After an overall winning season, 12-7, in 2021, the boys water polo team is excited for its biggest matchups and a chance to achieve more success this year.
Assistant coach Tim Fodor says that one of Evanston’s biggest highlights from last season was a win against one of its biggest rivals: Loyola.
“We beat Loyola in our sectional game. and that was fun because we lost to them in the regular season. We changed up a couple things, and the team just played in their best game of the season.”
This year the team is looking to repeat that by focusing on playing together as a team.
“They all have individual skills. The hard part is coming together as a group, and knowing your role in that group to achieve team chemistry,” Fodor explains. This will come with experience throughout more of their upcoming games.
On Tues. March 15 the team won its first match against Glenbrook South 12-6. It took a strong team effort, and that is something the team wants to continue throughout the season. While the team’s training regimen is vigorous, including twice a week 6 AM practices, the hard work its members put in, and especially during the first two weeks of practice, helped them succeed.
Boys water polo was mostly dominated by seniors last year, a grand total of 32 of them. With them all now graduated , the total number of boys water polo players is at a low 35 compared to last season’s 70. Despite the smaller group, Fodor is particularly excited about his strong sophomore class, and he looks forward to seeing them develop over the next few years—his favorite part of coaching.
“It’s really fun to see some of the kids that were freshmen, when I came in, be seniors and like, develop as a team over those four years and just watch them hit their peak,” Fodor elaborates.
Fodor’s long term vision of a strong team starts with bringing up young middle schoolers that he hopes will find the same love for the game that he had.
“I played here for the current head coach, and I remember how much fun I had. To me, it’s about sharing that passion for the game and getting the kids to have a lot of fun, and [learning] to work hard.”
Evanston’s biggest challenge to be faced this season is undoubtedly New Trier, with Loyola at a close second. You can usually find one of those three advancing to state. In order to be the one that does, Fodor and Evanston plan to work hard now in order to prepare for the postseason…
“We always have our sights set on New Trier. And this year, they’re really good. So it’s gonna be an uphill battle. We’re ready for it.”