We’re entering the busiest time of 2020. Some important updates.
Olympic Development Program
AquaTex successfully hosted the very well attended USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program Southwest Zone clinic on Saturday and Sunday. There were more girls on Saturday than have ever attended a Central Texas ODP camp or clinic, and we capped the number of boys to 50 but could’ve easily surpassed 60 on Sunday. It was a great opportunity for our athletes who attended. We covered a LOT of territory in just 4+ hours.
This was only the second ODP camp/clinic held in the entire country this season. Now if only we had a 50-meter pool… Kidding (#gratitude).
Thanks for all our great volunteer parents from AquaTex, Longhorn, and all over Texas. You helped make it as crisp a clinic or camp I’ve ever led as ODP coach.
Central Texas Festival
The Central Texas Festival, the first USA Water Polo-sanctioned tournament in the US since the pandemic started, begins on Saturday, October 3 at Milburn Pool in Cedar Park. We will be hosting games at Micki on Sunday the 4th, Saturday the 10th, Sunday the 11th. More below, but first the competition part.
Here are the rosters as currently submitted to USA Water Polo. We have until Wednesday to make changes, which are very likely, so be sure to contact me if there are conflicts.
|12U Mixed||18U Boys||18U Girls||14u Mixed|
|Cruz Crowley||Greysen Gaderson||Gwen Sloat||Kelly Murphy|
|Landon Vickery||Axel Haydt||Cate Sloat||Luca de Araujo|
|Nick Musil||Evan Sayer||Valeria Ortiz||Riley Dixon|
|Tristan Chamas||Tomas Chu||Kateryna Ortiz||Joey Bradford|
|Jake Roberts||Cole Kershner||Samantha Smith||Matthew Blood|
|Daniel Armendariz||Caleb Moody||Cammie Shaulfelberger||Aaron Gordon|
|Maddox Conte||Owen Murphy||Morgan Spooner||Declan Graves|
|Pierce Green||John ‘Jack’ Waters||Kendall Strauss||Cruz Crowley|
|Laird Green||Michael Morrison||Nilmary Padilla||Austin Kenton|
|Silas Chamas||Alexander Thulin||James Strauss|
|Luca de Araujo||Jacob Gerakos|
|Aaron Gordon||Ava Chamas|
Athletes will pay $60 per team they play on. Each team gets four games.
The schedule may be published as soon as Monday. Saturday the 3rd features 14u and 12u teams. Each AquaTex team will get two games on Saturday ending at 1:30 PM or earlier. On Sunday the 12u athletes stay at Milburn while 14u plays at Micki.
The schedule is more fluid on the 10th and 11th but we are asking USAWP to put as many of our games at Micki as possible.
I’m so excited to get us back competing!
It’s a quite busy two weekends for us as local tournament hosts. USA Water Polo will handle a lot of the things we usually do. But we still need help with several things at Micki (Zilla is providing volunteers for all games at Milburn):
- Three desk workers doing game sheets, clocks, and flags at all games at Micki
- Two Covid-19 monitors making sure our limited spectators follow the tournament’s physical distancing guidelines
- Help setting up the course on Saturday the 3rd and Friday the 9th
- Help breaking down the course and cleaning up on each Sunday evening
- Sell concessions if we choose
There will be no entry fee but we will ask for donations, mainly digitally. USA Water Polo handles hospitality. AquaTex will have water and beverages for referees, coaches, volunteers.
We’re asking all our Longhorn friend families to pitch in too. You can contact me directly or Coach Tom for more information.
Covid, Covid, Covid
Take a moment to be sure your family has signed USA Water Polo’s mandatory Covid-19 waiver. You should see a popup on your browser when you log in to usawaterpolo.org under your athlete’s profile. Athletes will not be allowed to practice or play until the waiver is signed so log in today. And take a moment to update your athlete’s photo too.
Here are instructions as were shared by USAWP in May (click to expand).
I’m going to send the Jolyn fitting kit back to the manufacturer this week. If you want to try on a suit before I do let me know at practice.
See you on the deck,
Central Texas Festival
It’s on! USA Water Polo, along with local hosts AquaTex and Zilla, will put on the first full-contact sanctioned water polo tournament in Texas since the lockdown.
Here are some details about the Central Texas Festival from USAWP:
The USA Water Polo – Central Texas Festival will be played over two weekends in early October in North Austin. The 14U & 12U Mixed Divisions will play on October 3-4 in Cedar Park at the Elizabeth Millburn Park Pool in Cedar Park, TX. The 18U/16U Girls & Boys Divisions will play on October 10-11 at the Mikki Krebsbach Swimming Pool in Round Rock, TX.
Spreading the tournament out over two weekends allows for us to maximize team entries and have the most flexibility with planning the event. This event will be a USA Water Polo run tournament, and [Joe Linehan] will supervise/oversee the tournament with local club hosts Aquatex and Zilla…
The four divisions for the Central Texas Festival will be:
- 18U/16U Girls (a single division, possibly “A” and “B” brackets)
- 18U/16U Boys (a single division, possibly “A” and “B” brackets)
- 14U Mixed
- 12U Mixed
The Age as of Date for all divisions will be August 1, 2020. All teams will receive a minimum of four games in a “festival” style format over the two day tournament. The hope is for all clubs throughout the Southwest Zone that want to participate will be able to participate in the event. “B” Teams will be permitted to play in the tournament if space is available.
AquaTex Team Entries
AquaTex has already entered and paid for a 14u mixed team to play in the tournament. We will also add at least one 18u team which would include many of our 14u athletes in addition to our high schoolers (AquaTex and Longhorn). The 14u athletes will get eight games total. I’ll be discussing with Coaches Tom and Allie from Longhorn if there are enough athletes to field a girls’ 18u team, or maybe more. #Excited
Unwritten in the note above is that there is some chance that we will host some games at Micki on Sunday, October 4 in addition to definitely hosting the weekend of October 10-11. We’re going to need our best ever turnout for volunteers: desk workers, covid monitors, entry gate personnel, concessions (if we choose). We already know there are two teams from California who have asked to register so it will be a very popular weekend of competition. We’re very pleased to have our friends from Longhorn training with us and playing on AquaTex teams, so we are grateful for Longhorn and AquaTex families pitching in.
It was simply amazing to be back in the pool playing actual water polo last Saturday at Milburn Pool with Zilla. Our 14u athletes showed genuine progress with all the work we’ve been doing, as did our high school team, which faced some very talented Zilla players. Those scrimmages will take place every other Saturday at Milburn so we will plan on copying the routine we used last Saturday: practice, break, scrimmage. Thanks to everyone who came and to Kristin Gordon for the photo!
These scrimmages are not mandatory but I can’t stress how important it is for our athletes to actually execute the things they learn in practice during competition. This is a chance to do so at no cost. These should not be considered optional unless there is good reason to miss it. And as I mentioned to everyone on Saturday, the scrimmage is not a replacement for practice. If an athlete has not been to enough practices he or she will not be allowed to play. #beyourbest
Our youth and masters players get a month worth of Saturdays off. All waterpolo is cancelled for Sept 19 (AQTX Swim Meet), Sept 26 (USA Water Polo ODP), Oct 3 (HS swim meet), and Oct. 10 (Central Texas Festival at Micki).
Weekly Online Learning
Athletes should keep an eye open for the link to our Thursday night Zoom chalk talks. These are required of all our athletes since we do not have classroom facilities at Micki where we could do it in person.
The fitting suits are here. You can try them on for the next week or so at practice.
Olympic Development Program at Micki
Registration is open for the girls’ Olympic Development Program clinic at Micki on September 26. The boys’ sold out in less than 72 hours so we’re looking for the same from our local female athletes.
A reminder that Coach Hayley is back to lead our Scorpions Ball program which will start the fall on Thursday, September 24 from 6.30 PM to 7.30 PM. The program is for athletes age 5-11, designed to provide basic skills and understanding of the sport of water polo in a fun, dynamic, safe, and easy to learn aquatic experience. It costs $5/session and $10 annual USA Water Polo fee. The registration process is new and simpler (and mandatory). Click here for the link.
I founded the brand Total Waterpolo in 2008 and have finally put a podcast out there to expand its coverage. The first edition includes my conversation with Preslav Djippov, who is the new head coach at Westcliff University in Irvine which is fielding a varsity team for the first time ever. And my colleague Michael Randazzo speaks with the father-daughter combination of Nathan and Nioka Thomas, he a two-time Olympian, and she an incoming freshman at UC Irvine. Subscribe on many of the most popular platforms and tell a friend.
See you on the deck,
Slowly we’re returning to some sort of normal. Not quite, but there are some encouraging signs. Masters are back in the pool, Scorpion Ball is returning, our numbers are growing, and we might be hosting… an actual tournament!
USA Water Polo wants to co-host a tournament at Micki, tentatively set for October 10-11 (Oct. 3rd and 4th, which we floated last week, won’t work for scheduling reasons). The Central Texas tournament would be split so younger athletes would play at Milburn in Cedar Park and older ones at Micki. It’s exciting news for us since it would be the first full-contact tournament in Texas since prior to the lockdown.
USA Water Polo will be managing the tournament but AquaTex will be required to have volunteers run the tables and oversee hospitality. We also have the opportunity to sell concessions and gear.
We’re very happy to have Aaron back with AquaTex after a long hiatus. Welcome back! And our partnership with Longhorn has been so good for the club as we have several of their athletes training with us while UT is closed. We love having them with us: Greyson, Kelly, Owen, and the recent influx of 12u athletes, Cruz, Flora, Chase, Nick, and Landon. #AquaHorns
We’ve had some questions about practice attendance, so that information is now available to our families via this Google sheet. #BeYourBest
Scorpions Ball (formerly Splashball) Returns
Coach Hayley Krebsbach is back to lead our Scorpions Ball program which will start the fall on Thursday, September 24 from 6.30 PM to 7.30 PM. The program is for athletes age 5-11, designed to provide basic skills and understanding of the sport of water polo in a fun, dynamic, safe, and easy to learn aquatic experience. It costs $5/session and $10 annual USA Water Polo fee. The registration process is new and simpler (and mandatory). Click here for the link.
Weekly Online Learning
We’ll return to Zoom in order to go over game film and other technical and tactical aspects of the game that we don’t get to cover during pool time training. It’ll be scheduled for every Thursday at 7:30 PM. Look for a Zoom invite via our GroupMe and/or email.
We’ll be receiving a Jolyn fit kit for their new water polo suits. We can do fittings beginning as early as practice on Sept. 16. The kit will be available at practice for at least a week.
We’ve had really good turnout for our Saturday masters’ shoot-arounds, which have included massive “ultimate” rules battles. Thanks to everyone for coming. There are several cancellations due to schedule conflicts on the calendar so check it out before you arrive at Micki.
Olympic Development Program at Micki
Registration is open for the first clinics of the season for USA Water Polo’s Olympic Development Program. They will be held at Micki on September 26 and 27. Girls will attend on Saturday afternoon and boys on Sunday morning. Coach James is in his fifth season as Head Coach of the program along side some of the best coaches in Texas.
RYTE Sport Store
RYTE has told me that their ordering process has changed for certain items, mainly those that require embroidery. So we will now be keeping the RYTE store open for limited times at the beginning of each season/session. It will be open for the remainder of September and will then re-open in November as the winter season arrives.
See you on the deck,
Splashball is here – our first session was Saturday the 22nd. And our high schoolers are already getting pub after the first tournament of the season. Spring has sprung and here comes a busy season.
We had our first Splashball session on Saturday with new coach Hayley. Thanks to those who came and we’ll look forward to seeing you again in March. Next session is on Sunday, March 29 at 10:00 AM, a day we plan to host age group scrimmages too. To participate young athletes (5-11) will need to sign up via this USA Water Polo link ($10 per calendar year).
Longhorn High School Spring Invite
The first weekend of high school competition is over with some great results for our athletes and surprising outcomes in the competition. Zairis was a key contributor for the RoRo girls and Zach is using his new skills at center to make his mark for Cedar Park. Read more about them and many more current and former AquaTexans on TXWaterpolo and TISCAWestWaterpolo.com.
High School Tournaments
A schedule should be out next Monday for our first hosted event of the year, the AQTX TISCA High School Spring Tournament on March 6 and 7. With the schedule will also be assignments for desk work by our athletes. Danny Dixon will be helping to gather other volunteers as well. These are extremely important fund-raisers for the water polo club and plans are to direct those funds toward some much needed new equipment. Game clocks and new team caps come to mind.
Update your USAWP Account
A reminder that athletes must be currently registered with USA Water Polo to practice with or compete for AquaTex. Take a moment to make sure you’re membership is current (Bronze level at a minimum). And update your ID photos. The referees when checking IDs aren’t impressed by how cute you were in 4th grade. They want to see a recent photo!
Both our scheduled parent meetings were wiped out by weather so we’ll look to put a couple new dates on the calendar for March. It should last no more than 30 minutes and will cover several things like Junior Olympics, team philosophy, goals for the club, fees and logistics, volunteering, events we are hosting, communications, and more. Coach James and Danny Dixon will lead the conversation.
See you on the deck,