Water polo team shows Tiger pride

Kelsey David, reporter

“Water polo is similar to other sports, yet is still unique,” said Tawny Stockinger (10), a member of the girl’s water polo team.

“It’s a mix of football because of the contact, basketball because you have to dribble the ball down the pool, and soccer because of the goals.”

In water polo, players are only allowed to have one hand on the ball at all times as well as not being allowed to touch the bottom of the pool in the shallow end. They have to be treading water the entire time, unless they’re the goalies, who have exceptions to those rules. The ball can’t be underwater, and when it comes to getting it back, there is no grabbing or harming the other players.

“We’ve had a water polo team for 6-7 years now,” said Neal Takamori, sports director for MHS.

“It’s still kind of new, and we’ve been trying to get more people to try out for the team.”

When asked how she got interested in water polo, team captain Casey Tuumalo (10) said, “My dad always wanted me to play water polo, but I thought it was weird. Eventually, in my freshman year, I tried it out and kept pushing. Now it’s my favorite sport!”

Stockinger also said that all besides two other members were “newbies” at water polo.

“It was hard to just go out and play, but we’re still learning, especially during games. It’s a good experience.”

Team member Moani Doval (10) said, “I’ve definitely benefitted from water polo. It taught me how to be part of a team and work together.”

The lack of a swimming pool on campus has made it difficult for the girls to train, but they managed to find the time and place. They practiced three times a week, from 6 – 7 a.m. At the beginning of the season, the team used the Makiki district pool, but other schools became willing to lend their pools to the team soon after.

“The girls have definitely made a lot of sacrifices,” said Takamori.

“They gave up a lot of time to learn the game, and practice. We’d like to see more girls try out next year. It’s a really fun sport.”