Instead of implementing the usual tryout period for new athletes, Andover Boys Water Polo took a unique approach this year.
“Preseason went really well. Coach only invited returning players to preseason, so we were able to really just jump right into the action and into advanced drills,” said returner Neil Simpson ’19, who earned MVP last season.
In addition to game related drills, Andover increased its focus on conditioning during training.
“We focused on conditioning, which is always an important aspect of preseason. We also focused on really just getting into shooting, passing, and teamwork,” said Co-Captain Nicholas Isenhower ’18.
“We’ve been doing a lot more conditioning this year, hopefully we’ll be fitter than other teams at the end of the game, which will make all the difference in the long run,” said Simpson.
A major change to the Water Polo program at Andover was instituted this year. Because the team had a huge turnout at tryouts, the Varsity team added nine new players, and the coaches created a JV roster.
Commenting on the new aspects of the Water Polo program, Yubo Jin ’21 said, “The decision to try out for the water polo team was one of the best in my life. The practices are hard and tiring, but I enjoy every bit of it. The season’s just started, and I look forward to the upcoming games and practices.”
“We’re a big team, so I’m hoping we can really come together and make our team stronger. We have two teams this year, and I’m confident a lot of the JV guys will move up, and make the varsity team better,” said Isenhower.
Last year, Andover missed its post season tournament by one game, and this season the team looks to improve its record.
“Water polo season is going to be fun because we have a strong team this year with a lot of returners that know the game really well. I think we can win more games and place well at the championships,” said Eric Osband ’19.
Isenhower added, “I’m really excited to see what we can get the varsity team to do and what the JV team to do as well.”
Andover’s first games will be this Saturday in a double header against Loomis Chaffee and Hopkins School at home.