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Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on October 4th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 30 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 30

Athlete of the Week: Karl Fredrickson

BY KRISTINA SEWELL

Santa Ynez High School senior Karl Fredrickson has it right when he says water polo is a sport that most people don’t understand.


PHOTO COURTESY OF KEN FREDRICKSON

People don’t seem to get why anyone would want to play a sport that requires players to swim back and forth constantly, drowning in pool water--all the while being beat up by strangers--and still call it fun. It takes a special kind of person.

Fredrickson, recently named Santa Barbara County Athlete of the Week, is that kind of person. Fredrickson began his water polo career in sixth grade, after some convincing from his parents, Dawn and Ken Fredrickson.

“My mom was a swimmer in high school and my dad was a triathlete,” Fredrickson said.

Fredrickson said part of what makes the sport so interesting for him is the workouts and the games.

“Workouts and games kill you,” Fredrickson said. “You’re drowning in water—but you’re pushed past your limits and become something you never thought you could be.”

Fredrickson said the team practices at 5:30 a.m. with weightlifting, and dry land and core workouts. In the afternoons, the team takes to the pool, working on countering and game-situation drills.

“We have to keep in good condition mentally and physically,” he said.

After making the All-CIF Division 7 team in 2011, Fredrickson returns to the water polo team as a senior, second year captain, and leading scorer. Despite the hard work it takes to play the sport, Fredrickson said it is very rewarding.

“The most challenging thing is not to give up,” Fredrickson said. “If you give up you hurt yourself and your team mates.”

Fredrickson also said he loves the self-control water polo has taught him.

“You can’t give into the testosterone battle that happens underwater, you have to keep a level head and get them back by scoring,” Fredrickson said.

In an interview with the Sun, Fredrickson explained the different types of water polo players. The senior captain is a self-described “thinker” who has a very analytical mindset during the game. As a captain, it’s Fredrickson’s job to observe and position the defense; and to lead the team both vocally and physically.

Now that Santa Ynez has moved up to Division 6, Fredrickson is looking forward to facing some new teams that will challenge his senior-heavy team. Most of all, Fredrickson has his eye on the post-season where his team hopes to redeem itself and come away with a CIF title. Fredrickson hopes to achieve First Team CIF or CIF MVP honors.

Cabrillo, Santa Ynez’s longest rivalry, looks to be the toughest competition for the men’s water polo team, but Fredrickson is confident.

“I’m anticipating that my team will triumph; they aren’t going to back down,” Fredrickson said.

The scholar and athlete is carefully weighing his options for playing at the next level. He said that he has recieved offers from colleges and would like to play because sports help keep people focused.

Fredrickson is currently leaning toward a major in pre-med in the hopes of pursuing a career as a coach, personal trainer, or team doctor.