One tournament will linger for a long time.
Last November, the men's water polo team entered the Eastern tournament at Annapolis with high hopes, if not great qualifications. But Harvard could not manage a single win in the tournament, and received a 21-0 dunking by a powerful Navy squad in the process.
Dunked and skunked. It wasn't pretty.
Don't look now, but the Crimson is a year older and a year sharper, and is eager to show that it is a year better.
"Navy has lost some players," said Harvard Tri-Captain Fred Sherrer, "but we lost only one."
"We have all returning starters," added Tri-Captain Bill Wolff. "Our key players have been together a year."
A little togetherness, Wolff figures, will lead to a lot more points.
"Our big problem last year was, as a team, we waited for someone to create something," said Wolff. "And you cannot win with individual brilliance."
While readying for an early (September 19) show-down at home against, among others, Boston College, UMass, and Princeton, the captains have already noticed a heightened commitment to the team.
"Everybody came to camp ready," said Wolff. "Some of the guys bulked up."
Pumped for Practice
"Everybody's been really motivated in the drills," said Harvard Tri-Captain Ben Elizondo. "We were doing drills when the two-meter man gets a ball, hands it off to a driver and he puts it in the goal. Yesterday it was going real quick, one right after the other. The two-meter man kept asking for more balls. It's an example of the camaraderie here."
But what could really put the squad over the top is not just the offense, the camaraderie, or the defense--but the depth.
"We have twelve, fourteen guys for game situations," said Wolff. "That's better than any Harvard team."
It was a similar depth which allowed Navy to sink the Crimson last year, but in a return engagement this year, don't expect the aquamen to surrender easily.