It’s the beginning of a legacy for Harlingen CISD. Water Polo is now an option available to local high students. The sport may be relatively new to the Harlingen students and coaches, regardless, the team is optimistic and eager for their first tournament.
“First year is always going to be the best year because you don’t know what to expect,” says coach Danny Euresti, “We’re just taking a stride, however we do we do. We build on that.”
Today there are two Harlingen teams: one for males, one for females. They consist of students from all the district high schools. We’re told they’ve began practicing for less than month and are currently in the process of learning most rules and techniques.
Water Polo is not a common sport throughout the Rio Grande Valley with approximately 6 districts offering the program to students. This limits the amount of options the Harlingen Coaches have for proper advice and research.
Coach Hector Castaneda Jr. tells Local 23 News that they are reaching out to districts with more experience. Even going as far as brining in coaches from outside regions to settle any questions that may not be easily answered.
“We are not going to know everything, but we’re doing everything we can,” says Castaneda. “We’re doing the research for the kids. We want to make sure they get the best experience possible.”
Unlike, football, volleyball and other common high school sports, Water Polo is not recognized as a competitive sport by the University Interscholastic League (UIL). Their official website shows that the organization spoke about Water Polo during their annual legislative council in late October. Some, like the Harlingen teams, remain optimistic that the sport will be recognized.
“We’re hoping that in 3 years it becomes a UIL sport,” says Euresti.
Regardless, the team is confident they can start early and start strong. The water polo season will run for about 10-12 weeks at Harlingen CISD with 3 scheduled meets against schools across the RGV.