Diving into boys water polo, and how to join


Photo by Aby Molatore

Junior Noah Torgerson, a player on varsity boys water polo

By Jacob Jones

Water Polo might be a great sport if you’re looking to try something new.

“Anyone can play water polo,” said Head Coach Mr. John Ruzicka. “You do not need to be a great swimmer or even a star athlete. In fact, water is a great leveling element for those who aren’t the fastest runners or highest jumpers… It is never too late to try something new.”

John Ruzicka, the varsity boys water polo Coach, has been coaching at Tigard since 1998 and has been Head Coach of boys water polo since 2001. “Getting to know these student athletes and seeing them improve from barely keeping their heads above the water to swimming nearly a mile during a game is rewarding,” said Ruzicka. “But seeing them grow as intelligent young adults and being a part of their lives is the best part.”

Varsity player junior Bennett Shingledecker finds water polo to be a rewarding experience. “Since I’m doing full IB, it’s nice after school to just relax and get all the frustration out,” said Shingledecker. He has received a varsity letter award in varsity boys water polo in fall of 2014.

Both Coach Ruzicka and the players have high expectations for this season. “We’d like to make it to playoffs, obviously,” said Shingledecker.

The Coach has slightly different expectations for his young team: “As long as the team keeps learning and having fun, I feel we are meeting all my expectations,” said Ruzicka.

There are a lot of different reasons people join Water Polo. “I had a friend on Water Polo so I joined, and it was a lot of fun,” said Bennett Shingledecker.

“I started playing water polo in 7th grade. I was a good swimmer and loved playing basketball with all the neighborhood gang,” said John Ruzicka.

Varsity boys water polo has 14 league games this season; they’re currently 1-3 in league games. Their next game is at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5 against Hillsboro.

If you want to join Boys Water Polo, talk to Head Coach John Ruzicka by emailing him at [email protected]