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Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on May 8th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 9 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 9

Athletes of the week

LAYNE PORTER AND EMILY EDDS

BY KRISTINA SEWELL

Water polo players Layne Porter and Emily Edds are sharks in the water. Playing for the One Way 12U water polo team out of the Santa Maria Swim Club, Porter and Edds helped lead their team to a second-place trophy at the Oxnard water polo tournament earlier this month.

At a recent tournament, Porter, 12, walked away with five goals, five assists, and six steals; Edds, 11, racked up five goals, three assists, and two steals. Both athletes have been playing water polo for two years and both hold the set or point positions.

Edds, who said she was already a good swimmer, decided to try something different and started playing water polo. For Porter, inspiration came from his dad.

“My dad talked about his awards he won in college and playing water polo,” Porter said. “He got me interested in playing.”

Porter’s father, Kelly, coaches the One Way water polo team with coach Charlie Bell. Coach Porter said Edds and his son are ahead of the game in terms of their knowledge and skill.

“Both of these kids are hard workers and are very focused,” Coach Porter said. “I don’t have to tell them to pay attention and work hard at practice.”

Referred to as the “Dynamic Duo,” Porter and Edds play well together; their speed and swimming skills compliment each other during games.

“Layne is very crafty and smart; Emily is dedicated and her swimming skills are bar none—she is an intelligent player,” Coach Porter said.

Though he admits he still gets nervous before games, Porter said he loves water polo because he likes to win as a team.

“The swimming is nonstop, and it’s hard. But it feels good when you score a goal,” he said.

Edds, one of three girls on the team, echoed her teammate’s thoughts.

“I feel so proud when I make a goal because you have to work so hard to get it,” she said.

Edds and Porter are dedicated athletes with demanding schedules; they practice water polo three days a week and both swim for the swim team five to six days a week, sometimes going to meets before playing a water polo game.

“We’re used to the schedule,” Edds said with a laugh.

“Swimming helps with our speed and stamina,” said Porter, who also plays basketball.

According to the Dynamic Duo, water polo practice usually includes warm-up laps, 100 eggbeaters, sprints, and then scrimmage and practice drills. Both Edds and Porter are happy they got second place at the last tournament, but they want to be ready to win it all at the next series of games.

“I want to play better defense and steal the ball more,” Edds said.

Porter said he wants to work on keeping his head up during the game, not giving up, and having more fun.

The team, which often travels to play in Division II tournaments, will return to Oxnard in June.