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Girls Water Polo Senior Night

Henry Pepich


On January 30th, the Girls Water Polo team played their senior night match against the Escondido Cougars. The Bulldogs showed their skill while fighting hard the whole game to beat the visiting Cougars 21-2. After the game, the team recognized their four seniors, Drew Buettgenbach, Maddie Jensen, Kayla Gomper, and Lily Lima for their hard work and dedication throughout this season as well as the rest of their highschool water polo careers. After their team celebration, we interviewed the seniors to find out a little more about them and their love for water polo.

First, we talked to Guard Maddie Jensen and asked what her favorite part of being on the team this year has been. She said, “[My favorite part] is definitely this group of girls and how close we are. Seeing how we’ve come out of this season and how we’ve grown is awesome too.” 

We also talked to Goalie Drew Buettgenbach about what her favorite part of the team this year has been. She told us, “It's a really good, strong group of awesome girls that I’ve grown up with these past 4 years. They’ve really become my best friends.”

After hearing about their love for their team, we wanted to find out a little more about this year's seniors' plans for after high school. 

Captain and Right Wing Kayla Gomper told us, “[I’m] going to a four year college.” We asked her what she wanted to major in and if she wanted to continue her water polo career after, and she said “I want to major in marine biology. I’d also love to continue playing water polo in college, I think I’m going to play for a club.”  

We talked to Goalie Drew Buettgenbach one last time and asked what her plans are for after high school. “[I want to] travel and see a lot of different places. I’d also be interested in going to a trade school after that.”

This has been a memorable season for this year's seniors, and we wanted to hear about their favorite memories they made along the way. 

Left Wing Lily Lima told us through much laughter that her favorite memory was with her underclassmen teammate, Avonlea Hammonds, “[My favorite memory] was definitely when I accidentally hit Avonlea in the head with the weight ball.”

Kayla Gomper and Maddie Jensen both agreed that the LA trip, a tournament that the team attends in the middle of the season in the Los Angeles area, was their favorite part of the season, as they had made great memories while there. 

Finally, we talked to the two coaches. They had lots to say about this year's seniors, and the team as a whole.

We talked to Head Coach Donny Williams and asked him what made him want to coach. He said, “I felt like there wasn’t a lot of experience out there in water polo, and I wanted to give back to the sport I love. Being able to teach the sport to new people is great.”

Assistant Coach Steve Traverso, also a US History teacher at RHS, told us his favorite part about the team is, “[They are] really competitive and want to get better day in and day out. The team really sees the bigger picture, and focuses on improving every day.” 

Overall, all of the girls water polo seniors have shown a lot of grit and tenacity throughout the season, helping lift their teammates to victory, and helping them fight through loss. The team all agreed that this year's seniors would be missed a lot, and that they were all thankful for the impact they had on them.

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