.

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