The Fords water polo team has enjoyed a strong season to this point. Undefeated in the Inter-Ac, 7-2 against all other teams, and named the 2022 Inter-Academic Champions for the fifth year in a row, the team has been consistent and successful.
But they’re not finished yet: the team has EA Day to look forward to, and the team is hungry for victory.
“I’d definitely say that this year has been a success,” Sixth Form captain Luka Sekulic said. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve stayed true to ourselves.”
Fifth Form fellow captain Luke Putter has an aggressive perspective for the team’s expectations.
“At this point, winning the Inter-Ac is an expectation; we’ve won the Inter-Ac for the last five years, and pretty handily.”
This doesn’t mean that the team has not been preparing and growing.
“I feel like the water polo team is special in the way that we are all, every single one of us, really good friends,” Putter said. “We spend a lot of time together in the pool and even out of the pool, so that builds a lot of chemistry.”
He’s the coach that gives one hundred percent to you at all timesLuka sekulic
From their few losses, the team has identified their weaknesses and improved. One of these disappointing moments was the team’s tough loss to North Penn at this year’s Beast of the East tournament.
“They were much faster and probably more fit at the time,” Putter said, “But I’d say throughout the season, our fitness has improved a lot.”
The coaches play a vital role in keeping the team together and keeping the players in check. Head Coach Kevin Van Such maintains a role as an important leader for the team.
“He’s the coach that gives one hundred percent to you at all times,” Sekulic said. “He does his best to inspire you and to inspire the team, trying his hardest to motivate us from day-to-day to build routine into us and do everything in his power to push us to our best ability.”
The team isn’t focused on their successful season or the past in general; instead, they’re looking forward to EA Day. No matter the team that they’re playing, the Fords look to focus on only what they can control.
“Our mentality is not who, but how,” Putter said. “We don’t focus a lot on what our opponent is going to do. We just put much more focus into how we are going to beat them.”
The team understands the importance of the game and its unique environment.
“We know what to expect,” Sekulic added. “Everyone that is on varsity this year was on varsity last year. We know what is at stake at EA Day. We’re going to do everything in our power to crush EA.”
The sensation that you feel coming up from the water and being met with the roar of your school cheering you on is insaneLuke putter ’24
The team has thought a lot about EA Day being the last game of their season, and for the Sixth Formers, their last water polo game as a Ford for the rest of their lives.
“[EA Day] is our final chance to show what we’re made of,” Putter said. “We know that EA Day, always being our most attended game, [and it’s] going to define the way that our classmates see our season. That pressure drives us to put our best foot forward.”
Student fans will play an important role in cheering on their classmates. Having their friends cheer them on will give the Fords motivation to pull through with a victory against Episcopal this year.
“The sensation that you feel coming up from the water and being met with the roar of your school cheering you on is insane,” Putter said. “The more people we can fit into their pool and overwhelm their home crowd, [that] will ignite a fire.”
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