Water polo remains hungry and humble

Jaiden Shuchman ’23 throws the ball in a 16-5 win over Penn Charter, October 7, 2022 – Pierce Laveran ’24

Fords Water Polo continues dominating as they turn their attention to the Inter-Ac. This past Friday, the team secured a 12-6 win over Penn Charter, and they hope to keep rolling as matchups with Malvern Prep and Episcopal Academy loom. 

Despite the talent on the roster, the season has not come without its challenges. Sixth Former and goalie Jaiden Shuchman, Fifth Former goalie Robert Cerniglia, Fourth Former Zachary Dixon, and Fifth Former Luke Putter have all sustained concussions over the past several weeks.

“We weren’t really out all at the same time, so it wasn’t a huge deal,” Putter said. “But right now, we’re still down Zach as a starter, which messed with our starting lineup a little bit because we had really good chemistry. But we’ve had some people step up, so we’re doing fine.”

As far as the play itself goes, Putter has seen some improvement since the beginning of the season.

“I think we’ve been pretty good so far,” Putter said. “We’ve had a few instances where we’ve struggled with some selfish play, but we’re getting better with that aspect. At ‘Beast of the East’ last week, that’s the best that I saw from a teamwork perspective. We were seeing the field really well and getting the ball around to everyone.”

Keeping the team in check has been made easier by the strong leadership from the upperclassmen, particularly Sixth Former Luka Sekulic.

“Luka is obviously the most influential of our three captains,” Putter said. “He is the one that takes over the pool. If anyone is not completely focused in practice, he will get on them better than I’ve seen anyone else do. He just helps us be more focused as a team.”

Sekulic has been pleased with how the team has responded to the captains’ leadership thus far.

Luka Sekulic ’23 hypes up the team before beating Penn Charter 16-5, October 7, 2022- Pierce Laveran ’24

“[Sixth Former] Isaiah Shuchman, Luke Putter, and I, we’ve been pushing towards bonding as a team outside of practice, as well as everyone showing up to the morning swims,” Sekulic said. “Morning swims are a big part of our team culture because it’s something that no one other than us does. While everyone else is sleeping at home, we’re grinding in the pool and bettering ourselves. That’s what creates the culture and the bond.”

With a special bond, Sekulic hopes the team will rally together and meet their toughest challenge.

“The biggest challenge for us this season, undoubtedly, will be the Easterns tournament, which we’re hosting this year,” Sekulic said. “There are a few teams that have exceptional players, and adjusting our game to those players will be difficult.”

Sekulic still stresses the importance of performing every game.

“After winning the Inter-Ac year after year, we’ve been focusing on staying hungry and having the mentality that it doesn’t matter who you play—it matters how you play.”