STX Winter Champs, Thunder Tourney, Spring Festival and More
Catching up on a lot of stuff so here we go.
South Texas Champs Re-cap
Big thanks to Coach Alon for spending all Sunday the 30th in San Antonio watching our teams perform well at the South Texas Winter Championships. Here’s his recap of the day:
18 u Mixed
The AquaHorns fought hard bright and early to start the day against Zilla. Aaron Gordon won all 4 swim offs and led the team counter attack. Jacob Gerakos and Jake Roberts alternated in center and the team, especially Luca de Araujo from the 4/5 side, did a great job working the ball into center. Kendall Strauss and Cruz Crowley both had several stellar defensive plays throughout the game. The team ultimately lost to ZIlla in a shootout.
Next, the team matched up with Alamo Area. While the team executed defensively, they were unable to convert a number of key offensive opportunities that cost them the game in an 8-6 loss.
14 U AquaHorns
Our 14-U AquaHorns played some real water polo this weekend. It was a great opportunity for some younger players to get some solid game experience and playing time. We opened with a strong win against Zilla, followed by a 1 goal loss to Longhorn, and finished with another strong effort against Zilla. Gavin Hantelman scored his first tournament goal in the first game. Tomas Bellavia had a notable defensive performance throughout the three games. Jacob continue to impress out of center with some quick shots under pressure. Kelly Murphy was a big defensive help for the team, as well as a leader on the counter attack with James Strauss. Overall, it was an impressive effort for a team of various experience levels.
12 U AquaTex
Our 12-U showed up ready to fight—almost at bedtime—Sunday night. Despite missing some key offensive players, the AquaTex team was able to put 10 goals up on Alamo Area. Rudy suffered from a ball to the nose, taking him out for part of the 2nd quarter of the 1st game with a bloody nose. Not easily shaken, he was right back in the water at the start of the 3rd quarter! Isabelle Morrison scored an excellent high corner goal on the counter attack. Silas and Tomas alternated in goal and the field, each taking a leadership role both offensively and defensively for the AquaTex team. Wes (John) Kelly and Ryan White played reliable press defense, each proving they are picking up on the fundamentals we teach them in practice.
We we also part of some very strong Longhorn teams including our usual 16u boys team, which went undefeated, and our awesome Swim2Score athletes Ryan and Ashton playing on Longhorn White 10u. It was a very good Sunday for the club.
Thunder Spring Invite
Roster call for the next USAWP tournament of the spring season up in Lewisville February 26-27. Check out the event page and mark your commitment on the sheet we shared in GroupMe. Note that it is only for athletes age 14u and that the age is determined as of August 1, 2022. As usual we will partner with Longhorn if necessary. Let’s go!
Coaches Alon and Matthew are playing for Longhorn Masters this weekend at the Spin Lob Classic at UT. It’s one of the premier masters tournaments in the US and features a lot of US Olympians and other extremely talented players. If you’re in Austin on Sunday in particular (prior to the Super Bowl) watch the final matches, likely to feature Olympic Club and/or New York Athletic Club, both of which are loaded with Olympians. Pegasus Dallas Masters has also emerged as one of the best teams in the US. Don’t miss practice but if you’re near UT go check it out.
Also, a team from Barbados Water Polo will be loosening up, scrimmaging at Micki on Friday at 8:00 PM with Coaches Alon and Matthew. All our high school athletes are encouraged to hop in with them and get some good game experience.
AQTX Spring Festival Tournament
We’re just a few weeks away from our final Spring Festival, a high school tournament we’ve hosted for several years. Families can expect to see a volunteer sheet soon, and athletes will be assigned to work the desk during our matches. Jobs include concessions, course setup and breakdown, managing hospitality for referees and coaches, and more. As a member of our club all our families are expected to contribute to hosting efforts so thank you in advance.
Camps and Clinics
The number of clinics available to our athletes is ever increasing and we’re getting questions about which ones are best suited to our athletes. One that is relatively nearby and that will feature one of the best coaches in Europe is the Pegasus Spring Break Camp at SMU with sessions stretching between March 12-19. We definitely recommend that one, but know there are many others in California too. Give us a shout if you want our input about who’s running these clinics. Stoked that so many of us are interested in getting better at one or more of these events.
With the weather improving (finally!) we’re putting the call out there to give our Swim2Score program a try. For young athletes age 5-11 who want to learn both good swim technique AND throw a ball around in the water. One-hour sessions with our creative and fun coaches, Sundays at 10:30 AM. Contact us for more info and come give it a try twice for free.
My old friends from Zumo are having a gigantic blowout sale. If you’re looking for water polo OR swim training suits at half cost (including the ones already on sale – high quality women’s water polo suits for less than $30!) I strongly suggest you check them out. I just ordered a bunch of balls from them and may do even more.