Sunday, April 24, 2016
Palmetto vs Ransom was a game that we weren't looking forward to. Ransom has been developing their current team since 2012 which means their team has been playing together for at least 4 years. They were without a top 3 team in the state and one could make an argument that they had the best defense. In other words, they were a team that was a couple of steps better than us. During the game some of the younger players didn't have very much confidence which didn't help our already tough situation. Palmetto managed to get 3 goals all in the first quarter and then the Ransom talent that the whole state fears showed up. They racked up 13 goals in the last 3 quarters to end the game 17-3. Despite losing this game I was happy the game was able to give the younger players some experience against a tough team. After the game was over I talked to the Ransom team and begged for them to beat Belen (another top 3 team) in the upcoming regionals final. Unfortunately they weren't able to but I look forward to coming down from college next year and seeing that young Ransom team perform at an even higher level.
Our Second tournament of the year was finally here. With an ever improving team we were excited to get in the water again. We worked tirelessly the week before perfecting plays and planning strategies in an attempt to perform at our best. Our first game was one that I will never forget. Our team was down by 3 with just 40 seconds left. The opposing team passed the ball back as the time was winding down. I went under water hoping the goalie wouldn't see me and stole the ball from him. While I was stealing the ball one could say that I was returning favor of a kick to the face by the goalies teammate. I gave him a couple knees under water because I figured the game was just about over. Luckily for my team the goalie wasn't happy about that and started to choke me. The refs only saw his retaliation so they kicked him out for the remainder of the game. We were now down by 2 with 28 seconds left however, this time the the other team didn't have a goalie. Palmetto was able to shoot the ball as soon as they got it and score. Cyprus Bay, the opposing team was able to get the ball and drain the clock until it reached 4 seconds when a Palmetto player managed to steal the ball and call a timeout. The entire game Cyprus Bay decided to double team me and Coach Chase was going to capitalize on it for the last play. The play was to give me the ball and draw the defenders away in hopes of finding an open player. The play worked to perfection and Palmetto's number one freshman was there to save the day. We finished the game in a time which meant we were able to go on and play in a higher bracket.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
The Palmetto Water Polo post-season finally arrived. Palmetto vs Rivera in the semi finals for a rematch. Palmetto went up early and stayed up for the entire game. Rivera had a comeback during the 4th quarter but Palmetto was able to hold it off. We made it to the finals for the first time in my 4 years at Palmetto. It was a great rematch. Head coach of Palmetto, the son of the head coach of Gulliver were going at it again. Before the game, instead of going to our benches are doing our team chants, both teams got together in the center of the pool and yelled out the chant of the club team that we are all on together. The captains of Palmetto and Gulliver got together in the center of both teams and at the end of the chant the refs, coaches and audience all stood up and applauded. The game was close at first. Our plan was to eliminate their top two players and force their weaker players to win the game for them. Unfortunately they were able to do the same thing to us and forced our weaker players to attempt to win the game for us. Palmetto ended up losing the game to Gulliver and got district runner ups. I'm glad I got to play my final game against some of the best friends and wish the best for Gulliver Raiders.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
About a month ago palmetto played Gulliver for the first time. This rivalry has always been a strong on ebut recently got a lot of attention from other schools because the head coach of Gulliver is the mother of the head coach of Palmetto. The two went into the game with a lot of passion because they wanted to come out on top. The players themselves have known each other from club water polo so the rivalry was there, especially this year. When the whistle blew and the two teams raced for the ball in the center of the pool for the first time adrenaline was pumping through everyones body. Palmetto got the ball first which means they start the game off with the first possession. We had a game plan to focus on the their weaker, younger players. In the first quarter we did that to perfection and had the lead going in to the last quarter of the first half. We fell apart the beginning of the first quarter but after a time out we rallied and tied the game up heading into halftime. This however is where we messed up. Throughout the whole year palmetto water polo has been fighting for pool space which means we weren't getting enough time to get in to good cardiovascular shape. Gulliver on the other hand had been in the water since January. They out swam us and put themselves into good positions to score and by the end of the game someone that just saw the score would've thought that we got destroyed. Both coaches almost got red carded during the game because of all the passion they had for their teams and their desire to beat each other. Despite the loss it was a day where I got to play with some of my best friends(on both teams) and its a day I won't forget.
Friday, March 4, 2016
Finally after 3 games Palmetto took home their first win of the season. And it was a good one. Our team won 16-4 and it was definitely a game that gave our younger players some confidence going into next week. Not only did we win but the way we were allowed to move the ball around and run plays gave the team as a hole some hope to turn the season around. With another game next week Thursdays game was much needed. With such a lead were able to get some bunch players in and some of them especially the young ones showed a lot of potential in certain positions. Thursdays game was a good win for palmetto but it certainly wasn't a clean game at all. I'm very proud of our players for not retaliating when some of the Terra players were picking fights. They punched, elbowed, kneed, and held under water but the Palmetto boys let the refs take care Terra's dirty playing and focused on the game. As the season has gone along we have improved every week moving into next week the team has to remain focused and positive because Cutler Bay is going to be a tough game.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
February 9th was supposed to be a good day for Palmetto Water Polo. The first game was supposed to be against Hialeah but an hour before the game was scheduled Hialeah High School called Palmetto to inform them the pool we were scheduled to play at was currently under construction due to an emergency pipe leak. The entire team was very upset because this was the first game Palmetto was going to play in almost 2 years. Coaches and athletic directors are working hard to reschedule the game but as an athlete it is very discouraging. The next game is supposed to be next week but after Tuesday nothing seems to be official. All I can do as the team captain is encourage the players to continue to go to practice and working as a team to be best prepared for the games ahead. Although this week was a bummer there is still a bright side. Now our team has more time to go over plays and tactics for the upcoming season. We got in the pool late this year but now we have more time to catch up to the other schools when it comes to practicing with each other as a team.
Friday, January 29, 2016
Since my last post Palmetto Water Polo has finally officially gotten a pool. Although it wasn't Ransom its a pool just as good. Being that our coach used to coach for Gulliver he was able to pull a few strings and finally give Palmetto an opportunity to practice in the water. The last several weeks have been full of conditioning at Coral Reef Park but we can finally get into the water and prepare for our first game in just over a week. Although our toughest competition isn't for a couple months its definitely going to be a tough challenge to play Hialeah (a very rough team) for our first game with only a week of practice. Palmetto has enough talent this year to go far into the post season but now it’s a matter of getting enough practice together and developing good team chemistry. Water polo is a sport where in order to be successful you have to think what the rest of your team is thinking and the only way that can happen is if we are in the water together, learning each others playing styles and tendencies. Excited to get in the water to represent Palmetto for the first time in over a year!