HOUSTON – This was for everybody.
It was for anyone who has ever played water polo since the 1970s. It was for Lamar coach Steve McDonald. It was for 10-year-old Baylor Slay.
For all of them the wait is over. Water polo will officially start its pilot program in Fall 2021 as a sanctioned UIL sport.
"It was scary because you don't know what to expect in that vote, it can go anyway," Foster water polo coach Chris Slay said.
Adding water polo to the sports lists marks the first sport to be added to the UIL since wrestling was added for the 1998-1999 season.
On Sunday, Slay was the one to give a speech, which he was allotted a maximum of five minutes to give, to the UIL Legislative Committee. Slay admitted it was a little scary facing a board of superintendents with his "nerves going about a million miles per hour".
The nerves carried over into Monday morning up until the vote was complete, which also included 205 schools saying they would play water polo when it starts in fall of 2021.
A school counted in that number is Foster, whose boys water polo team finished as TISCA State Runnerups in 2019 and the girls water polo team, which won a TISCA State Championship in May for the first in program history.
"I hope so or something has gone horribly wrong," Slay said about Foster being considered a contender when the sport starts in 2021. "I think we have infrastructure in place. There are good youth aquatic sports in the area where we are. We're trying to build a tradition and people are taking note and it's growing."
We are officially just a few weeks away from the 2019 playoffs beginning.
Playoffs? We're talking about playoffs? Yes we are and district championships on top of that.
There is some movement in the new rankings as a lot of teams are making the final push in district play.
1) Manvel (Prev. 1) ** The Mavericks are rolling at 34-6 Overall, 12-0 in District and have won 17-straight matches. On top of that, in district Manvel has dropped just one set.
2) Grand Oaks (Prev. 2) ** The Grizzlies are 31-10 overall and 13-1 in district play, Grand Oaks just suffered its first district loss to Kingwood Park.
3) Shadow Creek (Prev. 5) ** The Sharks are 25-13 overall, 11-2 in district. Shadow Creek has won four-straight and in district play has dropped only eight total sets.
4) Tomball (Prev. 7) **The Cougars are 28-15 overall and 11-3 in District. Tomball has won seven-straight matches.
5) Friendswood (Prev. Unranked) ** The Mustangs have made a heck of a turnaround from the beginning of the season. Friendswood is now 25-16 overall and 10-0 in district with wins over Santa Fe (series sweep), Crosby and Texas City.