Andover Boys Water Polo opened the year with intense preseason ball work and a nearly two-mile swim set. Despite the change in coaching staff from the former Head Coach Dan O’Shea to Head Coach David Fox, the preseason period helped the team adapt to Coach Fox’s coaching style, according to Co-Captain Neil Simpson ’19.
Simpson wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “This year we underwent a coaching change as Mr. Fox took over the reins of the program. The preseason this fall helped us transition from one coaching style to another. With nothing else on campus to worry about, we were able to focus solely on developing a new style of play and forming bonds with each other.”
According to Co-Captain Eric Osband ’19, the team is excited about welcoming seven new players into the team, including five Juniors. Although half of the new players have no prior experience in the sport, most of them have experience in other sports and have great potential for water polo, according to Osband.
One of Andover’s main focuses this year will be to improve teamwork and communication both in and out of the pool, according to Osband.
Osband wrote, “As a Captain, I hope to really motivate the team and help us work as one rather than as 14 independent players. The strongest teams in our league are the ones with the best teamwork and communication, and so even though we have a lot of individual talent, we need to learn to work together if we want to do well this season. We’re going to be spending a lot of time outside of the pool with the team, so Neil and I will try to have us bond as much as possible.”
New team member Sean Meng ’22 says he hopes to absorb as much water polo as he can from his peers and practices so he can make a significant contribution to the team by end of the season.
Meng wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The team this year is filled with some incredible athletes, and I just hope to be able to learn more about the game from the older guys, while putting in the work necessary to make improvements by the end of the season. Hopefully I will be able to contribute in the pool along the way, but the main focus is still on working, learning more about the game, and building a strong team chemistry for the seasons to come.”
According to Simpson, the team shares the common goal of reaching peak performance at the New England Championships. Andover capped off last year’s season with a third place finish at the New England Championships, and looks to improve its rank this year.
Simpson wrote, “This year, our goal is to play our very best water polo at the end of the season. We want to play solid team defense in order to secure wins. The hope is that as long as we are defensively sound, everything else will follow suit.”