I had the great pleasure of whistling at the 21st Annual Dallas Water Polo Club Fall Invitational. As the founder of the Dallas Water Polo Club, and as the tournament director for their first fifteen home tournaments, I have a certain amount of interest in their continued success. I offer the water polo world the following observations (no particular order):
(1) Frank Connor earned membership in the USAWP Hall of Fame as a player in the 1950s and 1960s. He has earned it again as a "contributor" for his efforts to put age-group water polo on the map in north-central Texas over the last almost twenty years;
(2) Frank Connor and George Fenton have kept the Dallas Water Polo Club alive by their potent efforts over the last almost twenty years. The USA water polo world owes them both a debt of gratitude;
(3) There is now a potent and growing age-group and HS water polo world in north-central Texas. Its existence is due almost entirely to the tireless efforts of Mihai Oprea. Mihai is a former member of the national team of Romania. He came to the USA in roughly 1990. The USA water polo world under-appreciates Mihai and owes him a debt of gratitude;
(4) I had the pleasure of whistling with Dennis Lawrence, JT Wall, and John Rightmyer. JT and John are both young referees. The USA would be well-served noticing their skills and putting them in positions to get experiences that will hasten their development;
(5) I had the pleasure of whistling games played by two age-group teams from Houston. Both Gulf Coast and Houston Storm are well organized and EXTREMELY well coached teams. If this is the future of the sport on a national basis, the future is bright with coaches like this leading athletes this young.
At this point in my career, it is indeed gratifying to see that an area of the USA, where I lived for 15 years, has made such progress. Bravo to all of them.
Midwest, Mountain and Southwest Zones
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