LACES Untied

LACES Untied

LACES Untied

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Making Waves

Boys water polo powers into Division I semifinals
Roan Pennoyer

This season, the LACES water polo team reached new heights under trying circumstances. This year, the team progressed all the way to the 2023 CIF LA City Section Division I semifinals, setting a school record. 

The team made a valiant effort in the semifinal game against El Camino Real on November 6th but came up just short with a final score of 14-9. ECR roared out to a 12-2 lead, before LACES came back within five but ultimately fell short of a win. Despite this, they showed grit and concluded a hard-fought season. While 5-6 wins to losses is an unassuming ratio, LACES faced a season of extreme ups and downs and were able to make impressive playoff progress. 

“Overall it was a really good season, we’re proud of how we did,” said co-captain Isaiah Parks. “We did the best with what we had and had a good time.”

The team’s achievements this year highlight their resilience despite some challenges they faced. One significant hurdle the team encountered was the unexpected hiatus caused by a malfunction in the pool. 

“The [pool] was broken for three weeks in the middle of our season. We had to train dry land and make efforts to make up for lost practice time until the pool was fixed,” said Parks. This unforeseen obstacle tested the team’s commitment and resourcefulness as they adapted their training regimen to ensure they remained in top form.

However, the challenges did not end there. This season marked Varsity Coach Sherry Stewart’s first year coaching water polo. 

“I had to do a lot of homework,” said Stewart. She recalls watching YouTube videos and connecting with other water polo coaches to learn more about the sport. 

Stewart also called attention to the difficulties of being without a pool and forming a practice regimen as a coach. 

“It was a struggle getting the athletes to come in and commit to practice, even though we couldn’t get in the water.” 

However, rescheduling games and losing precious practice time did not stop LACES from an impressive season. Co-captains Isaiah Parks and Kevin Heo (also the team’s leading scorer) took on bigger leadership roles in games and practices in the absence of a seasoned coach as they had previously.

“I think that even though we’re losing six seniors this year, we will still manage to build the team for the next year,” said Stewart. “I’m very excited to coach next year.”

The accomplishments of the LACES water polo team, despite adversity, serve as a testament to their determination, resilience, and a collective spirit that surpasses challenges, establishing a sturdy groundwork for future years.

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About the Contributor
Roan Pennoyer, Staff Writer
Senior at LACES and first-year writer for LACES Untied. Esteemed music producer and tennis player. My favorite color is green and I think people should be kind.
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