The new sport in town

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The new sport in town

Roland Chang (10) passes the ball to his teammate during the SBA vs CBHS match.

Roland Chang (10) passes the ball to his teammate during the SBA vs CBHS match.

Matthew Smith Photography

Roland Chang (10) passes the ball to his teammate during the SBA vs CBHS match.

Matthew Smith Photography

Matthew Smith Photography

Roland Chang (10) passes the ball to his teammate during the SBA vs CBHS match.

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Ball is life.

This expression is mainly used for basketball, but there’s a new sport swimming its way into the city of Memphis: water polo.

Typically a northern sport, water polo was first organized in Memphis four years ago at the high school level by five schools, Memphis University School, Christian Brothers High School, St. Benedict at Auburndale, St. George’s Independent School and the Memphis Homeschool Education Association. One year later, former water polo players from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville formed the city’s first and only masters team, inviting anyone to learn the sport.

Corinne Schnadelbach (12) is in her third season of water polo with St. Benedict. She was first introduced to the sport when former White Station student Abbie Werner moved to Memphis from Chicago and wanted someone she knew to play with her.

According to Schnadelbach, “water polo is like soccer in the water.” There are six players in the “field” and a goalie. The players try to shoot a basketball sized ball into the goal while the players on the other team attempt to wrestle the ball away from them. Players are fouled for illegal defensive plays and if they are ejected three times, they are excluded from the game.

“It’s a very strenuous and physical game,” Schnadelbach said. “We have to tread water the entire time. We can’t touch the bottom [of the pool].”

Practices are focused around conditioning and basic fundamentals as many who play have never heard of the sport.

Schnadelbach was a part of the state championship team who finally won the title after a disappointing second place the year before. This year, St. Benedict is practicing strenuously to defend their championship title.    

In order to help spread awareness of the sport in White Station, Schnadelbach helped recruit Roland Chang (10) to play for St. Benedict. She hopes he will enjoy the sport as much as she has and encourage his friends to play as well.   

  

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