Grady High Students compete in USA Water Polo Olympic Development Championships

by: Britney Morgan, APS Office of Communications

Water Polo
Jessica, first from the left in the back row. Sloan, first from the right in the back row.

“I have had the privilege of coaching them during high school water polo season and the Olympic Development Program (ODP) in the off season,” said APS Knights and USA Water Polo ODP Coach Monica Szalma. “I believe both athletes have taken large steps to improve their water polo fundamentals with their participation in ODP.”

These were the sentiments of coach Szalma as she spoke about two students—juniors from Grady High School who were chosen recently to participate on the USA Water Polo’s Olympic Development (ODP) team.

Sloan Hodges and Jessica Hume had the opportunity to play with the Southeast zone team in the ODP National Tournament in Riverside, Calif. last month. They finish winning 4-1, placing 9th in the country.

Sloan explained that this is their second time playing as a part of the Southeast zone ODP team and that they have a good bond with their teammates and coaches. She enjoys playing with others who share the same passion for the sport. Sloan-water polo defense (2)

USA Water Polo’s Olympic Development team serves as a forum to identify and develop athletes to represent USA Water Polo throughout domestic and international competitions.

Jessica said that training was hard and long, but she developed new skills and had lots of fun.

Both girls participate in more than one sport.  Sloan participates in varsity lacrosse, swimming and Ultimate Frisbee, and Jessie is on the Ultimate Frisbee and swim team at Grady High School.

water polo 2
Sloan, left. Jessica, right.

Well rounded, these two young ladies are high performers in athletics and in the classroom.

Research shows that student athletes perform better academically. With Sloan and Jessica, we have two great examples right here in APS.

As they were also selected as USA Water Polo Academic All Americans-Outstanding Achievers with a 4.0 GPA or higher.

What a great way to represent APS in sports and academics!

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