The Exeter Water Polo Club, made up of players from around the Central Valley, including many from the Porterville area, traveled to Gainesville, Florida this past weekend and finished second at the Spring Swamp Invitational, which in Florida.
The team boarded a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Atlanta at 6 a.m. Thursday. They then transferred to Jacksonville later that afternoon. The team spent St. Patrick’s Day by the hotel’s poolside, with live music and catering.
On Friday morning, the team got up and headed to St. Augustine to visit the San Marcos Castle National Monument. There, players toured the oldest fort in the continental United States.
Multiple players were selected for the Florida Junior Rangers program due to their knowledge of the Fort’s history. They then spent the rest of the morning shopping around the gates of Old St. Augustine.
“My favorite part is the overall experience of being able to race in an area where one person and terrain are so different,” said Monache’s Reagan Azevedo. “Compared to California, the races and sightseeing are eye-opening and different.
After lunch on Thursday, the team headed to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, where players got up close and personal with the 14-foot giant alligator. The player is within a few feet of the alligator. At the crocodile farm, they witnessed crocodiles being fed by trainers.
The rest of the time is spent relaxing on the beaches of St. Augustine. For most players, this is their first time swimming in the Atlantic.
“My favorite part about going to Florida is my experience of traveling and connecting with my teammates,” said Monache’s Skylar Malone.
Busy Saturday morning. The players got up at 5:30 am for their first game. The team got off to a big start with a 12-8 victory over Norco.
They had a short break and then took over Lake Mary. They ended up taking it easy and winning 13-6.Ton
He faces No. 1 seed Orlando United in his final game on Saturday. Exeter Girls 12-7.
After Saturday’s game, they toured the University of Florida’s campus.
Heading into Sunday, the Exeter Girls were just one win away from the Championship. They took care of business and beat home club Gator Water Polo 18-4. The win qualified the team for a rematch with Orlando United.
This time around, the Exeter girls have a better attacking plan. The Exeter women’s team won 3 in 4 quarters, but unfortunately conceded 4 goals in the first quarter. They lost the championship game 7-4.
My favorite part of being in Florida is learning how to play with people with different game styles that I’ve never played before,” says Nicole Tristao of Tulare Western. “I also love meeting these new girls and having fun at hotels and at the beach Hang out with them. “
My favorite part about Florida is the opportunity to hang out with a new group of great girls,” said Mia Gillum of Hanford. “I loved getting to know them throughout the trip and learning more about water polo Knowledge. “
Exeter Water Polo Club would like to thank Visalia AAA for booking the team’s flights and hotel accommodation. They would also like to thank the community for all donations to help make this trip possible.
Anyone wanting more information about joining the Exeter Water Polo Club should contact Jack Amaral at 909-782-7157 or visit www.exeterwaterpoloclub.com