Boys’ water polo improves on last year

This season, the CHS boys’ water polo team’s record was 8-12, a significant improvement compared to last year’s 3-11 season.

Head Coach Youssef Zaaza is in his second year with the team. During that time, the team has continued to become more competitive, particularly against historic rivals.

“​​I’m happy to say we are improving and becoming more competitive every season,” said Zaaza. “One of our biggest goals this year was to beat Agoura for the first time in over a decade, and we came very close in our home game against them this year, closing the gap to only four goals.”

Players agree that the team is on the upswing this season, due to both hardwork and coaching. 

“This season is the best season I have had so far because I joined freshman year and now I’m a senior,” said goalie Nikita Shuliko. “Actually, I even think it’s one of the best seasons Calabasas water polo team has had in history due to our amazing coach.” 

Zaaza’s main goal last year was working on team chemistry. These relationships, as well as a common love of the sport, contributed to the team’s success this season.

“We have great teammates on the team who all want to have fun and play polo,” said junior point guard Max Shapiro. “As a whole, based on chemistry and leadership, our team is joyful. With seven seniors on the team, there are always people to look up to. Our coaches are great leaders as well, as they get in with us and teach us some of their moves.” 

Practices this year consisted of team bonding and drills to improve athletic abilities. However, some students believe there still needs to be more varied work on individual skills and overall attitude.

“Some practices aren’t really beneficial, but most are,” said senior center Alec Koshkarian. “Some practices are repetitive, and I think we need to change them up in order to be the best we can be. I also believe our team needs to stop caring so much about the score and focus more on how we can improve from it.”