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Barlow Girls Water polo Team Places 4th in State

Britney Henderson
The Barlow girls water polo team poses with their 4th place state trophy after the Fall Recognition Assembly.

The Sam Barlow girls water polo team found great success in the 2023 season as they placed first in their conference and fourth in the Oregon 6A Girls Water Polo State Championship.

Head Coach Mike Riegelmann and Assistant Coach Dawn Markell, both agree the environment of the girls water polo team had a direct correlation to their success this season. Coach Riegelmann points out the numerous games won by a single goal, and how the motivation and execution in those crucial moments were due to a few key leaders on the team.

Markell shares her appreciation for many of the seniors on the roster, “Autumn Johnson (captain) and Maggie Moffat are pure grit in the water and kind, supportive, teammates in and out of the water…Sophia Gullett brings fire and attitude.” Not only does the dedication from these players stand out, but the comfort they find in a sport Markell refers to as, “taking place outside of our normal dryland comfort zone.”

In addition to the senior efforts, younger classmen were recognized by both coaches for stepping up into large roles. Specifically, starting sophomore goalie Maria Knifong, who according to Coach Riegelmann, “saved the game on more than one occasion,” and Conference Player of the Year, Makayla Riegelmann, were recognized for their contributions.

More importantly, the tight-knit community within the girls water polo team allowed seniors to experience some of the best moments of their high school careers, in the pool. Moffat reports her favorite memory from this year was, “Winning in a shootout against cross-town rivals, Grant High School.” Gullett recognizes her senior year as one of the fastest seasons to ever go by, but she is endlessly grateful for the community she has found, noting, “These people are ones that’ll have a lasting impact in my life and won’t be forgotten.” Gullet and Moffat find winning the State Championship in 2021 truly unforgettable, and are equally glad the boys team got a similar memory this year.

To the graduating seniors, Coaches Riegelmann and Markell remind them to always use the skills they have learned in water polo, regardless if they continue playing. “Use all the fire, skills, and tenacity you put into our team in your next steps. Hard work will pay off,” Markell further explains. 

In regards to next season, Coach Riegelmann looks forward to building on top of the talented pre-existing players as well as newcomers. Regardless of your skill set going into next season, Coach Riegelmann ensures, “After you’re done with a season you will feel thoroughly accomplished,” just as many on the team feel now, after their successful 2023 season.

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Britney Henderson
Britney Henderson, Editor in Chief

Hi I’m Britney! I am a Senior and this is my second year on the Bruin Banner. I enjoy reading and writing. Outside of school I love playing softball and paddle boarding!

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