The Lake Nona Lions are perfect on the season, many thanks to senior captain Kensey Clinch.
“She is the center of our team, truly. In the water and out of the water,” said Lake Nona Water Polo Coach Alex Bennett. “We build our whole offense around her.”
It’s high praise from Bennett, but every word is true. During games, Kensey typically getting triple-teamed in the water, and yet still comes up with 92 goals during the regular season.
She has been in love with the sport since she first started in middle school. “I tried it one day and I fell in love with it,” said Kensey. “At first it was really tough and I was like I don’t know, this is a lot of egg beating but each day got better and I fell in love with the sport. Ever since then I love it.”
Kensey knows her favorite sport isn’t the most popular. But she gets a kick out of her classmates reaction when they see just how tough water polo actually is.
“That’s actually hard, you guys have to egg beat for all of that, you cant touch the bottom and people are hanging all over you,” said Kensey. “And we are like yea.”
That toughness will come in handy. Last season the Lions played the underdog all the way to the state championship game before falling to Ransom Everglades for the title. This year, with a perfect season underway, they are the team to beat.
“It’s hard to win a championship. Everyone wants to beat you. It was a lot easier looking in and not say, being the favorites,” explained Coach Bennett. “But to win a championship in any sport, the ball just has to bounce your way that day. That’s our goal, but you never know what happens on that day.”
Capping off a perfect season with a state championship? It’d be a dream come true for the Clinch.
“It would be amazing. I think about it and I get goose bumps I’m so excited. I couldn’t have done it without this team and everyone is so close that we can do this.”