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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Boys Water Polo Bested by Westlake in Final Game of Season

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  • Challenging his opponent, Ben Meijers ’25 defends a player with the ball. Meijers has made significant contributions as a player this season and will have a vital role on the team next year.

  • Locked in, Jack Beneviste ’24 walks the ball in as he looks for a pass. Over the years, his capability as a dependable captain and a player has shaped the team in a positive light.

  • Raising the ball for a pass, Marek Browarski ’27 sees an opportunity. As a first-year player, he has demonstrated great prowess and skill and will continue to do so in the coming years.

  • Arms splayed outward, Cole Osborn ’25 rises to defend the goal. As the goalie, he has become the backbone of the team both in and out of the water.

  • Ready to launch the ball, Freddy Browarski ’24 concentrates all of his strength into making the final goal of the game. Browarski proved to be an offensive ace and an impressionable captain as he led the team to the end of a successful season.

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On Tuesday, Oct. 17, Boys Water Polo competed against their long-time rivals the Westlake Chaparrals at the Westlake Aquatic Center. Earlier in the season, the Warriors had lost to Westlake by two points and were now determined to force a different result, and move forward in the UIL playoffs. However, following a hard-fought four quarters, the Warriors would go on to lose 12-9, ending their historic, district-winning season. 

Coming off from a successful win versus Davenport, the Warriors were prepared to mark off another win and move onto the next round in the playoffs. As the whistle blew, they had a game plan ready to combat two specific players—Luke and Jenson Welton, brothers who both play for the South African junior national team. 

“They’re mean-like shooters, so we had two of our guys pretty much consistently on them,” Ben Meijers ‘24 said. “Zack and Jack stayed on them pretty much the whole game and we also had drops coming in so there would be more than one player on them.“

Despite their efforts, the Warriors struggled to keep back the Westlake onslaught as Jenson opened the game with a goal on their first possession, leading the Chaparrals to score four points in the first quarter. Even on defense, the Chaparrals refused to let goals in easily and ran out the shot clock multiple times as the Warriors attempted to score. However, Freddy Browarski ‘24 and Jack Benveniste ‘24 kept the motivation flowing as they evaded the Westlake defenders and scored two goals keeping the score close through one quarter. 

“They had a really tight defense and made it hard for a lot of our drivers,” Meijers said. “And they collapsed on our set a lot which negated a lot of our offensive capabilities.”

As the coaches called timeouts to discuss strategy, the crowded stand filled with parents, the girls’ team, and members of the swim team cheered excitedly. Hyped by the overwhelming support, the Warriors resumed gameplay, determined to match and surpass Westlake.

With two minutes left before halftime and aided by a quick pass, Meijers instinctively struck the ball into the net, tightening the score. Westwood slowly began to advance in points. Just as the clock hit zero, Marek Browarski ‘27 fired the ball into the net to a roar of cheers as he scored, tying the score at 5-5 going into halftime. 

In the third quarter, with goals from Zack Hobbs ‘24 and Caden Bradford ‘26, Westwood began to move up the scoreboard—but so did Westlake. After a series of rallies around each goal post and multiple exclusions for both teams, the score was set at 8-7 with Westlake slightly ahead heading into the final quarter of play.

As the game moved into the fourth quarter, Benveniste triumphantly scored keeping the Warriors in the game. However, Westlake’s duo of the Welton brothers stacked four goals on the Warriors, putting Westlake ahead. In a final show of defiance, Freddy slung a successful shot with seventeen seconds left, rounding the score off at 12-9 . 

Although the game came down to a loss, it was also one of the Warriors’ closest fought games of the season, as they have made significant progress since last year in terms of gameplay and stamina. Over the past months, they have accumulated skills and fostered a team culture that will never be forgotten by the leaving seniors. 

“We’ve learned to trust each other and just our skills moving the ball around the pool are leagues better,” Meijers said. “This was a really good way to end off the year.”

The Warriors will now look ahead to next season hoping to match the success of this one. The girls will play Saturday Oct. 21, in Houston against Foster High School, as they move on in the playoffs. 

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About the Contributor
Valerie Zhang
Valerie Zhang, Reporter
Class of 2024
Because of writing, the spontaneity of ideas that pop into my head in the middle of the night has transformed me into a night owl. Throughout the late hours, I cultivate my obsession with period dramas, sports animes, and pictures of swim practice sunsets. Other hobbies include learning languages, lifeguarding, and sleeping!

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