New Polo Coach Earns Loyalty, Effort from Players


Colette Wright, Staff Writer

New boys’ varsity water polo coach Anton Sapoznikov has guided his team to a record of 12-4. The team prevailed against rival teams Las Lomas on October 3 and Dougherty Valley on September 26 .

“His hands on-approach and team building strategies have won over his players,” said assistant coach Brodie Taylor. He added, “Sapozhnikov treats his players as both equals and individuals.”

“He is a very nice man. He isn’t just about winning,” said Athletic Director, Bob Wilson.

However, Sapoznikov does make his players work. Sophomore player Garret Felix said, “He makes [the players] put in one hundred percent all the time. We do a lot of Olympic drills like three on two.” Three on two is a drill in which two players are on defense and play against three players on offense. The drill demands that the players work under pressure. “He’s very productive,” said Taylor.

Sapozhnikov gets in the water with the players while they are practicing to reinforce their training, something that the old coach did not do. “I think the players respect my coaching style,” said Sapoznikov. Sophomore player Spencer Tagg said, “He’s good and makes us work hard. He’s more aggressive than the old coach.”

The players are taking Sapoznikov’s expectations to heart. “The team is nice and well behaved. They have become the hardest working athletes I have ever coached. They have a good work ethic. They practice with high intensity. I could not ask for harder working athletes,” said Sapoznikov. “I demand a lot from them when they are on my time and they always give one hundred percent.”

“I was a student athlete for a long time and I try to connect and relate to the players,” said Sapozhnikov. He has had five years of training in the sport. He was a player in high school and a coach in college.