With one of their biggest games of the season coming up against Exeter, always a big contender in the New England Championship tournament, the water polo team will prepare intensely, both physically and mentally. As Coach Mark Scandling said, “Winning a championship is hard, but defending one is even harder.”
To gain insight as to the details of this arduous preparation, The Scroll sat down with starters and fellow swim team members Chris Miao ’12 and Oscar Miao ’13.
Both Miaos listed great chemistry as an important factor in the team’s success. “I’m really excited about the strong core group we have that has gotten better together, as well as some new outside talent, including PG Will Grant ’12, who fits well on our team as we needed a talented hole set,” Chris Miao explained.
All fun aside, there have been some brutal moments as well.
“I think the worst was losing to Loomis Chaffee. We just lost our focus after being up 5 to 1,” Chris Miao commented.
More difficult moments can be expected in the upcoming St. John’s and Exeter games. “St. John’s Prep will be challenging because our starters are going to be playing [a different game at the same time in] Greenwich, and we need the new players to win the St. John’s game for us,” said a confident Oscar Miao.
The team had an early start with preseason this past fall at Brown University, with several college coaches there to help. The team received some great insight into different aspects of the game that will help them this season.
Mr. Scandling’s rigorous conditioning drills also help prepare the team for the tough road ahead. Mr. Scandling continuously stresses the 3D’s— Dedication, Determination, and Defense—which is what the team will need this season to defend their title. Their strenuous work has already led to huge wins over Andover and Choate, highly competitive teams in the New England league.
Coming off a New England championship and the loss of key players the team has high standards to live up to. But when asked about their goals for the season, both Miaos instantly replied, “To win.”