Varsity water polo looks forward to comeback season with new players and new coach


For senior Selina Franovic, this season of her Forest Hills varsity water polo career is more of a comeback year than anything else. Selina suffered from concussions for most of her junior season, and she is looking forward to this season to get some revenge to the teams that the Rangers were defeated by.

“This team really hopes to see no injuries this year since they were so frequent last season,” Selina said. “There is some really tough competition that we will take on this year, but it always comes down to which team wants to win it more.”

The team lost three key seniors, all coming from Forest Hills Northern, with one of them being the goalie. However, FH has a lot of strong leadership amongst the returning players that have already stepped up into this role.

“All of the current seniors this year have already stepped up to fill the past seniors’ shoes,” Selina said. “We are all really excited for the season and to help the younger girls through this season as well.”

Several underclassmen will be very impactful to the teams season this year as well: juniors Maggie Zorn, Olivia Luplow, and Sarah Schenk will have a huge impact on the team this year, and since this is their second year on varsity, they will also play a significant role in the leadership of the team. Senior Kara Bolger will also be joining the team this year for her first year on varsity alongside them.

“Personally, my main goal this season is to improve, especially since this is only my second year playing water polo,” Kara said. “I hope to become a better player and focus a lot on learning new skills to help the team out this season.”

There was one major change made to the water polo team this year — new head coach Dennis Neat.

If I can help the team improve, [that] will be my victory as the coach,” Neat said. “Not just with wins but in how we play the game. How we overcome the difficult and diverse situations [will] help improve the character of each individual who makes up this team.”

Coming off of a somewhat shaky regular-season record of 8-17-2, Coach Neat is hoping for a different outcome this season; considering the team has made it to Regionals the last five years, FH definitely has the ability to have success this year.

“I believe in them and the team,” Neat said. “We still have a lot of fundamental work to improve on, but the team’s success comes from trusting your teammates to do their jobs and supporting each other’s successes.”

With the girls kicking off their season this Tuesday, March 19 at the Aquatic Center, they are set to take on a very tough competitor: the Hudsonville Eagles, the reigning State Champions.

“Our main goal for this season is to make it all the way to States,” Selina said. “We have a lot of good players this season and are very excited to show everyone the speed, strength, and skills that we have.”