Water polo to compete at Marcus Spring Invite March 26-27


Arisha Hirji

Freshman Mollie Cho practices a freestyle stroke during morning practice at the LISD Eastside Aquatic Center. After dryland workouts, the team warms up in the pool with laps.

Water polo will compete in the Marcus Spring Invite on March 26 and 27 at the Westside Aquatic Center. This tournament will help to determine the team’s ranking for regionals.


“Since the season is only two months long, every game matters,” coach Donzie Lilly said. “It’s going to be our third tournament, so I think things will be clicking for the team by then; we’re going to be playing some more challenging opponents by that point in the season.”


Due to the snowstorm in early February, the team had to delay practices. Since the team competes in swim in the fall, they have had plenty of conditioning, which Lilly said really helps when they play teams who don’t have a strong swim team.


“We didn’t start the season as early as I would have liked [and] the pool was unswimmable for the next four days [after the storm],” Lilly said. “The kids are doing a good job making up that ground, [I can tell] from their eagerness in practice to learn and get better.”


Junior Justin Weed has been playing water polo since his freshman year. To prepare for the Marcus Invite, Weed said the team has been running plays that they struggled with in their last tournament.


“Since we are a swim team, I’d say we’re a lot quicker than other water polo teams, so it’s definitely an advantage we have and ride on in a lot of our games,” Weed said. “I think the Hebron water polo team has a bright future.”


For many players, this is their first time playing water polo and they had to learn many new skills. Lilly said the team has exceeded his expectations in practice, but they still have a lot of growth to get to the end of the season.


“The older athletes who are a little more experienced in water polo are helping a lot of the younger kids, [and] I’m teaching all of the groups new concepts,” Lilly said. “They’re adapting well in practice and their attitude is very positive. They’re going to get a lot out of it and you’re going to see that in the upcoming tournaments.”


Junior Kaitlyn Hoang has been playing water polo since her freshman year and plays right flat on the girls’ team. Lilly said most of the North Texas water polo powerhouses will be attending the Marcus Spring Invitational, giving the teams some challenging opponents.


“I feel like we should have won most of our games in the past few tournaments, but we haven’t because of [limited] practice time,” Hoang said. “A win [at the Marcus invite] would definitely be a good thing, especially for the newcomers.”