Adirondack Water Polo Club offers opportunity to play and learn

Water polo is not a sport that is usually associated with the Capital District, but that doesn't mean there aren't any options to play.

The Adirondack Water Polo Club consists of a small but dedicated group of 30 to 40 swimmers ranging from high school athletes to people in their 40s.

It's fun, it's great exercise and I always get to meet new faces, said John Reagan, a 45-year-old Slingerlands resident who's played water polo since college.

"I swim (in high school) right now, and I've been swimming competitively for about 11 years," said Clifton Park resident Katie Jesaitis, who is entering her junior year at Shenendehowa High School. "I like [water polo] more because it's more of a team atmosphere."

Membership grows and shrinks with the time of the year, said head coach Chris Walsh.

"We have 13 to 14 active players during the season, but we often get more when school is out," said Walsh.

The club travels to competitions around the Northeast and Great Lakes states during the season, which stretches from the spring to the fall.

"The closest [city] we travel to is Rochester," said Walsh. "We go to Philadelphia and out to Ohio. Some of us have played in Las Vegas, and I've played in Europe."

The club has to fit its practice schedule around pool availability. During the summer months, the club uses Siena College's Marcelle Athletic Complex pool on Tuesday evenings. The rest of the time, it has to fit practices around RPI's Robison Pool schedule, which often means practicing late in the evening.

"When I was in high school at Troy [in the 1980s], we used to get in the water by 8 or 8:30 in the evening at RPI," said Walsh. "But now, you can't do that because you have U.S. swim club teams and other events going on."

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