Advancing their stellar season record to 13-1, the Bainbridge High varsity boys water polo team splashed, passed and shot their way to a water win against the visitors from Wilson Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Bainbridge Aquatic Center.
The final score was 14-4.
It was the final league match of the team’s regular season, and also Senior Night. The squad’s upperclassmen — Will Thompson, Miles Hogger, Sam Kapel and Xander Weibel — were recognized.
“These seniors are special guys,” BHS Head Coach Kristin Gellert said. “All those guys, especially Will and Sam and Miles, are integral parts of why Bainbridge is so strong right now.
“It’s been crazy watching them grow up and find their spot on the team and go from the little boys who got tossed around in the pool to the senior and captains and leaders. They’ve helped to build a team that they can be really proud to pass on.”
Bainbridge jumped in front early against Wilson and lead throughout the match.
Kapel led the charge, scoring six goals. Junior Sam Chapman contributed four goals, freshman Gabe Nathan managed three, and Thomas Defawe, Max Eyrich, Marshall Whittlesey and Sky Baird each put up one.
From poolside, it almost looked too easy. Gallery, though, said it was anything but.
“Nothing is ever too easy,” she said. “Wilson is a tough competitor and always a rival for us. They played a clean game and we try to do the same, so it was a fun game. I think our defense was on and we were finding each other pretty well in the pool on offense.”
The Spartans then played their final home match of the regular season against Kentridge Friday, Oct. 27, and, after that, traveled to face off against Curtis on Halloween.
The two-day regional tournament is slated to begin Friday, Nov. 3.
“I’m really excited,” Gellert said. “We’re undefeated in our league again, which was a goal.
“That means we go in seeded first for regionals, which is great. We’ll play the fourth-place team from the east and hopefully we can come out with a reasonable standing from that tournament, which will put us in a good seed for state.”
The win against Wilson was the second of two victories for the Spartans that night. The JV squad having bested Wilson’s JV team earlier in the night 8-5.
With so many promising underclassmen on the way up, Gellert said, “The future of Bainbridge water polo is bright.”
“There’s no fear for our next fear years on my part,” she added. “We’ve got some great club kids coming up from the middle school. We only have five upperclassmen, only four on varsity, and we only have one junior. We’re pretty excited for this year, really excited for the future. It’s a great time to be a part of Bainbridge water polo.”
The coach said she was cautiously optimistic about the squad’s odds going forward — but fully expected them to be a contender at the big show.
“There’s nothing more I could ask for from the team or the parents or the boys or the anything — everything is so great,” she said. “I’m so honored to be a part of the team and part of the program, and I’m excited for where we are now and excited for where we’re going.”