The Hurricanes have hit the water, preparing for another season at the Innisfail Aquatic Centre. The water polo team is in its fourth year, and coach Rashelle Wagers said she hopes more come out to level out the team.
“We have nine people right now,” she said of the sport that takes seven people to form a team. That leaves two substitutions for intense, fast-paced sport.
“It’s nice to have more for subs,” she said.
The season is just starting up and so far there’s a mix in age between 9 and 15.
“There’s lots of different things to do,” said Josh Metak, 12, who just started the sport this season. “I like shooting and passing,” he said of examples.
Jordyn Spiller and MacKenzie Reeves both agree on what they love most about it.
“Full body contact,” they said in tandem. “It’s awesome,” they added, arms raised above their heads. “But you can’t use two hands (on someone), put the ball underwater or push people,” added Kelly Eggik.
The game requires swimming, treading water and passing teammates the ball while being defended by the opponents and throwing the ball into a net.
Shannon Wagers, who’s been playing the sport for three years, said the tournaments are best. “Sometimes we play in Olds, Calgary or here,” she said, adding that team members will be helping out the Wolf Pack, a team with lower numbers based in Calgary.
“The tournaments are definitely the best, you meet a lot of people,” agreed Sarah Valentine.
Coach Wagers said anyone is welcome to come out and try a few practices to see if they like the sport.
Last year, the team had 22 members, said Meridel Layden, manager for the team.
She said the drop in numbers is because families who had two or three kids have moved away. Some kids have gotten older and finished school.
Because boys and girls can’t play together on a team, the club helps other teams in Calgary.
“Right now there’s teams in Calgary, Edmonton and Innisfail,” said Wagers, adding that the club does catch people from surrounding areas such as Spruce View to play.
“There’s lots of opportunities for people who play,” she said of going to nationals herself. “People can go to nationals and play competitive tourneys in the city. It’s a lot of fun.”
Practice is Mondays 6 to 8 p.m. and Wednesdays 5 to 6:30.