Water polo to host free clinic Dec. 20

The water polo team will host a free clinic for fifth through 12th graders on Dec. 20. The clinic will go from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the LISD East Aquatic Center.

“Since water polo is such a foreign sport, the idea is that most people have never heard of it or played it,” head swim and water polo coach Donzie Lilly said. “We just wanted to get people to come out to try it and let them gauge if it’s something they’ll be interested in.”

Lilly said the clinic will be formatted like a basic practice so students can gain an understanding and feel of the sport. 

“We’ll go through 30 minutes of warmups and take time to get to know the athletes and their ability level,” Lilly said. “We’ll then move into passing for 20 minutes, shooting for 20 minutes, and [we’ll] teach students simple skills, like setting up, as well as the rules. Finally, we’ll have a scrimmage [during] the last 30 minutes of the clinic.”

In order to register, interested students must email Lilly at [email protected]. The clinic is free of cost, and registration is open until Dec. 19. 

“It’s a free opportunity for everyone,” Lilly said. “Interested people will need to email me and I’ll send them a Google form to collect some basic information. Once everyone is registered, I’ll send out a reminder email [with details like] where to show up and what time to show up.”

Lilly said the clinic’s students will be separated by age into a high school group and younger group. Players from the Hebron team will be present to help with the entire process, especially fundamentals for the participants. Senior and water polo player Kaitlyn Hoang, who will be assisting, said she is excited about the opportunity to introduce people to water polo. 

“Water polo will be a UIL sport next year,” Hoang said. “Because of this, I feel like there will be a lot more kids that realize water polo is an option. I’m hoping that this clinic can get these people interested in it.”

Sixth grader William Parker, who has swam for years, said he plans to attend the event to try out water polo and looks forward to the clinic.

“My mom decided it would be a cool opportunity,” Parker said. “I did swim last summer and also like basketball, and she thought I would like water polo since it’s a combination between those two.”

Lilly said he is expecting around 30-45 students to attend and recommends everyone who is interested to sign up. 

“Anyone interested in water polo going to Hebron can come,” Lilly said. “There are opportunities to play [water polo] as early as fifth grade, and the first UIL water polo season is next year. We want to build the program into something that’s successful and plan on expanding the clinic next year because of it.”