Last year, Ripon High’s boys water polo team made it to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship game in the program’s third year of existence.
The Ripon High girls, trying to put their program on the map just as the boys did last year, took a big step in that direction with a solid showing at the El Capitan tournament in Merced.
The Indians were led by junior driver Andria Martin, who scored 12 goals, including the game-winner in the third-place game of the Platinum Division against the host Gauchos.
“We’re a really small team right now, but my dad always tells me dynamite comes in small packages,” said Martin, whose Indians have just nine players on the roster, leaving just two on the bench at any given time. “Having a small team can suck sometimes because we get tired, but we work really well together. We’ve improved not only as a team, but as individuals, as well.”
Martin was a protégé of the late Ervin Zador, the legendary Ripon Aquatics coach who, as a member of the Hungarian national team, played an integral part in the famed “Blood in the Water” game against the Soviet Union at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
“He was like a grandpa to me,” said Martin. “He’s one of the reasons I play water polo, because he was so into it and he pushed me to play. He was such an inspiration; he pushed you and pushed you and pushed you.”
But that’s only part of the reason Martin goes so hard during practice.
“Hannah Sweet and I are the team captains,” said Martin. “I would consider us the top two players and a lot of the younger players look up to us. We work really hard in practice and that pushes our teammates to work hard, as well.”
Parents: Annette and Bob Martin
Place of birth: Lodi
Favorite class: AP English
Favorite teacher: Mr. (Chris) Musseman
Favorite meal: Spaghetti
Favorite athlete: Missy Franklin
Favorite superhero: Superman
Favorite app: My camera
Favorite emoji: The laughing emoji
Can’t stop listening to: “Downtown” by Macklemore
3 things you’d want on a desert island: A close friend, my phone and a book