Magic Valley Water Polo looks for state glory, again
Many area residents might not be aware of the Magic Valley Water Polo team.
While not sanctioned by the Idaho High School Activities Association, the team is a conglomeration of various schools.
Plus, it's co–ed, with two girls being active in the pool at all times.
The group is no stranger to state championships, is seeking another one this coming weekend.
"It's crazy sprints. People don't understand it until they actually do it. I get a lot of people that come up to me who don't respect it and they get in and try it out. It can be very physical, sometimes violent," explains Caden Hansen 17, of Declo.
Hansen commutes from Declo to the Twin Falls YMCA pool to train between two and four hours each day.
Hansen adds, "we have good coaches up here, that's the main reason I like to come up and the pool is the best one in the Magic Valley. That's why I come up."
In water polo, you're not allowed to hang on to the wall, or other devices to keep you afloat. The depth of the pool is 12 feet and matches usually last 25 minutes. Endurance is key.
"I think it's legitimate because it's one of the best forms of exercise and you gain popularity by saying it's a full contact sport which attracts people because they can take their day out on them," explains Matt Twiss 17, of Twin Falls High School.
Twin Falls High School's Michael Ashby says, "water polo is tough, it's swimming and high endurance. You're in the water the whole time, can't touch. Need to move back and forth."
Janae Swenson is a sophomore from Jerome. An avid swimmer, enjoys the physical nature of the game.
"Girls will have basketball and volleyball, but we really don't have a contact sport like football. So it really gives us an opportunity to get in there," explains Swenson.
The team practices during the swim season between August and December with a few scattered throughout the year.
Now that the end of the year tournament is drawing near...
"Sometimes the girls can be really mean, but it's all for fun and no hurt feelings," jokes Swenson.
You can catch the team in action for the state tournament this Saturday, December 5th at the Boise Aquatic Center starting at 8 am.