Max Edwards: Water Polo Prodigy

Matthew Coffey, Staff Writer

  Gresham High School can now boast that we have one of the best water polo players in the area. Sophomore Max Edwards took home the goalie of the year award for the Mt. Hood Water Polo conference for 2018. Edwards and his team have worked hard this season to be the best they can be.

  When Edwards received the award, he was shocked. “It was really weird honestly, I didn’t think that I would win it this year because there was some serious competition between some of the other schools.,” Edwards said.

   Edwards’ coaches and teammates have helped to motivate him to improve his game and to become a better player and he is very thankful for such support.

  “Jamie Holmes is a wonderful coach and definitely helped make me better as a goalie and Jayla Dieter is my best friend and teammate, she is the person that always helped me and encouraged me the most to keep playing water polo,” Edwards said.

  Just because he won the award doesn’t mean he will stop working on his skills. “The skills I definitely need to work on are staying fit and working out my legs more,” Edwards said.

  Edwards trains hard all the time for his position as goalie. “Max plays club water polo year-round, where he is the goalie for his age group. He is very active, and always wanting to be doing something. He also watches a lot of goalie training videos on Instagram and YouTube.  He is coachable and determined to be the best. He listens to me and doesn’t question me. He tries everything, and if it doesn’t work then we adjust,” Edwards’ water polo coach Jamie Holmes said.

  Edwards also helps others on his team improve their own skills, which truly shows his effort as a team player. “Another thing that I think helps him train is he helps all of the other goalies on the team. A lot of times we break into groups (sprints, defense, goalies, passing, etc.) and he really helps the goalies in understanding the game and what to look for in the cage and how to call the game out as it goes,” coach Holmes said.

  Holmes has watched Edwards improve since the beginning. Edwards has increased his skills and determination to succeed throughout the years, which contributed to winning this award.

  “In just the two years I’ve coached him, Max has improved greatly. Not only skill wise but mentally too! His first year he had the other varsity goalie to look to and mimic, but Max also didn’t feel as though he belonged in the cage during those varsity games, and within the year, he has gained so much confidence and skill. He definitely showed that during the season and in games,” Holmes said.

  Not only does Edwards’ coach think he has improved but his teammates also have noticed the change.

  “Max has improved quite a bit with practicing, especially with breaststroke because of his water polo experience,” teammate Ryan Burch said.

  Edwards is very proud of the medal and will strive to get another. “ I’m happy I got it, and I will be working for another one next year,” Edwards said.