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Water Polo Competes at State Tourney in First Ever Season

The+first+ever+Cedar+Park+water+polo+team+faces+off+against+Brazoswood+high+school+in+the+second+round+of+the+state+competition.
The first ever Cedar Park water polo team faces off against Brazoswood high school in the second round of the state competition.

The first ever Cedar Park water polo team faces off against Brazoswood high school in the second round of the state competition.

Ashley Poulsen

Ashley Poulsen

The first ever Cedar Park water polo team faces off against Brazoswood high school in the second round of the state competition.

Perry Jamail, Reporter

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While many may not know it, water polo is an actual high school sport played by many schools in Texas and, beginning this year, Cedar Park is now one of those schools.

Even though the sport has been a part of high school sports in Texas for 47 years, Cedar Park only just started up their water polo team this year when counselor James Sullivan saw that there were enough kids interested to form a team. Sullivan had no idea that in his very first year of forming the team he would be coaching them at a state championship game.

During the regular season the team struggled, as was expected from a brand-new team consistent of mostly first-time players, but through the rough season the team made major improvements and learned with each game.

“We were about one and eight in the regular season,” Sullivan said. “We played a lot of club water polo teams as well as the top teams in the area. We took our lumps, but improved quickly.”

Following this underwhelming regular season, the team stepped up their game in the playoffs. After swiftly beating out Cedar Ridge nine to three in the first round of postseason play, Sullivan and his team advanced to the second round where they played first-ranked Lyndon B. Johnson High School.

“[The postseason] is where we excelled,” Sullivan said. “We ended up beating LBJ eight to six. This propelled us to the 47th annual Texas State water polo tournament. We were proud to make state in our first year of existence.”

When we went to [the] regional [competition], we were tied for last, but we beat the number one team, LBJ, kicking them out of state and advancing CPHS. The region called the game a stunner since we were brand new to the league, [and] hadn’t played very many games, and knocked out the best competition.”

Heading into their first season ever, sophomore Colby Sullivan was not expecting the team to go as far or do as well as what they achieved. Sullivan recalls the regional competition when describing how well the newly-formed team did.

“When we went to [the] regional [competition], we were tied for last,” Sullivan said. “But we beat the number one team, LBJ, kicking them out of state and advancing CPHS. The region called the game a stunner since we were brand new to the league, [and] hadn’t played very many games, and knocked out the best competition.”

Because this was the very first year of the team’s existence, the number of players were small for the girls team. According to Ashley Poulsen, the amount of players that were interested in playing were not enough to form a girls team at Cedar Park, but the girls who did want to play were able to through an LISD consolidates team. This team consisted of girls from Cedar Park, Vista Ridge, Rouse and Round Rock high schools.  Poulsen believes that with the success the team saw in the very first season more people will be interested in joining water polo.

“I think in the future we will be recruiting more people to come play for the girls team,” Poulsen said. “This successful first season can help to gather more people to play next year because we can tell [students] how well we did [to show] that we could do even better with more people and more practice.”

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Water Polo Competes at State Tourney in First Ever Season