UIL waterpolo

Water polo player Janie Herring and head coach Slay talk about what it means for them now that water polo will be a UIL sport next year.

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UIL waterpolo

Kenedy May, Writer

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On October 21 UIL turned the tide when they made water polo a UIL sport. It will start off as a pilot program in the fall of 2020 and will become an official UIL sport in the fall of 2021. For head coach Christopher Slay and junior water polo player Janie Herring, this exciting news was a dream come true.

“I was really happy when they made it a UIL sport,” Herring said, “because it’s been so downgraded and no one has really noticed it, so now we’ll get more recognition than we used to.”

For coach Slay, it was more about the hard work paying off rather than the recognition they’ll get.

“I was happy because it was a culmination of 20 years of work that I put in as well as many others,” Slay said. “I was happy for the coaches that came before me and I’m happy for kids in the future that get to play it as a UIL sport.”

Water polo becoming a UIL sport only increased their motivation to work harder, especially with this news coming after the girls’ team became state champs in the TISCA organization last spring.

“It was nice and felt amazing winning state,” Herring said. “Especially after we worked so hard and after the seniors put in all their effort to get there. We owed it to Slay and we got a little more recognition with being in the newspaper too.”

When Foster switches organizations next year from TISCA to UIL, they’ll be faced with new obstacles and more schools working towards their shared goal: winning state. However, the extra competition doesn’t scare Slay or Herring.

“Honestly, I don’t think so because a lot of schools don’t even have it so it’ll take them a while to actually build a good team,” Herring said. “I think it’ll just be our main competitors that we’ve been competing against for the last few years.”

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