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Boys waterpolo succeeds following change from D3 to D1

WHS varsity water polo plays Oaks Christian High School at home on Oct. 25. Benet Fujikake ‘26 shot the ball while being pressed by an Oaks defender, eventually scoring for the team.

The boys varsity waterpolo team finished their season with a 22–6 overall record, placing second in the Marmonte league. They snagged a spot for CIF but suffered a loss in the first round.

The team encountered their fair share of difficulties going into CIF, especially with the shutdown of WHS’s pool in the beginning of the season. This forced them to practice in various high school pools which proved to be a challenge.

“We didn’t get [the pool] back until a month ago,” said guard Boaz Biglin ‘24. “We were practicing in Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas and Agoura.”

The team also grappled with multiple injuries early into the season, but they continued to persevere regardless.

“While the team [had to] recalibrate a new style of play, it was nonetheless hard to fathom [our injured athletes],” said varsity head coach Jens Cole. “You can’t do anything about the past and can only really make our decisions in the present, so we managed to the best of our ability and still dominated.”

After advancing from Division 3 to Division 1, they battled tougher teams at higher levels of play.

“This season is very different,” said Biglin. “Throughout my time at WHS, [the team has] gone from Division 3 to Division 1. The level of play has gone a lot up, so that’s a challenge.”

Moving divisions requires an adjustment, but the players were able to keep their games consistent and secure many wins.

“I think it’s the first time the program has ever been [in Division 1], and it was obviously a lot tougher,” said goalie John de Vere ‘24. “We faced off a lot of teams, but I think our team [was] formed well which was [a] positive thing about our season.”

The team lost a lot of valuable seniors from last year, however they were able to make up the deficit with current seniors stepping into leadership roles. This shift in dynamic ultimately strengthened the team’s ability to compete.

“Blending all of those athletes into one cohesive team was a huge part of this season,” said Cole. “The passion they played with, the integrity and the way they honored the technical side of the sport was so impressive. It made me such a proud coach.”

Despite their CIF run ending, the team had a notable season and expects to continue their winning streak in fall of 2024.

“This was my last season, so it’s kind of closing a chapter on my water polo career [after nine years of playing],” said de Vere. “It was surreal to have my last home game, [but] it was nice to end it off strongly.”

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About the Contributor
Gianna Byrd
Gianna Byrd, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Gianna Byrd (Gi or just the letter G for short) and this is my first year on The Arrow Newspaper staff. I’m a staff writer and joined Journalism Advanced because I wanted to improve more on my writing skills and interviews were my favorite part of Journalism 1CP. Outside of journalism, I’m on the Track and Field team and plan to write a book. Some fun facts about me are that I have a pet peeve in incorrect grammar and punctuation, I love tea, and I have two younger brothers (one is a sophomore at WHS and the youngest is in Pre-K).
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