McClain, a goalie for the girls’ water polo team, came into her final season at Mission Bay with several goals in mind. Yes, one such goal is keeping the opponents from getting their own goals.
As head coach Lyndsay Sutterley sees it, McClain has grown during her four years with the program.
“I have been fortunate enough to work with Callie for her last three seasons,” Sutterley said. “In Callie’s final season, I would love to see her continue to show her skills as a prominent leader of the team. She is the backbone of the Mission Bay team.”
Beach & Bay Press recently caught up with McClain for an interview.
BBP: When did you first start playing water polo and how did you get started in the sport?
McClain: I first began playing water polo in fifth grade. At the time, my interest towards swimming and water sports had peaked, so my parents thought that water polo would be a perfect fit for me, and it was.
BBP: What are some of the keys to being a sound goalie?
McClain: My schedule is extremely packed, I play two sports (water polo and rowing) and I am an IB (International Baccalaureate) student, therefore time management for me is huge. I'd say that the key to being a sound goalie is simply being there and putting in the time and effort that it takes to improve.
BBP: What else are you involved in at Mission Bay and are you planning on college next fall?
McClain: I am involved in the IB program at my school. This program is extremely rigorous and it requires a lot of time and effort. Hopefully I will graduate full IB and receive a large amount of college credit for the courses that I took throughout high school. I plan on going to Northeastern University in Boston for college. My intended major is civil engineering.
BBP: How has playing water polo helped you grow as an individual and athlete?
McClain: Water polo, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult sports to play. Not only do you have to be an extremely strong swimmer, but you also need to know how to tread water, pass the ball, or block a ball (depending on your position). Polo has taught me a lot about managing my time and about staying accountable for my commitments. I've also developed as an athlete by continuously increasing my strength and constantly increasing my goalie knowledge.
BBP: Any advice for anyone interested in coming out for the team next season?
McClain: Water polo is a great opportunity for anyone looking to make some amazing friends, and get in some good exercise. Our games and tournaments are always a blast. We have lots of team bonding events and the whole team is so nice and welcoming. My only advice is to work hard and constantly strive for improvement. Never give up.