Kyle Ayson, The Mesa Press
The men’s water polo season opener was a close match against Southwestern in a one point difference, 17 to 16. Unfortunately the team lost, but they brought back a dominating win with their second game of the season versus Palomar. The player that led his team to victory was sophomore Jake Rose.
Rose is the type of person who is supportive and enjoys being around others. He said “I love being around my boys and my teammates and whatever it is, I’m just there for a good time.” Rose finds himself revolving around aquatics because he said that it had a large impact on him. “It definitely helped me find my place in life,” Rose added.
Regarding water polo, it’s “the most nightmarish sport in the world,” according to an Insider article by Kim Renfro. Imagine tossing yourself into a deep pool and being told to tread water for more than thirty minutes, while avoiding opponents to score a goal. Totally not insane. Nonetheless, Rose plays the position of a driver. The most versatile position in the field. Their main role is to free themselves from defenders and drive the ball in or near the goal. One would have to be constantly aware of their surroundings and highly mobile in the water to move in any sort of direction.
Some of Rose’s goals include pursuing his water polo and academic careers. But his main goal at the moment is to “go as far as I can with my polo boys and Mesa. I mean, we’re chasing that state championship, so that’s definitely the first thing.” Rose’s “optimism of the future” is what keeps him moving forward and persevering through obstacles. He added that he has “no idea what it’s going to hold. I’m super excited for what’s next. And what the next step is.”
One thing that Rose is thankful for is his coach. Beto Vasquez, head coach for men and women’s water polo. “He’s been my coach before Mesa and he coached me in clubs. So he taught me a lot of things,” said Rose.
Vasquez noted some of Rose’s distinguishing features. “His passion for the game, coupled with his God-gifted talent and skills. He is an extremely talented, very strong player. His experiences allow him to be a dominant force in the pool, just a great player all around. Especially if he’s the kind of player that inspires everybody else to get better around him. He’s Just a force to be reckoned with.”
During training and when Rose competes, Vasquez added that “the biggest thing that Jake has is his vocal leadership. It’s when he can get guys to come together for the same cause and just play their hearts out right at the end. If things were to fall apart. He’s one of the guys that glues the team back together. It’s just his vocal leadership, super important to us.”
Vasquez also shared a fond moment between him and Rose. “I think one thing that Jake and I share in our relationship is when we first started coaching, he just put his trust in me as his coach. And that really means a lot because when he was able to put his trust in me, we were actually able to unlock his full potential. Me as a coach and him as a player. So our relationship, as friends and as coach, as player, it’s just remarkable. It really allows both of us to just maximize our gifts and our talents and our potential.”
“Watch him for the rest of the season, he’s going to get recruited to go division one. He’s going to go somewhere. He will go somewhere. So keep an eye on him,” Vasquez said.