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.
The 2020 tournament season is over. So, a recap and some other important scheduling updates for us through January.
North Texas Tournaments
AquaTex finished its busiest ever year with four rosters at two tournaments 40 minutes apart in North Texas. And while the younger teams were pretty lean they found some success Ironman-style. Our 7th grade u co-ed team, featuring the scoring-addicted Tomas and our lefty assist-man assassin Tristan, helped the team to an impressive fourth place finish, including yet another shootout win to finish the competition.
Also at TAGS, our very young 9th grade u co-ed team held up against some teams featuring some pretty huge players. That included a gutsy win over Cowtown to finish the tournament on a high note. Jacob took Coach Kendall’s advice and scored some timely goals from the posts, James was a scoring machine from the left-hand side, Tristan (that guy again!) was a huge attacking threat from his left-hander side, and Morgan won every sprint she started, plus continued her assault on the front of the cage.
Across town our 18u girls had a very good weekend with a third place finish at the Cowtown Stampede. Kendall continues her perimeter shooting onslaught, Cammi is becoming a counter attacking machine, and Morgan earns the attention of the opposing team with her attacks on the cage. Mac and Riley (the thief) were big contributors to the very successful weekend for the 18u boys, who went 3-1 to place top four in the highly competitive festival.
A year-ending well done to all those who participated and excelled, including our friends from Longhorn.
The schedule for December and January is updated. We will not be taking our traditional year-end break but should have some fun practices before January arrives. The calendar is now updated: we’ll continue Monday/Wednesday weekday practices and weekend practices on (mostly) Saturday. Once school is out, practices will be from noon to 2 PM.
We are moving practice from Wednesday to Thursday this week due to a high school swim meet. On Wednesday we’ll have our 7:30 Chalk Talk with Justin Pudwill joining us to share his success in utilizing a 4-2 offense while he was head coach at Whittier College.
And all practices originally planned for Saturday are moved to Sunday at noon. That includes FREE Scorpions Ball for any athlete age 5-11. Bring lots of friends, and spread the word.
We will plan on hosting masters’ shoot-arounds after any youth practices during the weekend. Sessions will start at 2 PM or whenever the youth practice ends.
COVID and Coaches
To perhaps help give some peace of mind to our families, some Covid news. I today tested negative as did Coaches Alon and Kendall in the past couple weeks. We’re pleased to note that we have experienced only one known case among coaches and athletes since March, and that athlete had stopped practicing with us weeks before reporting it. So there was never any exposure to it by other athletes.
January Parent Meeting and Collegiate Recruiting
We have an online parent meeting on the calendar for Thursday, January 7 at 7:30 PM. In addition to going over plans for the club in 2021 we expect to have an extremely knowledgeable guest join us to go over details of college water polo recruiting. An invitation is forthcoming. Parents and athletes are welcome to take part.
Gear for the Holidays
Not only is there plentiful AquaTex Waterpolo swag available for your holiday gifting needs, you can also support the TXWaterpolo Podcast and news site by giving loved ones some beautiful TXWaterpolo (and Total Waterpolo) gear at the TWp Sports Store.
Happy Holidays, everyone, and I’ll see you bundled in the parking lot.
We’re headed to North Texas this weekend for two tournaments, so check in for all the relevant details.
General rules: athletes should be there 45 minutes prior to game time prepared for warmup outdoors.
- AquaTex 18u girls first game vs. Viper Pigeons at 3:00 PM Saturday
- AquaTex 18u boys first game vs. Cowtown Renegades at 1:30 PM Saturday.
Find everything related to the Cowtown Stampede on the event page. That includes links to the two waivers required of each athlete, coach, and table worker (get those done by Wednesday please); rosters and cap numbers; safety guidelines; and the live schedule. Those teams will be coached by Tom Andrew.
- AquaTex 9th grade u first game vs. Thunder Black at 9:30 AM on Saturday.
- AquaTex 7th grade u first game vs. Thunder Silver at noon.
Same with the Texas Age Group Championships. You can find rosters, the schedule, safety guidelines and a lot more on the event page. Coached by James, Kendall, and Becca Andrew.
Holiday Training Schedule
Given that we have new coaches (yes!) who will be available, we will not be having our traditional two-week break between Christmas and the new year. We’re waiting for the swim team to nail down its schedule but you can tentatively plan on practice on Mondays, Wednesdays at noon and on Saturdays at noon (likely) during the weeks school is closed. Of course, exceptions for Christmas Day, New Years Day.
Also, because of a swim meet scheduled at Micki on Dec. 18-19 we will shift all our water polo programming to Sunday the 2oth. That includes Scorpion Ball, youth training, and masters. Check out the calendar.
See you there,
Happy Holidays, AquaTexans. Right to it as the year winds down.
Only a few players have signed up via the TeamUnify interface for the two remaining tournaments of 2020, which both take place in North Texas on December 14-15. I strongly suspect that there are more who actually want to play so let me know by Wednesday if you’re committed. You can email or SMS me if you prefer.
- Cowtown Stampede
- 18u boys: none
- 18u girls: Kendall
- 9th grade u coed: Aaron, Jacob, Kelly, Cruz
- 7th grade u coed: Cruz
We have committed to both tournaments (and paid) so want the biggest AQTX turnout possible. Rosters are due from me to the tournament organizers on Dec 5 so I need to know soon who wants to go.
A couple other pieces of info for each tournament:
TAGS Hotel Info
- Address/Phone: 3650 Plano Pkwy, The Colony, TX 75056, 469-362-1111
- Rate: $70 per night (Friday and/or Saturday)
- Reserve Rooms by Friday, December 4th (UPDATED)
- Free Breakfast, Parking, Wifi
There are two waivers each athlete, coach, and table worker need to complete before they are allowed into the facility. Both waivers along with everything else you need to know about the tournament can be found here.
There are no spectators allowed inside the venue, although they are planning to stream the games live (link can be found at that link above). Each team is allowed to provide two table workers per game (same volunteers throughout the tournament preferred), so if you are interested in helping out and being able to watch the games in person, let me know and I can add you to our table worker list.
A flurry of activity as the year winds down, we return from a jam-packed weekend of games in North Texas, find ourselves a new coach, and get pumped for the final two tournaments of 2020. Plus, Tony Azevedo is coming our way.
Texas Challenge Cup
Our 14u coed team went (almost) ironman for its four-game schedule at last weekend’s Texas Challenge. With eight total athletes, a 2-2 record felt about right and earned the team a fourth-place finish after a tough game against Thunder Black, their “A” team. The weekend also featured AquaTex’s first ever shootout, which it won over the very feisty Pegasus team. History! All the live streams of every game are online, linked on our TCC event page. Well done in particular to James for playing in his first ever travel tournament and Riley for becoming the deadly ninja goalie Coach Matthew has been hoping for. Congratulations to them, Jacob, Morgan (7 games!), Kelly, Cruz, Austin, and Luca. Go check out their game highlights linked above.
Meanwhile, despite never having played in a USAWP travel tournament, Kendall, Cammi, and Morgan turned out to be among the most productive and reliable members of the Lonestar/Mavericks 18u girls team that ended the tournament with a well-rested Sunday afternoon win over Cowtown. Kendall is starting to show off that shooting skill she displays at practice, Cammi ended the tournament with a two-goal outing vs. Cowtown after showing off her speed on defense all weekend, and Morgan continues to be one of the most aggressive attackers on the entire club and showed some real progress in becoming a killer driver/post-up player. Very proud of all three of them
Welcome Coach Alon
Meanwhile, as we continue to improve and grow we have another new coach helping us out. Coach Alon Yoeli is from Carmel, CA and played his collegiate water polo at Fordham University in New York City (the Bronx to be precise). He also played for one of Italy’s best clubs. He recently moved to Austin, contacted AquaTex about masters water polo and ended up getting roped in to coaching! Welcome aboard, Alon.
Thanksgiving Week Schedule
The practice schedule is updated for Thanksgiving week. Check it out on the calendar. Coaches Kendall and Shannon will be back along with Matthew and Alon to keep us moving forward. That includes Scorpion Ball with Coach Shannon on the 21st!
Tournament Roster Calls
TAGS and the Cowtown Stampede are the last competitions of the year. And aside from the obvious reasons we might want to turn the calendar page, it’s also the last chance for many of our athletes to play in age groups they were supposed to occupy for JOs and Southwest Zone Championships. Beginning in 2021 we can expect that tournaments will set their “age as of” date to August 1, 2021. We want to end the year on a competitive high note and expect our athletes to take part in these final two tournaments.
The Texas Age Group Championships are for athletes in 9th grade and under. We have already registered our 9th grade u (coed) team and may combine with Longhorn for 7th and under and/or 5th and under. Edit your commitment to TAGS here.
Tony Azevedo Clinic
The Legendary Tony Azevedo is headed to Texas to host three days of water polo training in North Texas. Three days for high schoolers, two for those age 14 and under. Plus, goalie training. Find out more and register here and let me know if you sign up. I may be able to make it up there to watch (and interview Tony for the podcast…)
We have some really excellent attendance records for the months of October and November (shout out to Cammi, Declan and Austin!). The link has probably been wrong for several weeks so here’s the updated link to the document. #BeYourBest
Performance Training Course
Coach Marcy shared this via email on the 13th. The program is open to water polo athletes.
Aquatex is collaborating with Performance Course to offer an 8-week Dryland Training schedule.
Performance Course is an unrivaled approach to progressively improving athletic ability. This unique course combines sound, proven strength and conditioning principles with the latest methodologies to give the participant the top athletic performance program in the nation.
Senior/PreSeniors swimmers [and water polo athletes] that 13 & up are eligible to participate. The program will start November 30th, the Monday following Thanksgiving. Sessions will be held at our pool, on deck. The training will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays:
Girls – 5:45-6:30pm
Boys – 6:30-7:15pm
The cost is $180. To participate, please go to this site and signup: Performance Course
That’s all for this week. Have a great and safe Thanksgiving week.
See you in the parking lot…
We’re just a few days away from the Texas Challenge Cup in The Colony. And as we shift more information to this site there is a new link to “Events” which will mostly contain tournaments on the calendar to which we are committed.
Here are the details on the tournament including schedule, Covid guidelines, streaming and more. All our games will be at the LISD Eastside Aquatic Center, 5729 Memorial Dr, The Colony, TX 75056.
Athletes and coaches will meet together outside the facility one hour prior to game time.
For the 18u girls playing with Lonestar/Mavericks, the first game is on Saturday at 10:30 AM vs. Thunder 16u. The second game depends on the outcome of the first.
For AquaTex 14u co-ed the first game is at 1:30 PM on Saturday vs. Viper Pigeon Green, second game at 4:30 PM vs. Thunder Silver.
There are no apparent conflicts between our 18u girls and 14u coed games.
TAGS and Cowtown Stampede
Two tournaments take place on December 12-13: TAGS for 9th grade and under coed, and Cowtown Stampede for 18u boys and girls. Find details on both of these tournaments on our new Events page.
We have already registered a 9th grade and under team for TAGS for AquaTex. We will be partnering with Longhorn to fill out 18u boys and girls rosters playing as AquaTex, so be sure to let me know if you want to play. [Updated: AquaTex has registered one 18u boys and one 18u girls team for the tournament].
That’s all for this week though there could be updates as we get ready to drive up to The Colony.
See you on the deck,
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.