Rising Freshman: Lily Gilbert


Freshman Lily Gilbert had a successful season on Girls’ Varsity Waterpolo despite her young age. Gilbert, a leftie (hence the nickname South Paw) scored 16 goals this year for Tam. Photo courtesy of: Lily Gilbert

By Claire Donohue

Earlier this season, freshman Lily Gilbert left junior varsity girls water Polo team and moved up to Varsity, becoming the first freshman player in over a number of years. “I wanted to be on Varsity so bad as a Freshman, like that’s all I wanted to do. So I just trained really really hard,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert first took an interest in water sports at age five when she joined the Scott Valley Swim Team.
“A lot of people who are swimmers also do water polo and vice versa,” Gilbert said. “My [swim] coach, Paul, told me about water polo…I was like ‘okay I’ll try it’ and I ended up doing it and I liked it so much.”
Out of 21, 16 members of girls Varsity water polo are seniors. “It’s sort of challenging [to be a freshman on varsity water polo] because they’re so many seniors on the team. They were sort of all friends and knew each other so I had to try and fit my way in.” Gilbert said.
The team practiced two hours a day, five days a week. “It’s a big time commitment, but it doesn’t take away from anything,” Gilbert said. “If you play waterpolo you definitely have to be committed.
Gilbert’s determined mindset has payed off. In her first season of varsity water Polo she has scored 16 goals for her team. “[Gilbert] spends a lot of time training and practices a lot in the off season,” JV Water Polo player and junior Grace Hansen said. “[Gilbert] is very dedicated to it and she wants to be better. She works really hard.”
Along with her agility and strength, Gilbert possesses another unique quality: her dominant hand. Left-handed players are considered a secret weapon in water polo.
“Not a lot of people are lefties, it’s sort of a key thing to have. When you’re playing with people who aren’t on your team and don’t know that you’re a lefty it sort of shocks them, they have to position a different way,” Gilbert said.
On top of her passion for water polo, Gilbert has also taken an interest in cooking. “My dad’s a chef and he teaches me how to cook sometimes. My brother loves cooking too,” Gilbert said, “We own a restaurant in Stinson called the Parkside so sometimes I’ll help out there.”
Gilbert has three more years of water polo at Tam to look forward to, and plans on continuing the sport in college. “It’s really fun and I think people should definitely try [water polo],” Gilbert said. “It used to be less of a big sport but now tons of people are doing it.”