An 11-6 loss in the Puget Sound water polo state championship game to the Curtis Vikings in November 2016 is something Bellevue Wolverines senior water polo player Jack Witham hasn’t forgotten.
Witham, who scored two goals in last year’s title contest as a junior, believes his team is ready to redeem itself.
“It definitely hurt,” Witham said of the defeat in late August. “I think it definitely made our whole team more determined to actually win it. We have been there (championship game) the past six years. We got a young team this year. We’ll see if we’re able to get it done.”
Witham is one of just four seniors on the Wolverines’ roster in 2017. Despite having a multitude of youthful players on the varsity squad, Witham believes the upperclassman’s postseason experience will pay dividends.
“Having been there before, that definitely gives us an edge against most teams,” Witham said. “There definitely is a lot of pressure on us and there is definitely expectations that we have to live up to. Bellevue water polo has been the staple for the whole league for a long time.”
Team camaraderie has continually been one of the best strengths of the Wolverines program.
“Water polo has given me such an awesome friend group in high school,” he said. “The community is just great. I love being here. I have made life-long friends on this team. It has been so fun.”
Water polo is undoubtedly one of the most physically grueling sports a high school athlete can partake in. Due to the significant amount of calories torched during practices and games, Witham said he doesn’t ever have to watch what he eats.
“It is the most physically demanding sport I have ever played,” Witham said. “I love it though. It gets you in great shape and you feel awesome after a game. You can eat anything you want. It is one of the reasons why I’m playing water polo all four years of high school.”