Varsity water polo ends its season 6-11 after an early playoff exit


After being handed a shortened season, varsity water polo’s year has come to a close. There were many highs and lows throughout the year for Forest Hills, as the three schools put on quite a show at times. From sweeping its first district seeding games against Grand Ledge and Mason to getting to face Grand Ledge and Grand Haven once again, Forest Hills endured some hard times with an early playoff exit after losing to East Kentwood.

On the offensive side of the pool, juniors Caroline Bell and Avery Verlinde along with senior superstar Rachel Schenck led the team in goals for the year, as these three combined for a majority of the team’s points. Other notable scorers were junior Sofia Johnson, who also had one of the highest assist counts. Additionally, junior Sophia McGarth was a player that really came along at the end of the year.

At times, the inner district became tougher for FH this year. Assistant coach Sara Fredricks talked about the challenges of this year.

“Our district changed this year, so it was interesting to play against some of these teams that we haven’t normally seen in the past. Holt/EL and Grand Ledge were both teams that we didn’t know what to expect from. I was proud of how hard the girls fought in both of these games, especially with all the obstacles this season brought,” coach Fredricks said. “The girls had great competition in their game against East Kentwood and unfortunately fell short both times playing them, but still showed a lot of growth from earlier on in the season and a lot of promise for next year. We’re lucky to have a strong junior class that I believe learned a lot from this season and is already looking toward the future and what can be accomplished next year.”

The second round of district seeding did not end the way it had before for the girls. Instead of winning its three games, Forest Hills uncountably dropped all three of the games with losses to Holt/East Lansing, East Kentwood, and Rockford. Yet, Forest Hills got back to its winning ways, picking up wins against Grand Haven and West Ottawa. This marked the team’s first wins in almost two weeks since beating Portage Central soundly.

The Grand Haven game was a very special win and memory for the team, as arguably the biggest win for the team’s momentum.

“Our game against Grand Haven was a huge victory. After going through some tough losses, they fought hard to win this game. They had lost to GH during the first week of the season, so to be able to come back and win their second game against them really helped their momentum to finish the season,” coach Fredricks said.

Defensively, junior Jessica Plantamura played one heck of a season in the net, finishing with over a 50 save percentage on the year. Her effort did not go noticed.

“Jessica Plantamura showed up in a big way this season. We initially had two varsity goalies but one dropped out at the beginning of the season, so Jess stepped up as the sole varsity goalie. She overcame any pressure she felt and ended up being a huge asset to our team with her saves, calls, steals, and general leadership in a game, “coach Fredricks said.

The team has had quite the year with many new faces from both Central, Eastern, and Northern marking their marks in many different ways. With new additions from a strong JV water polo team, Varsity will most likely be back and better than ever next year.