Group of girls at Bakersfield Water Polo Club trying to grow local interest in water polo

Posted at 4:45 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 21:14:07-04

A day after CSUB announced it would cut the women's water polo program a group of girls are doing their best to grow the interest for the sport in Bakersfield. 

A look inside the pool at CSUB & you'll see a lot of talent. There's some valley champions from high school, a group of junior Olympic players & a handful of "tough" girls. In Bakersfield Water Polo Club's tenth year of existence, less than a dozen girls are in the club. Not quite enough to field a team in any particular age group according to head coach Jason Gall. 

RELATED: Two locals qualify for US water polo tryout

Those who do play are forced to play on a co-ed team with the boys. Whether it's the faster pace of the idea that the girls have toughened up quicker, Gall thinks it might give his girls an advantage. "They go on these all girls teams (in Clovis) and they do really well because they train with the guys," Gall said. "A little bit faster and stronger group."

One of the girls, 13 year old Logan W. just got back from a tryout for the US National team. An experience she called "mentally exhausting." She missed out on making the team but still has dreams of one day playing in the Olympics. 

While some have big dreams, others are just glad to be in the pool. Kaylee McDonel has only been playing water polo for 8 months after attending a water polo camp. "I did that for a little bit and that's when I knew I wanted to play," she said. "But they didn't have a program for me over there." Over "there" is Taft. Four days a week McDonel commutes into Bakersfield in hopes of one day playing on an all girls team. "That would be so much fun," she said. 

Until then she and Logan are left to play with the boys growing a toughness that's fueled by a love for the game. 

Junior Olympics will take place in Orange County at the end of July. If you're interested in joining BWPC click here.


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