To all our AquaTex families, athletes, and coaches past, present and future: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Prosperous New Year.
Scorpions Ball is a fun and safe way for kids age 5-11 to combine swimming and team sports in our shallow-bottom pool with fun and good coaches.
Covid guidelines for the Texas Challenge Cup, a very brief intro to college recruiting, and new caps! Plus other important stuff like weekend practice, Boerne, hotel options, and welcome to a couple new athletes.
Texas Challenge Cup Details
Our friends at Thunder Water Polo have published the Covid guidelines for its upcoming Texas Challenge Cup. Take a moment to read this in detail so athletes and families are prepared for the indoor competition. And here’s the schedule.
Signed up for the AQTX 14u coed team: Austin, Jacob, James, Kelly, Luca, Morgan, Riley, Joey, Cruz and maybe Aaron. For LoneStar/Mavericks 18u girls team, Cammi, Kendall and Morgan. They’re both playing at the same facility so I should be there for all our games.
Mr. Gerakos (thank you) has volunteered to be the team videographer for our games at the tournament. Thunder will apparently be using an app that allows four separate streams to be pushed to a single site or app so that all the games will be available centrally. I’ll send details whenever I get them from Thunder.
Tournament Hotel Info
Thunder has secured a group rate at the newly renovated Hampton Inn & Suites Lewisville, TX. The rate is $79/night for 2 Queen Bed Rooms. [link coming soon].
Also, Fairfield by Marriott DFW Airport-Coppell/Grapevine, a new hotel at 150 Northpoint Dr. Coppell, TX 76051
Team rates $79 plus tax, 13%. Contact Catherine Johnson to book your team.
No Weekend in Boerne
Aqua Swift hosted a mini tournament last Sunday with some good results for our AquaTex (Longhorn, really) teams – nice work Tristan! The scrimmage we tentatively planned for this Sunday in Boerne is going to get pushed off. There’s a good chance we’ll invite Aqua Swift up to scrimmage us on an open weekend. So…
Is on! Sunday November 8, noon to 2:00 PM. Here’s what our first (very productive) Sunday practice looked like.
Masters is still not nailed down but I think will be soon. Still no physical contact. Stay tuned.
Intro to College Recruiting
I’ll be adding more recruiting info on the site soon. But there’s a ton already available on TXWaterpolo.com. Go check that out.
There are MANY other steps an athlete and family need to take in order to successfully choose a college that offers water polo, and this is an excellent guide that answers a lot of questions. But here are a couple highlights of tasks necessary to play varsity collegiate water polo.
- High School Freshman Year: get to work on your academics right away. One theme that cannot be stressed enough is that good grades and test scores make decisions easier for college coaches, and can lead to significant financial aid via academic scholarships.
- Sophomore Year: Academics (always); get a working copy of your water polo resume going and keep it up to date, for example, adding tournament participation or awards after they take place. Start to research schools that offer varsity water polo AND truly fit your academic needs. Academics come first. Your aim should be to limit the list to 10-15 schools at this point.
- Junior Year: Academics (surprise!). Begin to gather high quality game footage of yourself. On September 1 of an athlete’s junior year, Division I coaches are allowed to begin calling, texting athletes.
- Senior Year: Interaction with college coaches becomes routine and very important. Coaches are now allowed to call prospective student athletes once per week. Students are allowed to contact the coach as many times as they wish. Time to hone in on top choices for schools and express serious, genuine interest.
Welcome New Athletes
Two more new athletes joined us on a trial basis on Monday and were great additions to the team. Thanks to Maddi, Tomas, and their families for giving AQTX a try.
We will be entering a 9th grade and under coed team for this year’s Texas Age Group Championships (water polo) on December 12-13 at the Lewisville ISD Eastside Aquatic Center, 5729 Memorial Dr,The Colony,TX 75056. More registration info coming up.
I may have failed to mention we have new caps. Or maybe not. Behold:
Thanks to our friends at RYTE Sports for coming through with the best caps in Texas. #oneteamonedream
See you on the deck,
According to the Statesman: “Cold front to bring drizzly rain, whipping winds, biting chill to Austin area.” That sounds like parka time and no more mosquito spray. Practice is ON for tonight. Meanwhile, other things important to our expanding club.
Invited to Compete in Boerne (Updated)
Aqua Swift has invited us to a mini tournament on Sunday, Nov. 1 (we’ve now declined to attend that event) and a practice/scrimmage on Sunday, Nov. 8. I’m inclined to do the scrimmage on the 8th only,
but if there’s sufficient demand we can do the tourney on Nov. 1, which would include all age groups and teams from Aqua Swift, AquaTex/Longhorn, and Zilla. As always, let me know what you think, AQTX families.
Potential New Coach
As some of you know I’ve been corresponding with a young coach who has plans to move from Los Angeles to Pflugerville before the end of the year. He has an interest in starting a home improvement construction company. So if any of our families has some advice for him, or connections to the industry, I’d like to share it with him. Based on his background and our conversations he could be a good fit for the club. Hoping it works out.
Our first Sunday practice is this weekend on Nov. 1 from noon to 2:00 PM. The calendar is also clearing up so we can have more Saturday practices (not this Saturday). Both Saturdays and Sundays have been added to the calendar for the rest of 2020.
For the next few months at least we’ve switched our Scorpions Ball days from Thursdays to select Saturdays, noon to 1:00 PM. Go to the calendar for more.
Masters Coming Back
Masters is coming back soon (again, keep checking the calendar) but we just need to nail down the exact dates given the conflicts with other events we’ve experienced. Still no physical contact. Stay tuned.
I’ve updated the calendar on this site so that it includes events from all the ones below to better show our overall agenda and scheduling conflicts that prevent us from having practices or other stuff:
- AquaTex Waterpolo Google Calendar, to include my personal travel
- AQTX Swim and Waterpolo Team Events for meets, water polo tournaments
- AQTX Swim & Waterpolo General, for swim and water polo practice times
- Round Rock HS Swim Team, for meet conflicts
- USA Water Polo’s ODP Southwest Zone to show when I’m committed to coach that program
Texas Challenge Cup (Updated)
I’m very pleased to see the list of those who have committed to this tournament. I want to be clear about the status of AquaTex roster(s). The tournament was in such high demand that all the slots were filled before AquaTex/Longhorn could register 12u coed, 18u girls, 18u boys teams. We successfully registered a 14u coed team. So, for our athletes who want to play but are too old for the 14u team I will be contacting coaches of participating teams to see if they have roster spots available.
The following athletes are committed to the 14u coed team for the Texas Challenge Cup: Austin, Jacob, James, Kelly, Luca, Morgan, Riley.
Also committed are Cammi, Cameron, and Kendall, for whom I’ll try to find teams to play on.
One interesting fact about the upcoming 14u coed team that’s going to the Texas Challenge Cup in a couple weeks: no fans will be allowed inside EXCEPT if you volunteer to stream the game to the public. Do we have any volunteers? You can push the stream to any platform you want. Almost any platform…
Last Thursday we began talking about pressing front court defense. That video is now online
will be online by Tuesday so be sure to take a look before Wednesday’s practice. Next topic is running a zone or drop defense. Take notes!
One of our newest members just had a birthday a couple weeks ago, before she joined us full time. So happy 14th birthday to Ava (Oct. 13) and to Aaron (Oct. 2)!
See you on the deck in warm clothing,
After a frenzy of activity over the past three weeks we get a chance for a breather and can start new, with more chalk talks, new gear, new athletes (we hope!) and a tournament on the near horizon.
You’ll notice in the photo above some strange new water polo goals, the first since the club started playing. We’re very grateful to the Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy for donating them to us and we plan on putting them to very good use.
As mentioned last week our Thursday chalk talks are now part of the practice regimen. They take place every Thursday at 7:30 PM (Zoom links are sent individually or via GroupMe). Athletes are expected to take their own notes during the sessions, or while watching archived videos. They will be tested! Take a look at our first session recorded last Thursday. And I’ll see you on Zoom tomorrow.
Texas Challenge Cup Roster Call
We have already signed up a 14u team for the Texas Challenge Cup on November 14-15 in Lewisville. Longhorn will be combining with us again for that roster and others, likely including 12u coed, 18u boys, 18u girls, and maybe 16u boys. To indicate your athlete’s interest in playing be sure to log on to your TeamUnify account and “Edit Commitment” for this event.
The 14u co-ed roster that I’ve submitted to USAWP is below. It does not commit any athlete to actually playing but it costs us nothing to keep an athlete on the roster in case they become available to play. I’ll share the other rosters when they are ready.
|Ava Chamas (tentative)||20|
|Luca de Araujo||4|
|Tristan Chamas (tentative)||19|
Our monthly Scorpions Ball session for newcomers age 5-11 is next on Thursday, October 22 at 6:30 PM. Be sure to sign up at USA Water Polo for the required “Splashball Pass Holder” membership if you have not already. Coach Hayley will be leading the session. Bring a friend!
We plan to add practice times on Sunday in order to take advantage of having the whole deep-water pool for training. It will tentatively begin in November (on Sundays that are not already occupied by other events) from noon to 2:00 PM.
Coach Shannon, Esq.
Austin College is featuring its water polo athletes in their “Meet the ROOs” series. Coach Shannon with the social media pub!
— AC Water Polo (@AustinCollegeWP) October 20, 2020
Have a great week everyone,
It’s fair to say that this has been the busiest and most consequential three weeks in AquaTex Waterpolo history. The Southwest Zone held its first ever clinic at our pool in Round Rock on September 25-26 with great results followed by the biggest tournament ever hosted by AquaTex spanning the following two weekends.
So it has to be said up front: my genuine thanks for everyone who volunteered to make the weekend as big a success as it was. Your good work was noticed and mentioned by many people who attended. Thank you.
Central Texas Festival
The response has been huge. AquaTex and our friends at Zilla put on the first USA Water Polo tournament in the US since March hosting 74 games (!) played by nearly 40 teams from as far away as Ventura, California. The feedback has been great (check out the kind words in our Twitter mentions and Instagram feed) from so many who were there.
Meanwhile, while our families toiled on the deck we actually played a bunch of games too, with the 14u and 12u mixed teams finishing well on the fourth and our older players getting four games of quality water polo this past weekend.
…had a challenging weekend with a short roster, some very new athletes, and a big win on Sunday over Lone Star/Mavericks to end the tournament on a high note. The team fell to some very experienced teams from Cowtown, Thunder, and Viper Pigeon but showed genuine improvement as the weekend progressed. Yet more hard work and demonstrable learning by Kendall, Morgan, Cammi, and Nilmary along with their Longhorn friends.
The team was so big we were able to basically play an entirely AquaTex lineup for periods of time. And the boys did well against another group of very strong and experienced opponents. They finished Saturday with a decisive win over Cowtown, but fell to Lone Star/Mavericks, Southside, and Viper Pigeons. Great work and improvement, again, by all our boys: Riley in goal and the field, Alexander (with the goal of the weekend, probably), Mac, Aaron, Luca, and Cameron.
Final results for the 18u brackets are online here.
It was a great way to get mentally ready for the next level of competition on November 14-15 in Lewisville at the Texas Challenge Cup. We’ve already entered a 14u mixed team and will likely do the same for 12u mixed, 18u, and maybe 16u if Thunder schedules it. As I mentioned in a recent Zoom call, we will continue to expand the amount we compete. It’s an exciting time for the club.
Ok, how about a photo gallery of the 14u team (will share pics of the other teams as soon as I can)? My thanks to James Jacks, a huge supporter of water polo and the parent of a Viper Pigeon we played against.
Our next session (formerly Splashball) is on Thursday, October 22 with Coach Halyey. The program is for kids age 5-11 and is a fun, safe way to churn some shallow water and throw a ball around. For more info visit our programs page or contact us.
Thursday Chalk Talk
Parents, our athletes should be aware of our (mostly) regular meetings via Zoom on Thursdays at 7:30 PM. Given the lack of teaching time and facilities at Micki this is a vital way for us to learn about how we want to play the game. It should not be considered optional and we’re working on ways to test the athletes about what they’ve learned. For those who absolutely must miss these sessions they will be recorded and are expected to be watched. A Zoom invite should arrive via email and GroupMe.
My genuine gratitude for all the volunteer help this weekend was accompanied by a feeling that our athletes should be rewarded for how much they contribute to the club while not in the pool. Expect to see a Google survey asking you to track the number of hours you worked at the desk or elsewhere during this past tournament.
It sounds like TAGS will take place in North Texas in early December. The annual USA Water Polo tournament is for teams comprised of 9th graders and younger, and 7th graders and younger. You can bet we will be entering at least one team. Precise date and location to be determined.
Thank you all, and I’ll see you on the deck.
Here’s basically everything you might need to know about this weekend’s Central Texas Festival.
- 18U/16U Girls & Boys Divisions – Online Schedule/Results
- How to do scoresheets (a very good primer – watch it!)
- AquaTex Volunteer Schedule, Signup
- AquaTex/Zilla Secondary Waiver
- Central Texas Festival – Coach Meeting – 18U/16U Divisions (Zoom meeting Video)
- Tournament Safety Guidelines
- Mikki Pool Layout (Round Rock)
- Specific Pool Rules (Both Pools)
- USAWP Rules Changes for 2020
- USAWP Playing Rules
From Joe Linehan, Tournament Director, to team coaches:
This is the final update for this weekend’s Central Texas Festival – 18U/16U Girls & Boys Divisions on Saturday-Sunday, October 10-11 in Round Rock/Cedar Park. Below is all the tournament information for the weekend including a schedule link (no changes from previous schedules) and a recording of last night’s Coach Meeting. PLEASE be aware and make sure your athletes/parents know of the all Safety Guidelines, Secondary Waiver, Mikki Pool Layout (Round Rock), Millburn Pool Layout (Cedar Park), Specific Pool Rules (Both Pools), Athletes/Coaches Game Flow, Switching Ends, Spectators info, etc. for this weekend. Athletes/coaches can arrive 45 minutes prior to their games. Spectators will not be able to enter the pools until 10 minutes prior to the game. After each game, all athletes, coaches, & spectators will need to leave the pool area as quickly as possible (team meetings outside the pool area).
The referees WILL be doing ID Checks prior to each game (please be prepared). When you arrive on Saturday for your first game, I will be giving each coach their Team Packets that will include schedules, Game Sheets, etc. Teams will use the Game Sheets for their ID Checks prior to each game and then turn in a Game Sheet to the table prior to each game. Rosters will be closely monitored during the event with ID Checks throughout the weekend. Only those listed on the roster (athletes/coaches) will be allowed to be on the team benches. We suggest all teams print out their athlete membership cards (can do through the roster portal at the USAWP website).
AquaTex and Zilla are the local hosts of the event with USA Water Polo, and they will be providing table workers/supervisors, safety monitors, and drinks for coaches/referees. All games will be using the new USA Water Polo rules which went into effect on January 1, 2020 (see links below). All games will be 4 x 5:00 minute start/stop games. Each team will receive two timeouts per game. All games will be played until there is a winner. Games tied after four quarters will go straight to a shootout. Below are all details on the event as well as the emails sent previously.
Central Texas Festival – 18U/16U Girls & Boys Divisions –Tournament Information:
- Dates/Locations: October 10-11, 2020
- Mikki Krebsbach Pool, 301 Deep Wood Dr, Round Rock, TX 78681 (Outdoor Pool)
- Elizabeth Millburn Pool, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd, Cedar Park, TX 78613 (Outdoor Pool)
- 18U/16U Girls: Aquatex, Cowtown, Lone Star/Mavericks, Southside, Thunder, Triumph, Viper Pigeons, Zilla
- 18U/16U Boys: Aqua Swift, Aquatex, CFWPC, Cowtown, Gold Coast A, Gold Coast Blue, Lake Jackson, Lone Star/Mavericks, Southside Navy, Southside Silver, Thunder Black, Thunder Silver, Viper Pigeons, Zilla Green, Zilla Yellow
Round Rock Aquatics/Zilla Water Polo Secondary Waiver: All participants (athletes, coaches, referees, volunteers, and spectators) will need to sign the Secondary Waiver. Coaches will need to collect all Secondary Waivers for their team (coaches/athletes) and turn in all signed waivers together into the check-in table when arriving prior to their first game of the tournament. The referees, volunteers, and spectators need to bring a completed form to the facility and show it to the check-in table each time they enter the facility.
Central Texas Festival – Safety Guidelines & Procedures: There will be Safety Monitors on the pool deck throughout both weekends to help enforce the various guidelines, but this will be a team effort from all involved to make this a successful tournament regarding physical distancing (coaches need to be responsible for themselves, their athletes, and their team spectators). Please be sure to educate your parents about the Safety Guidelines & Procedures. All participants MUST WEAR MASKS while on deck at the facilities. If there are any spectators, athletes, and/or coaches who repeatedly refuse to wear face masks while on deck at the tournament and are not following the Safety Guidelines & Procedures, they will be asked to leave the facility. If participants still refuse to leave, the game in which the participant is playing, coaching, and/or watching will be suspended and the game forfeited. Please be proactive with your athletes/parents and help make sure we don’t get to this last step. Thank you in advance.
Pool Layouts/Specific Pool Rules/Switching Ends: Below are links for the Pool Layouts/Specific Pool Rules for both the Elizabeth Millburn Pool in Cedar Park and the Mikki Krebsbach Pool in Round Rock. The Mikki Pool is an outdoor, heated, 25 yard, all deep 8 lane outdoor pool. The Millburn Pool is an outdoor, heated, 25 meter/shortened to 25 yard, 8 lane pool with one deep end and the other end at 4.5 feet (quickly slopes to all deep). We will be switching sides as per USA Water Polo rules. At the Mikki Pool, teams will switch sides at halftime. At the Millburn Pool (shallow/deep), teams will switch sides each quarter. When switching sides at both pools, all athletes will swim to the other side while coaches walk to the other side wearing a mask.
Athletes/Coaches Game Flow: Athletes/coaches can arrive 45 minutes prior to their game. When athletes/coaches arrive at a pool, there will be a designated “ready area” for each team. At the conclusion of the game immediately before their game and after the teams have vacated the pool/bench areas, athletes/coaches can move to and bring their stuff to the bench to begin their team warm-up (5-10 minutes before the game starts). At the end of each game, athletes will swim to the bench where they started the game while coaches walk wearing a mask to the same area (essentially switching sides one more time). Therefore, the last thing an athlete does before getting in the pool for warm-up is take off their mask, and the first thing they do when they get out of the pool is put on their mask. Thank you for the help in making this happen.
Spectators: Spectators WILL BE ALLOWED into the facility (two spectators per athlete) but they will need to show a completed Secondary Waiver form for themselves when coming into the pool each time. Spectators will not be allowed to come into the facility until 10 minutes before each game (athletes can get to the pool 45 minutes prior to each game). After each game, all athletes, coaches, & spectators will need to leave the pool area as quickly as possible. Please note that everyone needs to bring their own chairs as there is very limited spectator seating at both pools. There will be designated spectator seating for each team.
ID Checks/Photo ID’s: The Referees will be doing ID Checks for coaches and athletes prior to each game of the tournament. All athletes need to be at least Bronze members of USA Water Polo. All coaches need to be registered with USA Water Polo and updated on their background check, 1st Aid/CPR, Safe Sport, etc. We recommend that all athletes download a picture with their USA Water Polo account (process takes two minutes). Teams are responsible for providing their verified team rosters when doing roster checks (specific to this event, provided in team packets). Teams will need to line up prior to their game in number order. All teams can print out team membership cards (click print membership cards at the bottom of each team’s final roster). Athletes can also have individual membership cards (this takes longer than printing out team membership cards).
Good morning to all our AquaTex Waterpolo families and Longhorn friends:
It’s tournament day so a couple important reminders.
Here’s the schedule.
Be SURE you have a signed copy of your athlete’s secondary waiver to hand over to your coach today. Not optional.
For teams that I’m coaching you can be at your games 45 minutes before the match. Coach Tom has indicated that our 12u team can arrive 30 minutes before.
There are still many volunteer slots open for games at Micki tomorrow. Be sure to sign up here.
I will be at Micki at or before 6:30 AM tomorrow morning. I REALLY need help getting the pool covers off. Can a few athetes step up and give me and Coach Matt a hand?
After our 14u game at 1:30 PM today is done I’ll be heading directly to Micki to begin setting up for tomorrow. Again, I could use all the help I can get.
Excited for the weekend!
Apparently there is enough pent up demand by masters athletes for anything that resembles water polo to fill up Micki Krebsbach on a sweltering day.
Our masters program returned on Saturday with plenty of grateful athletes, copious sunscreen, and proper physical distancing. As with our youth program there’s no physical contact (yet), so plenty of “ultimate” style water polo with ever-shifting rules.
But masters water polo is back on the calendar for Saturdays from 2pm to 3.30 pm. There are exceptions so be sure to check the calendar.
Find out more about our masters programming here.