My name is Baylor S. Wiggins and I am currently a Senior on the Ashland High School Water Polo Team.
It took a while to find my passion for water polo. One might even call it serendipity. Initially born and raised in the Midwest, I didn’t even learn of water polo until I moved to Ashland, Oregon.
The focus in the Midwest was basketball, football, and hockey. I have always been tall, so throughout my childhood,, people naturally asked me to play basketball. It simply wasn’t my thing. I had football coaches ask me to play football to be a receiver, but again it wasn’t my thing. I played travel hockey for 6 years and enjoyed the experience and the theory of the game.
At 13, I was first introduced to water polo when we moved to Ashland, Oregon, and, a sport I now play with passion. I loved it because for the first time I didn’t feel physically awkward and my size benefitted me. I incorporated a lot of theory from hockey into my play. As a sophomore, I have grown into my body and my physical awkwardness of middle school is gone. I am learning to use my size and athleticism as both a defensive threat and offensive weapon. I enjoy playing along the 2m line.
During my Freshman season, AHS Water Polo placed 3rd in the state of Oregon. While I played some, I studied the game and upperclassmen with intensity and focus to learn the sport I now call my own – water polo. While a sophomore I spent most of my time acting as a playmaker while registering a goal every other game.
Where does my passion come from? My father passed away unexpectedly when I was 14. This, of course, affected me deeply, and I wanted to quit pretty much everything. But I knew giving up is not what he would want. So I use the loss of my father to motivate me to a higher level. I train harder and set my goal of helping my AHS team win a water polo championship. As Freshman, I joined AHS swim team knowing it would improve my swimming for water polo. I was the Most Improved Swimmer and received a Varsity Letter in swimming. I continue to have a drive that sets me apart from many other students.
I have set my goal to always try and better myself by meeting with coaches and trainers on the weekend, focusing on academics and maintaining a strong bond with my fellow teammates. Despite my young age, I am looked upon as a leader throughout my team and community. I am currently an Eagle Scout and have served multiple leadership positions including a leadership camp. My leadership skills truly show in the pool while we run plays or as I demonstrate new drills. I strive to succeed inside and outside of the pool and in the classroom. I am looking forward to pursuing a degree in Chemistry.