One coach, shared pool: pandemic rattles world of EHS water polo

A recap of Hornet water polo during this COVID season.

As players, parents, fans and coaches are well aware, the traditional high school sports calendar has been turned on its head. Everything got off to a late start and seasons have been jumbled to best fit the restrictions and protocols of a COVID world.

Perhaps nowhere are the pandemic impacts more evident than in the world of Enumclaw High water polo. While it’s not the biggest or best-known activity in the athletics realm, it has taken as big a hit as any.

Consider that the boys’ and girls’ teams are now practicing at the same time, keeping to themselves at opposite ends of the Enumclaw Aquatic Center; and that they’re following identical schedules, basically playing double-headers throughout the region; and, finally, that coach Ken DeMan has been pulling double-duty, overseeing both programs simultaneously.

The EHS teams had their first taste of action May 24, taking on Kennedy Catholic at the city pool in Tukwila. With rosters dotted by inexperience, things didn’t go particularly well for either Hornet squad, as both the boys’ and girls’ teams fell by double digits. The Hornets were back in action Friday night, traveling to take on Auburn Mountainview, but a scheduled Saturday contest against Auburn was scrapped.

The Hornets will soon see Auburn, though, when they travel for a June 4 battle with the Trojans.

Enumclaw High’s water polo teams will enjoy home-pool advantage just twice this season. They will host Auburn Riverside on June 12 and, two days later, host Auburn Mountainview.

With pool time tough to come by (boys’ swimming also has been moved to Season 3), the water polo crews are experiencing some late-night adventures. For example, on the 14th the girls will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the boys hit the water at 9:45.

That’s just another factor to be addressed by DeMan, who has the luxury of a volunteer assistant. Having Anna Davenport, a former EHS player, on board means there can be a coach with each group, boys and girls, at all times.

This season rosters look like this:

Girls: seniors Brooklyn Fessler, Jasmine Reyes Villasenor, Kelly Anderson, Cheyenne Fessler, Isabella Hoyne, Clara Madewell, Abigail Roddy, Samantha Sapp, Katelyn Seratt, Gracie Smith, Elizabeth Tolbert, Elise Zimmer, Dania Garcia, Keelyn Long, Kat Marlow and Leeanna Walski.

Boys: Samuel Beal, Blake Graddon, Jacob Hauswirth, Dean Paulson, Jordan Simon, Connor Strong, Gunnar Warren and Anthony Martinez.