Jamie Kim news editor
Due to the ongoing construction on the Swim Gym, the boys water polo team is currently practicing at the Culver City Municipal Pool, more commonly known as the Plunge.
The administration chose to utilize the Plunge because it was the best option logistically.
“We chose the Culver City Plunge because their facility was the only pool that could accommodate our preferred time which was 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. The Culver City Plunge was also the only pool that was able to provide our school a pool to rent in August,” athletic director Kevin Brown said.
However, some players have expressed concerns about the effectiveness of practicing in a smaller space with shallower depth.
“I believe it’s not fair to us to drive all the way to Culver every day and not even have [a lot of space] for us to use. We work out in a shallow pool with only four lanes, so it’s hard to do anything in it,” co-captain Avi Ghermezi said. “I would like to at least work out in a pool where we have enough room like the JEM Center. It’s right next to school and we won’t have a problem on wasting money for transportation.”
Things may turn out better for the team, as administration is still looking for more possible pool locations in which the team can practice.
“We have continued to locate additional pools in addition to the Culver City Plunge to accommodate this year’s varsity and JV teams. We have successfully secured the Hillcrest Country Club during the month of October. I am currently working with the management at the JEM Center. We are waiting to hear back from the JEM Center to see if they can accommodate our request to rent their facility,” Brown said.
Junior Jonathan Artal further reiterated the overall dissatisfaction from the team.
“Having to take a bus every day to Culver City is definitely frustrating. While there, we’re forced to practice in the shallow end of the pool, which makes it difficult to tread water, swim, pass and shoot. We’re also fairly limited to space, as we’re often relegated to around four lanes total for both JV and varsity,” Artal said.
According to Brown, construction on the Swim Gym will finish in time for the team to play some home games at Beverly’s pool.
However, some team members have raised concerns about construction ending in time for the home games of the season.
“Every year or so, boys water polo has the same problem, and the athletic office has to fix it during our season,” Ghermezi said. “[The administrators] told us this operation would take a couple of weeks and now we are told months. Therefore, I do not trust that we will have any home games.”
Nonetheless, according to Brown, construction on the Swim Gym is on schedule.
“Construction time will be approximately eight weeks. The tentative date for construction to be completed and for our teams to practice and compete in the Swim Gym is approximately in five weeks from today, which would be early October. We would have home games at this point. In the meantime, we will have away games during construction. Our goal is to secure three pools to use during construction: Culver City Plunge, Hillcrest Country Club and the JEM Center,” Brown said.
In spite of having to practice in a completely new environment, the main focus of the team is still to work with these adjustments to create a winning record.
“We are trying to think positively about our upcoming season, but the Culver City practices are taking their toll on our skills as a team and on our confidence. We don’t know a lot about our opponent LACES this week, but are making an effort with the practices we have to focus on our defense and come out strong this Friday,” junior Nick Forys said.
Co-captain Leor Davoodpour is hopeful for this coming season and looks forward for the success, regardless of where the team practices.
“I still think the team this year can endure all these obstacles and become successful as a team. Water polo is a team sport and I know that the team will work together to achieve our goals,” co-captain Leor Davoodpour said. “Time and time again, my teammates and I prove that we can improve and become the team that we expect to be.”
Their first game is Friday, Sept. 2 against LACES.