Sideline Scene: Boys title caps remarkable two-year run for Olympia water polo program | Observer Preps

A little more than a year after the Olympia girls water polo team won a state title in 2017, the Titans boys team won a championship of its own in Miami May 5.

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  • | 1:24 p.m. May 10, 2018
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Courtesy photo
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There’s no way around it: The Olympia High water polo program has done something pretty special.

Steven Ryzewski
Steven Ryzewski

For a sport that typically favors private schools with on-campus pool facilities, the Titans winning a girls championship in 2017 and a boys championship in 2018 is nothing short of remarkable.

It says something about the athletes at Olympia and their dedication to the sport. It also speaks to the program, itself — meaning head coach Stephanie Johnson Possell and her staff.

This season, that staff included longtime assistant Linn Possell, as well as alumni who have returned as coaches in Rachel Bednarek and Billy Whidden.

“I have an amazing coaching staff,” Johnson Possell said. “Linn and myself, we are a really good team — we see the game differently, and we work really, really well together. … Rachel and Billy were a gift to have around. They were so much fun to coach with.”

The teams for Olympia that won titles in consecutive years were different in identity, too. The girls team in 2017 was a senior-heavy, veteran squad.

The boys team that won the title skews young, learning the game on the fly thanks in part to an enthusiastic passion for the X’s and O’s.

The youth of this year’s boys team — the Titans started one senior — suggests Olympia will once again be a force to be reckoned with in 2019. But, for now, the program should simply be proud of what it has accomplished these past two years.

It is rather incredible.

“It really is pretty amazing,” Johnson Possell said. “It was a fun year on so many levels.”

Photo by Julia Gardiner
Photo by Julia Gardiner



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